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WAX TERMS

Acid/ Earth Treatment

Finishing process for waxes involving treatment with sulphuric acid, separation of acid sludge, and subsequent neutralization of the wax with activated earth (clay).

Beeswax

Wax from which bees oniycombs are constructed. It consists of a complex mixture, varying somewhat according to source, predominant components being non-gylceride esters of fatty acids- e.g. myricyl palmitate. Some paraffinic hydrocarbons are present (e.g. 20 -13%).

Blocking

The sticking together of individual layers of wax-coated paper in storage (e.g. on a reel or in a stack of sheets) due to welding of the adjacent wax coatings under the influence of pressure and high ambient temperature. By this process a solid paper/wax 'block' may be formed. Blocking may similarly occur with candles in storage.

Bright Stock

A heavy lubrication oil obtained forma a residual oil (i.e. form which the more volatile lubrication oil fractions have been removed by vacuum distillation) by, for example, deasphalting, solvent refining de-waxing.

Bright Stock Slack Wax or Bright Stock Crude Wax

The mixture of wax and oil produced during de-waxing of Bright Stocks.

Ceresin(e)

Formerly implied refined ozocerite: nowadays may often refer to refined HMP wax manufactured from petroleum or a mixture of such a wax with genuine ceresin.

Congealing Point

See discussion under 'Meting Point'.

Crude Wax

US term for slack wax.

Earth Treatment

A form of finishing process - namely treatment of molten wax with activated earth (clay) to neutralize acidity remaining from earlier sulphuric acid treatment and/or to improve colour and reduce odour and taste of the finished wax, also to remove traces of possibly harmful compounds (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons).

Earth Wax

Ozocerite.

Finishing Treatment

Refining treatment for waxes to improve colour, reduce odour an taste and remove traces of potential carcinogens, so that finished waxes comply with governmental regulations for materials used in packaging food. Processes used: acid/earth treatment (for paraffin waxes only), Percolation, hydro-finishing.

Fischer-Tropsch Waxes

Synthetic hydrocarbon waxes made by reacting carbon monoxide and hydrogen under the influence of a catalyst; may have a very high metlting point - e.g. 210 degrees F (99 degrees C)

Foot Oil

The soft, low melting point, components removed during deoiling of a slack wax (or other waxy feedstock fraction) to produce a de-oiled wax. Foot oil consists of a mixture of oily and solid waxy components, the latter contain a relatively high proportion of branched chain paraffins (iso-paraffins) and can be used as a source of 'iso-wax'.

Paraffin Waxes – usually ASTM – B87 is used; this in fact indicates the setting point. ASTM-D938 and ASTM-D127 may also be used and for an unmodified microcrystalline paraffin wax there is normally little difference between the values indicated (2 or 3 degrees F only).

Microcystalline Waxes - for these ASTM –D87 is not applicable, and ASTM-D938 (congealing point methods) or ASTM-D127 (drop melting point method) must be used. There may be an appreciable difference (5-10 degrees F) between values determined by these tow methods.

Microcystalline Wax

Petroleum waxes derived from short residues (vacuum distillation residues) or by processing tank bottom wax or sucker rod wax. Typical grades would show a much finer crystal structure than paraffin waxes and the ability to form smooth mixtures with oil or solvent. The lower melting grades (e.g. in range 135-145 degrees F) are very flexible and adhesive, and contain a wide range of molecular types including a high proportion of 'non-normal' paraffins.

Mineral Jelly

Petroleum.

Mineral Wax

This term is usually applied to wax mined from the earth as such i.e. ozocerite, and also to its refined form ceresine. Strictly speaking the term may also be applied to any wax of mineral origin i.e. petroleum waxes, montan wax, lignite wax, peat wax.

Montan Wax (Lignite Wax)

Wax obtained by solvent extraction of lignite (brown coal). It consists of non-glyceride carboxylic acid esters, free acids and resines. With oils or solvents smooth pastes are formed (i.e. behavior is microcrystalline in type). The wax is hard and is much used in paste-type polishes, electrical insulation compositions etc.

Normal Paraffines

Saturated hydrocarbons with molecules containing carbon atoms linked in a straight (i.e. unbranched) chain. Paraffin (i.e. distillated) waxes consist mainly of normal paraffins in the range C18 to C40.

Non-Normal Hydrocarbons

Hydrocarbons with molecules containing a chain of carbon atoms which is not entirely straight, but which may include one or more of the following features:

(a) Branched carbon chains (i.e. side-chains of carbon atoms attached to the main chain).

(b) Naphthene ring structures (i.e. cycloparaffinic rings; rings of saturated carbon atoms containing no double bonding).

(c) Aromatic ring structures.

Microcrystalline waxes contain a relatively high proportion so such molecules.

Polyethylene Wax

Low molecular weight grades of polyethylene having waxy properties. Some of these grades are produced especially for use as wax modifiers and for applications requiring a waxy material.

Raffinate

A mineral oil product, which has been refined by chemical or physical processes. E.g. solvent extraction of a lubricating oil fraction results in an extracted oil- the 'raffinate' - and an ' extract' containing the more aromatic materials etc, which have been removed.

Raw Wax

Wax which has been de-oiled but has not been given any finishing treatment. The term ' raw wax' is much used in the USA.

Ream

A measure of quantity of paper or paperboard :UK- 1 Ream refers to 500 sheets of paper of type and size to be specified. There are thus several definitions in use according to the end-use of the paper concerned.

USA- N. America Standard Ream is 500 sheets each 2 feet x3 feet i.e. x 30 inches.

US Ream D C ( Double Crown) is 500 sheets each sheet being 20 inches x 30 inches.

Residual Wax

Petroleum wax derived from the residue (i.e. non-volatile portion) after vacuum distillation of a crude oil. The wax may also be regarded as derived from a ' short residue'. Such waxes are microcrysstalline in character.

Scale Wax

A paraffin wax which has been partially de-oiled in the initial stages of the sweating process. The term was originally used for waxes with oil contents in the range 2 to 6.

Further removal of oil down to around 1% followed by finishing treatment, gives 'semi-refined' paraffin wax.

In solvent de-oiling processes there is no corresponding stage to 'scale wax' and the nearest equivalent would be a 'semi-refined' wax.

Semi-microcrystalline Wax

Wax derived from a high boiling lubricating oil distillate – i.e. from a medium machine oil fraction (MMO, e.g. HVI 160) rather than from spindle oil (HVI 55-65) or light machine oil (HVI 95- 155) fractions. Such wax (sometimes termed 'intermediate wax') has certain characteristics of both typical paraffin and microcrystalline waxes.

Semi-refined Wax

Paraffin wax with oil content around 1% wt which has not necessarily been finished to the standards of color, odor, taste, and freedom from potential carcinogens necessary for waxes to be used for food packaging purposes. Such waxes are commonly used for candle manufacture etc.

Setting Point

See discussion under ' Melting point'

Shale Wax

Wax derived by distillation from oil-bearing shale-e.g. Scottish shale.

Sweat Oil

The liquid draining out of the wax during the sweating process is termed 'sweat oil' - the fractions of sweat oil produced in the early stages are also sometimes termed 'foots oil' and are usually discarded; the later fractions of sweat oil may be recycled through the sweating process.

Synthetic Wax

Materials of ' waxy' appearance and properties (See ' Wax') manufactured by chemical synthesis. Such waxes may belong to a variety of chemical types, e.g. hydrocarbons, alcohols, polyethylene glycols, esters, chlorinated hydrocarbons etc.

Synthetic hydrocarbons waxes may be produced by the Fisher-Tropsch process and also by polyethylene manufacturing processes.

Synthetic waxy alcohols may be made by the OXO process.

Tank Bottom Wax

Wax separating and accumulating on the bottoms of tanks used for storing waxy crude oils. On issuing from the well the crude may be at an elevated temperature and on cooling the higher melting waxes tend to solidify.

Tank bottom waxes are high melting and microcrystalline in type.

Unrefined Wax

Wax, which has been de-oiled, but has not received any finishing treatment (also termed 'raw wax').

Vegetable Wax

Wax derived from some part of a plant, most commonly from leaves and/ or stems. Typical examples are carnauba wax, candelilla wax, ouricuri wax, flax wax, and sugarcane wax. Vegetable waxes are complex mixtures usually containing a considerable proportion of non-glyceride fatty acid esters; candelilla wax unusual in containing around 50% of high melting paraffin hydrocarbons in addition to non-glyceride esters.

Vegetable waxes are commonly of very high melting point and are used e.g. to impart gloss to polish formulations.

Wax

Term applied in ancient times to beeswax alone; in modern times may be applied to any substance having ' wax-like' properties: i.e. vegetable waxes, insect waxes, animal waxes, mineral waxes, synthetic waxes.

Web-material

Term given in the paper industry to paper, paperboard or plastic film etc, processed through a machine (e.g. wax coating machine, or other machine performing some operation) and supplied as a continuous strip from a reel. The term is used in making a distinction between material supplied from a reel and material supplied in individual sheets - e.g. sheets stamped out for individual cartons etc.

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