What is Paraffin wax?
Paraffin wax is a white or colorless soft solid that can be derived from crude oil. Paraffin is mainly obtained from petroleum. Paraffin oil, used as a fuel, is also known as kerosene.
It is made by dewaxing base oil from which a feedstock is obtained for paraffin production. This feedstock is then further processed to obtain commercial paraffin wax. Paraffin wax is used in various industries, including candle-making, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and food packaging.
Various types of paraffin wax are available in the market, including fully refined, semi-refined, and crude paraffin wax
What are the different grades of paraffin?
Paraffin wax is a widely used material with several grades, each with unique properties and applications. The most common grades of paraffin are:
– Fully refined paraffin is the purest form of paraffin wax, with a melting point between 130-140°F. It is commonly used in candles, food packaging, and cosmetic products.
– Semi-refined paraffin – this grade of paraffin contains fewer oil and impurities and has a melting point between 120-140°F. It is often used for industrial purposes, such as making adhesives, lubricants, and polishes.
Note: The main difference between fully refined paraffin wax and semi-refined paraffin wax is the oil content. The oil content of fully refined paraffin wax is less than semi-refined. Semi-refined paraffin: darker color – fully refined paraffin: lighter color.
– Blended paraffin – this type of paraffin wax is a combination of fully and semi-refined paraffin, with a melting point between 120-140°F. It is commonly used for candle making.
– Microcrystalline wax – this grade of wax has a higher melting point than paraffin wax, between 160-180°F. It is commonly used in the cosmetics industry as well as in adhesives and polishes.
– Specialty wax – many specialty grades of wax are available for specific purposes, such as sealing wax, sculpting wax, and casting wax.
Each grade of paraffin has unique features, making them useful for several purposes. Correctly identifying the grade of paraffin wax required for your particular use is vital to ensure the overall quality of your product.
Usage of Paraffin Wax:
Paraffin wax is a popular choice in candle making because of its low cost, availability, ease of use, and stability.
The pharmaceutical industry uses paraffin wax to manufacture ointments and other products, while the cosmetic industry makes lotions, creams, and lip balms.
In addition, paraffin wax is also used as a component of chewing gum, packaging food products, waterproofing papers, and coating cheese. Not only this, paraffin wax is also used in industries such as rubber, textiles, and adhesives.