Industrial use of Paraffin Wax

    Rahul Tiwari
    By Rahul Tiwari
    Industrial use of Paraffin Wax

    Who would have thought the dull, white, odorless, tasteless chunk of paraffin wax is so versatile?  Though generally linked with candle making, paraffin plays a crucial role in diverse fields. Be it in heavy industrial applications, beauty treatments, packaging, pathology, physiotherapy or agriculture, this multi-purpose wax is used as a key raw material in the production of various items. 

    What is paraffin wax? It is actually a mixture of different types of simple hydrocarbons. While Paraffin can be extracted from coal, wood and oil shale, it is typically created from the distillation of petroleum. What increases the utility of this waxy substance is low oil content, insolubility in water, excellent electrical insulator properties and melting point that extends from 115° Fahrenheit (46° Celsius) to 154° F (68° C). Below are five industrial units that are major users of paraffin wax.

    Candle making

    The first thing that comes to mind when you think of paraffin wax is candles right? There is no doubt that refined paraffin wax is extensively used in the candle manufacturing industry. Its optimal burn and scent throw properties along with a wide range of melting points make paraffin wax an ideal ingredient for making candles.

    Food

    Another major consumer is the food sector. Paraffin wax suppliers provide the substance in large amounts to this industry which uses it as a preservative and stiffener. Paraffin wax also adds a glossy sheen. Some varieties of cheeses are coated with wax to shield against moisture, mold, and mildew. Citrus fruit is also encased with wax to prolong its life, freshness and to retain shine. Paraffin wax is an important ingredient in the production of chewing gum base and is also added to melted chocolate for luster and softness. 

    Cosmetics

    The cosmetic industry is another big user of this mineral wax. Apart from being a great component in beauty and personal care products like creams, lotions, lipsticks etc., Paraffin wax is popular as a moisturizing application for facials, manicures, and pedicures in spas and salons. 

    Pharmaceutical and Medical

    Paraffin wax is actively used in in the medical field. Pills and tablets are swathed in wax to give them a polished finish which facilitates easy swallowing. Also, the wax covering helps slow down the release of the medicine. The FDA compliant paraffin wax can also be utilized in physiotherapy to treat injuries, joint stiffness, and arthritis. In addition, therapists use wax as a remedy for de-stressing and relaxing.

    Textiles

    This is another industry that consistently uses super refined paraffin wax to give the yarn a uniform coating. Apart from providing softness and flexibility, the substance prevents friction and lowers the hairiness element of the yarn during the manufacturing process. Paraffin wax is also used as layering in sewing threads to facilitate stitching at high speeds without triggering any breakages. 

    The industrial uses of paraffin wax are not just limited the above. It is also used in children’s crayons, varnish, polishes, adhesives, leather products, fertilizer/cardboard/paper coating, match sticks, electric insulation, rubber, metal casing, for external lubrication, end sealing of timber to thwart water damage and ripping and so many other commercial uses.

     

    Rahul Tiwari

    Rahul Tiwari

    I'm a reader, researcher & writer.
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    I'm a reader, researcher & writer. I am fascinated by "art" and "technology". I spend most of my time on the internet reading news and writing articles and love to share...