What products can I use to whiten paraffin wax, make it more opaque?

Punto de fusión

Dr. Vela

Dear Dr. Vela:

What products can I use to whiten paraffin wax, make it more opaque?

Petroleum waxes are classified as MACRO crystalline, which are waxes from the lighter base oil cuts and have a typical melting point between 52 and 68 C, and their appearance in a solid state is translucid. Waxes from the heavier cuts are better known as MICRO crystalline wax.

As their names indicate, this refers to the size of the crystals in the crystal structure of the wax, with the MACRO having large crystal structures, which make them more translucid and the MICRO smaller and opaque.

Blending a microcrystalline and macrocrystalline wax helps change the crystal structure of the wax giving it an opaque look.

3-5% should be sufficient. If what you are making is a votive, pillar or tapper I would recommend using a white microcrystalline wax with a penetration in the 15 ddm range. If you are making a container candle formulation, it is best that you use a softer wax with a penetration in the 30 ddm range.

The addition of the microcrystalline wax will also help with the dispersion of colors as well as fragrance retention.

Because these waxes come from the same family tree, microcrystalline waxes are the most compatible to paraffin wax.

There are other additives in the market that help modify the crystal structure of a paraffin wax.

In our last publication we discussed synthetic waxes, and, in particular, Alpha Olefin wax. These types of waxes have an opaque look when they are in solid form. You can use a high melting point AO wax with a penetration in the 15 ddm range as an additive for votives, pillars and tappers. 5-10% is recommended. Unfortunately, AO waxes are cannot be used as an additive for a jar candle formulation; however, C20-C 28 Alpha Olefin waxes make a very good jar candle base.

There are companies that polymerize the alpha olefin waxes and make a polymerized alpha olefin. These products were originally designed for the candle industry, and 0.5-1% is usually enough to change the crystal structure of a paraffin wax and obtain an opaque look. I prefer to combine these waxes with a micro, usually 2-3% micro and 0.5-10% polymerized alpha olefin.

Stearic acid, hydrogenated triglycerides (tallow, soy, palm) and some polyethylene waxes are other additive that people have used; however, these products do not have the same compatibility with the paraffin was, as well as the colors and fragrances.

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