Laboratory tests are crucial when making a product. They ensure that the product is up to the right standards and will perform the way it is intended. Below are the top five laboratory tests used to test different properties of wax.
1. Congealing Point
Congealing point is a wax property that describes the temperature where the wax “sets” or begins to crystallize into the solid state. Different grades of waxes have different congealing points. The test used to determine the congealing point is called the Congealing Point of Petrolatum’s and Waxes. You can find out more about this test here.
Waxes differ in how hard or soft they are, particularly petroleum waxes. The hardness/softness is important to know because it can have a significant effect upon other physical properties of a wax. The test that measures hardness or softness of a wax is the Needle Penetration of Petroleum Waxes. You can find out more about it here.
Viscosity is a measurement of how “thick” or “thin” a liquid is. For example, honey has a higher viscosity than water at a given temperature. This means that honey is a thicker liquid than water is. If you had two cups, one filled with water and the other filled with honey, and you tipped them upside down, the water would pour out right away and the honey would move much slower. Just like water or honey, wax has a viscosity too. One tool used to measure viscosity is a Brookfield Viscometer. You can find out more about Brookfield Viscometers here.
Odor may seem like a strange thing to test for in wax, but when wax is used in food packaging applications it is very important. The odor of the wax could alter the food it comes in contact with. The odor test measures the intensities of the odor of the wax on a scale (instead of in just descriptive terms). The test used is called the Standard Test for Odor of Petroleum Waxes. More information about this test can be found here.
5. Infrared Scanning, DSC analysis
Infrared scanning tests the amount and how much of different substances are in the wax sample. It uses wavelength measurement and visible light to test for these substances. DSC analysis, or Differential Scanning Calorimetry, is a test that measures the amount of heat that is required to increase the temperature of the wax substance, which can then be used to interpret the melt point of a wax.
These are just a few of the tests used to maintain proper quality throughout all wax products. For the full listing of tests we do at Blended Waxes, visit our wax quality control testing page on our website.