Paraffin Emulsion Definition
Paraffin emulsions, or, in more general terms, wax emulsions are products which enable the application of the excellent barrier and protective properties of waxes in a simple, economical manner. The ease of application of wax emulsions without the need to use heat and melt processes results in an increasingly wide range of applications in the industry and at home. The processed material doesn’t swell and maintains its durability for a long time. In producing of the emulsion paraffin, the foregoing emulsifier is admixed with paraffin in a warmed or molten condition. Paraffin Emulsion is a mixture of paraffin wax with the desired quantity of water to produce a stable and uniform paraffin emulsion of the desired concentration.
A wax emulsion is a stable mixture of one or more waxes in water. Waxes and water are normally immiscible but can be brought together stably by the use of surfactants and a clever preparation process. Strictly speaking a wax emulsion should be called a wax dispersion since the wax is solid at room temperature. However, because the preparation takes place above the melting point of the wax, the actual process is called emulsification, hence the name wax emulsion. In praxis, wax dispersion is used for solvent based systems.
A wide range of emulsions based on different waxes and blends thereof are available, depending on the final application. Waxes that are found in wax emulsions can be of natural or synthetic origin. Common non-fossil natural waxes are carnaubawax, beeswax, candelilla wax or ricebran wax. Paraffin, microcrystalline and montanwax are the most used fossil natural waxes that are found in emulsions. Synthetic waxes that are used include (oxidised) LDPE and HDPE, maelic grafted PP and Fischer-Tropsch waxes.
A range of different emulsifiers or surfactants are used to emulsify waxes. These can be anionic, cationic or non-ionic in nature. The most common however are fatty alcohol ethoxylates as non-ionic surfactants due to their superb stability against hard water, pH-shock and electrolytes. Some applications demand different emulsifier systems for example anionic surfactants for better hydrophobicity or cationic surfactants for better adhesion to certain materials like textile fibers.
Paraffin Emulsion Applications
1. Coat paper, Bristol board and cardboard.
2. Waterproof chipboard.
3. Waterproof fibers.
4. Ropes and textiles.
5. Protect floors.
6. Car bodies and furniture.
7. Coat fruits and vegetables.