"Hot melts" is the name given to the thermoplastic adhesives, solid at room temperature, and which can be applied liquid (melt) by means of heat. These materials stick strongly on the work surface, while they cool down under their melting point. Unlike liquid adhesives, hot melts are applied without using chemical reactions or solvent evaporation, thus leading to important environmental benefits.
Since they can be handled and stored in the solid state, the use of hot melts enables to optimize both the logistics and transport processes. The almost instantaneous union strength provided by hot melts has contributed to the development of faster and more productive machinery. Their higher viscosity, compared to that of solvent based adhesives, enables their utilization in porous and non porous surfaces without sacrificing the union strength.
In our days, hot melts are an essential part of productive activities. With the development of manufacturing processes and equipment that operate at great scale and high speeds, hot melts are found in a wide variety of applications, from furniture and shoes to diapers or cigarettes manufacturing.
Waxes play an outstanding role in the production, processing and performance of hot melts. All wax products developed by Multiceras, specifically for this application, are crystalline by nature and their properties enable to decrease the adhesive viscosity, as well as a precise control of open time, flexibility and elongation.
The most suitable wax is selected in function of its compatibility with the resins and polymers utilized in the formulation, as well as in function of the final specifications of the adhesive material to be produced. Waxes constitute up to 70% of the total hot melt formulation, depending on the application form and on the required hot melt properties.
Some emulsions and wax products, prepared from petroleum and synthetic waxes, are highly useful in the particleboard manufacturing. By applying these products, the following characteristics are given to the particleboard products.
The increasing world demand for fruits and vegetables has generated a greater need to preserve the quality of these products, with the aim of extending their shelf life.
In this regard, wax products perform the task of retarding the ripening and aging of fruits and vegetables, keeping a controlled atmosphere at the external product surface, thus enabling the product protection before environmental conditions of transport and storage.
In particular, wax emulsions assure a uniform impregnation and deposit of the wax material on the surface of fruits and vegetables, hindering in a very efficient manner their dehydration, gases transfer (oxygen, carbon dioxide), oil migration and solute transfer. These protection actions lead, in turn, to an improved retention of essential volatile components, to a controlled additives transfer, as well as to a brilliant finishing at the product surface.
Metallic parts, assembled in machinery or in diverse devices, must be protected against corrosion, particularly when they are exposed directly to humidity, rain or snow. Besides the numerous materials used for wrapping metallic parts, in many cases there is a need to apply a protective coating directly on the metal surface. The surface coating must give the possibility of being removed or washed by means of solvents.
Waxes work as an excellent barrier against humidity, so they are very effective in protection systems against corrosion. For developing specific protection properties, they can be used in formulations with bituminous compounds, base oils or other corrosion inhibitors.
Multiceras has developed diverse products for this application, which have demonstrated an excellent performance as anticorrosive coatings. These products can be utilized alone or in combination with some other specialty materials
Corrugated cardboard boxes are wax-coated with the aim of protecting their packing integrity, particularly for their application in the food industry, where products must arrive to the final customer without any harm in their essential properties.
The systems most commonly used for wax application on corrugated cardboard boxes are the following:
The Cartowax® product line, developed and manufactured by Multiceras, is integrated by wax blends specifically formulated to improve the properties and characteristics of corrugated cardboard boxes. Fortified with special additive packages for each application system and use, the Cartowax® products provide excellent functionality and performance.
The properties of corrugated cardboard boxes, which are reinforced by applying Cartowax® products, are the following:
Humidity Resistance: Due to its protective nature, the Cartowax® products give the cardboard a greater protection against humidity, enabling the packed product to keep entirely its properties. Moreover, the Cartowax® application improves the strength and consistency of cardboard boxes, even when exposed to freezing temperatures for long periods of time.
Stowing Stiffness: Cartowax® increases the stiffness of corrugated cardboard boxes, improving their stowing capacity, thus leading to a more efficient and economic storage.
Lower Blocking Index: The higher blocking points of Cartowax® products decrease the blocking tendency of cardboard boxes during handling and storage.
Flexibility: The application of Cartowax® products improve the folding properties in the lines and marks of corrugated cardboard boxes.
Wax is an essential raw material for matches manufacturing. It is applied on the match paper by means of a wet system.
The waxed, folded and compact paper performs three main functions:
The wax products, most suitable for this application, are based on paraffin and microcrystalline waxes, which present the most adequate combustion properties.
In the construction industry, emulsions elaborated from mineral or synthetic waxes present an important number of applications, including the following:
For their unique properties of protection, brilliance and consistency, waxes are widely used in cosmetics formulations, in applications that include cold creams (moistening, cleaning, anti-age and protecting), lipsticks, eye-mascaras, make-up and hair care products, among others.
Wax is an essential constituent in cold cream formulations. Its properties enable replacing the body’s natural fat, giving a better skin protection that preserves its smoothness and prevents dehydration. Properties modified by waxes in cold creams formulations are:
To assure the cream quality, it is of prime importance to fulfill stringent conditions and norms during the elaboration process, such as temperature, sequence of raw material application, agitation and time assigned for each process step.
As an essential ingredient in lipstick formulations, waxes can reach up to 20% of the total formulation.
Properties improved by waxes in lipstick formulations are:
Wax is an essential ingredient in crayon manufacturing, due to its distinctive properties of malleability and flexibility, but above all for its non-toxic nature. This is an essential characteristic that all crayons must fulfill, taking into consideration that the main users are children.
As raw material for this application, wax can reach up to 60% of the total formulation. The most appropriate waxes are chosen in accordance with the specific properties required for each type of crayon. The properties where wax participates are the following:
Traditionally, petrolatum compounds and oils have been used in the Pharmaceutical Industry to elaborate ointments and unguents. These compounds act as the vehicle for transporting an active agent. A fundamental issue is that petrolatum compounds must fulfill all requirements established by the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP), as a basic condition for their utilization in the formulation of medicine products.
Petrolatum compounds result from combining oils with microcrystalline and paraffin waxes, forming products with plastic consistency, semi-transparent and amorphous, and improving its smoothness and application properties. Multiceras has available microcrystalline and paraffin waxes of the highest quality, which are utilized in diverse petrolatum formulations for the Pharmaceutical Industry.
On the other hand, the natural wax- Micronized Candelilla REAL® -is utilized in the Pharmaceutical Industry to give shine and consistency to medicine products, mainly in the lordan almond presentation. Performance shown by this high purity-product has been very valuable for this application, due to the wax distinctive properties and a fine particle size.
The wide variety of colors, observed during fireworks burning, arises from the color lines predominant in the spectrum of their production elements. This color generation requires the volatilization of a given elemental portion, in the presence of an oxidant agent as the carbon source. During the ignition process, a sufficiently high temperature value is reached to vaporize the elemental portion, thus generating the desired color range.
Since ancient times, wax has been utilized as the favorite oxidant agent, used to provide the required carbon for the ignition step, enabling the generation of a wide color spectrum which cannot be attained with other carbon sources.
On the other hand, some wax varieties rich in hydrocarbons, such is the case of Candelilla wax, find a very important application in the military industry. They can be utilized as an active ingredient in detonation processes, or as a waterproof coating or film used to protect the shell of explosive materials.
Candelilla or carnauba wax emulsions are utilized to preserve the impermeability of wicks and detonators, blocking the presence of humidity during the ignition stage. Some other wax products can be used for this purpose, including refined paraffin waxes, solid Candelilla wax, as well as blends of these products with microcrystalline waxes.
In the molding and precision foundry processes, particularly in jewelry applications, the "Lost Wax" method is widely known for the fabrication of metal cast pieces. The characteristic, which makes functional the use of wax in this process, is its contraction capability, as well as its malleability and ductility, which enable a very efficient performance in this molding process.
The "Lost Wax" method is carried out in the following manner:
This method has a millenary antiquity, with numerous evidences of its utilization in diverse ancestral cultures. Some examples of pieces fabricated by means of this technique include the Shang Dynasty in China, diverse regions of Europe in the XVI century, and the Aztec culture that flourished in Mexico.
In our days, the “Lost Wax” method remains in operation, with an increased utilization for solving the precision foundry needs in diverse applications.
Since several years ago, Multiceras has developed wax products for application in this precision foundry technique. The company is well recognized as a reliable supplier of the most demanded products for this specialty application.
The substance known as "gum base" is a compound formed from elastomers, resins and waxes, which are used in combination with other ingredients to produce chewing gum.
In general, waxes used to formulate gum base are hard and with a high melting point. The use of microcrystalline waxes is common for this type of applications, as well as that of natural Candelilla wax or synthetic waxes.
The type and amount of wax utilized in chewing gum formulations depend on three essential characteristics, which are significantly improved by the wax presence in the blend:
Gum base formulations can be used in both conventional chewing gum and in bubble gum applications. In case of bubble gum formulations, gum base contains high percentages of polymers, gums and waxes with a higher molecular weight (microcrystalline). These components provide a greater elasticity to the gum base, which enable the formation of the typical bubbles that characterize bubble gum.
Multiceras has forged a wide experience in the development and formulation of waxes for the chewing gum industry. In Mexico the company maintains and excellent reputation in this application, as one of the most consistent and reliable suppliers for the leading companies in this industry.
Diverse preparation techniques and procedures are used for the histological study of organic tissues. One of them is the inclusion or impregnation of the extracted biopsy in paraffin wax, with the aim of preparing a representative sample for its microscopic evaluation.
By means of the inclusion technique, representative cuts can be obtained with the use of a microtome sufficiently fine for microscopic observation, and enabling a clear distinction of the overlapped cells on the extra-cellular matrix tissue
Before the paraffin wax inclusion, the sample tissue is treated with chemical substances that carry out the following duties:
Multiceras has developed paraffin wax products specifically for this application, which have demonstrated an excellent performance for histological preparations, enabling to obtain fine representative films for a reliable microscopic observation.
In the Rubber Industry, particularly in regard to the tires application, different compounds are utilized as anti-degradation agents, including the anti-oxidation and anti-ozonation agents. The latter perform a protection function against the harmful effects of prolonged exposure to atmospheric ozone and solar light. Ozone (O3) is the oxygen form with the highest free energy, which is generated from the ultraviolet ray effect or from an electric discharge on molecular oxygen (O2).
It is believed that rubber might break as the result of an oxidation process, taking place on the double bonds present inside the rubber structure. This situation might cause the rubber drying and incipient cracking, thus leading to the final rubber breaking under stress.
The anti-oxidation agents, generally diphenyl amines, phenols and bisphenols, slow down considerably the rubber oxidation process, reacting with the hydroperoxides and producing in turn some compounds that do not react with the rubber structure.
In turn, the anti-ozonation agents act generating a physical protection barrier, avoiding the ozone reaction with the rubber structure. These materials are made up from special mixtures of single chain hydrocarbons- from paraffin waxes- and from ramified chain hydrocarbons- from microcrystalline waxes-, with a very stringent carbon distribution, normally centered in high molecular weights (C28-C33).
Due to the increased needs for protection in the tires industry, Multiceras has worked extensively in the development of new anti-ozonation waxes, which provide a better protection to the tires manufactured for the automotive industry.
Working together with prestigious tires manufacturers, three special wax products have been developed for this application: Nozono Wax 29-32, Nozono Wax 31-33 and Nozono Wax A.One of the most important characteristics of this type of products is the specific carbon distribution, centered in the hydrocarbon compounds that provide the greatest anti-ozonation protection. This characteristic is achieved by means of a stringent process control, backed up by accurate gas chromatography analysis.
These waxes are fully compatible with any rubber specification, and they can be blended with the polymers and other chemical ingredients used in the tire manufacturing process. During the initial tire rolling, the polymer bends allowing the protective wax migration on the tire surface, forming a physical protection barrier between the tire polymer and ozone. This phenomenon is known with the name of “Eflorescence”.
The insulating properties of some waxes make them highly useful in the manufacturing of electronic and electrical devices. In this industrial sector, waxes are utilized for three main purposes: Coating of cables and flat or irregular surfaces; agglomeration of other materials such as paper, wood or asbestos, with the aim of improving their insulation properties; capacitor manufacturing.
Wax products, utilized to insulate electrical cables or other metallic surfaces, must be ductile and electrical non-conductive, besides being adhesive enough to remain on the metal surface, resisting the coating breaking even during extreme torsion conditions.
Fortheir excellent combustion properties, some petroleum waxes are utilized in theartificial fire logs industry. Besides decorating the home chimneys, these firelogs fulfill their basic duty as fuel, supplying thermal energy by radiation.Wax integrates by immersion into the fire log body and it contributes to a safeand uniform combustion process.
Waxes are widely used in formulations of cleaning products, used for both personal care and industrial applications.
Hydrogenated waxes, consisting of glycerin esters and fatty acids, are highly useful in soap production. When treated with a strong base, such as soda or potash, they are saponified to produce the fatty acid salt known as “soap”, releasing glycerin as a reaction byproduct. In case of soda saponification, solid sodium soap is produced for home applications. In turn, in potash saponification, liquid potassium soap is generated for diverse applications.
Candelilla wax, with a high content of saturated hydrocarbons and esters, presents a great compatibility with the ingredients used in formulations of shampoo, soap and polishes for floors and automobiles. Its properties of brilliance and protection, as well as its flexibility for emulsions preparation, are highly appreciated in this type of applications.
Some wax products with a high oil content, such as petrolatum compounds or “slacks”, can be used directly for the lubrication of simple devices such as chains, bearings, gears and moving parts of manually operated-machinery.
Due to their inherent compatibility and high solubility, waxes are widely used as additives in the formulation of lubricant greases and oils, with the aim of improving some specific characteristics and properties, such as viscosity, freezing point, heat dissipation, corrosion strength, sealing, friction and wear reduction, among others.
These formulations include normally some additives for anti-wear and thermal stabilization. They are products designed specifically to achieve an efficient lubrication, for application in a wide variety of equipment with high complexity, since they show wear indexes significantly lower than those for waxes and simple oils.
Applications related to wax products, though with a rather indirect participation, include precision machined or high tech metal forming (molybdenum, tungsten and tantalum), film coating in steel pieces to avoid the air oxidation phenomenon and lubrication systems for cut applications.
Sculpting consists in adding or developing shapes with the application of different materials, soft and flexible, malleable enough for easy manipulation, which allow for a quick drawing of the impressions taken by the artist. Wax sculpting is a complex process, which requires a multidisciplinary knowledge where the artist’s visual and manual skills are essential, as well as a precise knowledge of the materials involved.
Multiceras has developed a wax variety specifically for this application. The company is, since several years ago, the authorized wax supplier of the Mexico City Wax Museum.
Paper products are wax coated to preserve the integrity of goods packed or covered with this material, in particular of those related to the food industry, where goods must arrive in optimum conditions to the final customer.
Waxes improve diverse properties and characteristics of the paper material, mainly packing, structure, sealing and protection, which are critical aspects when paper is exposed to a humid environment or to freezing conditions.
Wax modifies the paper structure, improving the following properties:
For this particular application, waxes can be used alone or in combination with adhesive or plastic formulations, depending on the final use of the paper material.
Selection of the wax products and application method is carried out in accordance with the required properties and characteristics of the paper material, as well as with the final use of the treated paper.
Inks utilized in paper carbon manufacturing are formulated with a base made-up of three basic ingredients: Waxes, oils and dyes.
Regarding waxes, two different types are normally used in this application: Amorphous waxes, like ozokerite or other wax derived from petroleum, which provide consistency and enable the oil retention in the ink body; hard waxes such as Candelilla, carnauba and polyethylene waxes, which enable keeping the ink in the solid state and handling the coated paper with cleanliness.
One of the main functions that waxes perform is to act as vehicle for the color transport, as well as to avoid the total ink absorption inside the paper internal surface. In typical ink formulations for paper carbon, waxes can reach up to 40% of the total formulation.
The Plastics Industry is changing continuously, getting renewed day after day. The multiple applications under development are ever increasing in novelty and amazement.
There are different transformation processes and raw material requirements in this industry. The additives are organic or inorganic materials which, incorporated to the plastics, before or during their transformation, modify their properties: Improving their presentation, extending their useful life, blocking the attack of physical-chemical factors, and creating new applications. These additives are classified into two main categories: Process additives and functional additives.
The process additives comprise thermal stabilizers, anti-oxidation agents, sliding agents, flow modifiers, viscosity modifiers and lubricants. Waxes play a very important role in the lubrication of plastic materials
Lubricants are widely utilized in the plastic transformation processes, such as injection, extrusion, blowing and others. Their functions include minimization of the heat generated by friction between the polymer and the spindle, viscosity reduction, and avoidance of sticking of the melted mass with the spindle. They are classified as internal lubricants, external lubricants and internal-external lubricants
The action of internal lubricants takes place in the resin molecules, when the material is still melt. They are compatible with the work polymer and they act also as flow promoters. Within this group are the alcohols, esters, fatty acids and amides from fatty acids with a relatively short chain, 14 to 18 carbon atoms.
The external lubricants are utilized mostly in materials like PVC. They have the characteristic of being incompatible with the polymer, so when they are combined with the material and charged to the feeding bin, a surface layer that separates the molten plastic from the equipment metal is created, thus avoiding an excessive friction in the work material. The following waxes are classified within the external lubricants category:
Paraffin Waxes.- They slow down the melting process and reduce viscosity during the initial melting. They have molecular weights of 400-1,000, mainly with straight chain structures and, to a minor extent, some ramified structures; their softening point varies between 147 °F and 162 °F. These lubricants are mostly utilized in the fabrication of tubes and PVC sections.
Polyethylene Waxes.- They can be found in their oxidized and non-oxidized forms. They are synthetic waxes with a molecular weight of 2,000-8,000, with a slightly ramified structure, and with typical melting points of 203 °F to 266 °F. These waxes show a better behavior at high temperatures, enabling to cover the deficiency interval for the lubricants elaborated from paraffin waxes. The polyethylene waxes are widely used in the fabrication of rigid PVC piping and in the plastic molding by injection.
Multiceras has developed a wide experience in the formulation of waxes for the Plastics Industry, offering a product line with an excellent proven performance. The company’s R & D department works in the formulation of new products, in accordance with the specific needs of its customers.
Waxes utilized in the modeling clay elaboration require adequate malleability and flexibility characteristics, in such a way that the final product can be easily handled and it does not break or cut during application. Most modeling clays are composed basically of waxes, dyes and anti-sticking materials, the latter being required to avoid sticking during handling and application.
Multiceras has developed specific formulations for this application, giving the modeling clay an excellent performance in texture, color retention and malleability.
Wax bowl rings are used in the plumbing industry, for sealing water closets on the floor surface. Due to their malleable properties, these wax products assure an excellent sealing.
Multiceras manufactures wax bowl rings since 1985, through its subsidiary company Aztec Plumbing S.A. de C.V. These products are manufactured with wax formulations of the highest quality, fulfilling the U.S. construction and plumbing standards.
For its distinctive chemical and physical properties, wax is an essential raw material in the elaboration of shoe polishes. Wax performs two basic functions in this application:
The first shoe polishes, elaborated in the paste form from natural waxes, came out at the end of the XVIII century. In our days, these products can be formulated from natural waxes, such as Candelilla or carnauba, petroleum waxes, mineral waxes or synthetic waxes.
Multiceras has developed diverse products for this application, optimizing the wax properties for the formulation of shoe polishes. These products have the following characteristics:
Shoe polishes are classified into three main categories:
Solid polishes.- Waxes utilized in this case are normally hard and combined with solvents and other solid charges to obtain a firm consistency of the polish material, enabling to preserve the shoe leather while providing an excellent shine. It is also of prime importance that the polish has a long shelf and storage life in its container, in order to assure the product optimum conditions when delivered to the final customer.
Creamy polishes.- These polishes are normally emulsified in such a way that they develop a creamy consistency. They include normally silicone additives in their composition. They give a finishing texture as professional as that given by solid polishes, buy they are easier to apply due to their creamy consistency and their presentation in tubular containers.
Liquid polishes.- Waxes emulsified in water, properly mixed with ionic and non-ionic emulsifiers, are used in this particular application. Liquid polishes present essential characteristics of leather preservation while they provide an excellent shoeshine, besides showing an inherent easiness of application due to their liquid nature.
Wax is an ideal material for cheese coating and protection, leading to a longer shelf life for these products, which are exposed to decomposition and losses when not properly protected, with some material that must be also innocuous to human health.
Waxes perform three main functions in the cheese protection process:
The wax products developed for this application avoid the wax fracture during cheese refrigeration. The wax layer blocks the moisture losses. Besides, due to the lack of nutrients, wax avoids any kind of micro-organic growth on the cheese surface.
There are two processes used for applying wax products on cheese: a) Direct immersion on colored wax, used on fresh fatty cheese; b) Immersion in wax blanket, which is applied on fresh cheese.
Among the wide variety of products offered by Multiceras, a paraffin wax product line has been developed to protect efficiently against radiation emissions, mainly against X-ray and neutrons that are used in radiography and radiotherapy applications. These wax products can be used in the radiation proof-vests used by the specialists, as well as in the walls and doors used in the protection cabin.
In the refractory brick industry (dolomite), some problems are faced by the presence of humidity, associated to the hygroscopic nature of dolomitic materials. This situation can cause fractures in the refractory material, once installed in the furnace, which in turn leads to higher material wastes, plant shutdowns and costly production losses.
To prevent these serious problems, a wax product is utilized during the refractory manufacturing, sealing all cavities in the refractory material, and protecting it against humidity.
The main properties required in wax products for this application are low viscosity and excellent plasticity. In this manner, a higher wax penetration is achieved through the brick pores, sealing all cracks that could permit air or humidity intakes.
Natural fibers contain wax substances that protect them against the weather inclemency and biological attacks. Removal of these substances during the fabrication processes of textile products alters the fiber characteristics of friction and absorbency, leading to losses in smoothness, flexibility and elasticity. Due to this situation, the external application of wax materials is needed to obtain adequate finishing properties in the textile products.
The use of synthetic fibers in the Textile Industry has brought serious problems, mainly associated to the friction generated between fibers and machinery parts or between the fibers themselves. High friction levels may cause the thread breakage during the process, leading to costly plant shutdowns. Therefore, the friction elimination, in practically all the textile processing steps, is considered one of the greatest challenges in the fabrication of cellulose, rayon, nylon and blends of synthetic fibers with silk, cotton and wool.
Besides reducing friction and static electricity generation, waxes provide a lubrication effect to the textile materials, leading to a uniform and pleasant to the touch texture.
Waxes most frequently utilized for this application are: Synthetic waxes, beeswax, paraffin waxes and fatty acids; In general, waxes that are easily eliminated, like natural waxes and synthetic waxes prepared with low acid numbers.
Waxes can be utilized in different forms and presentations, including ionic and non-ionic emulsions, based mainly on polyethylene waxes or synthetic Fischer Tropsch waxes.
Depending on the process conditions and on the final product specifications, the textile product manufacturers select wax products and define their intensity of application.
The application of wax-water emulsions is one of most frequently utilized methods in the Textile Industry. This method has the following advantages:
Products developed by Multiceras for the Textile Industry are used mainly to improve the material processing and the final product performance, in aspects such as sewing and weaving easiness, abrasion strength and cutting strength.
The use of waxes has experienced an increased growth in their application as additives for the Ink Industry, mainly due to advances achieved in the particle size control, leading to a significant improvement in the handling and application processes.
In general, inks utilized in the printing industry are prepared with the following basic components:
1.- Coloring agent.
2.- Coloring vehicle.
Among the most utilized waxes in the preparation of printing inks, natural waxes of vegetable origin are preferred- Candelilla and carnauba- as well as synthetic waxes such as polyethylene and Fischer-Tropsch waxes. However, the market trend is towards a higher utilization of natural waxes, mainly Candelilla wax, given that synthetic substitutes have not reproduced faithfully the essential properties required for inks preparation.
Since this industry requires harder waxes with higher melting points, the range of possibilities concentrates on:
The inks properties, improved with the use of wax additives, are basically the following
Candles represent to mankind one of the most ancient and practical illumination forms. A candle excellence depends on the wick nature, but above all on its combustible nature. The candle structure and composition have evolved through the centuries, starting with torches of low combustible material, through beeswax candles, up to the paraffin wax candles that are commonly utilized in our days.
Four different candle types are currently manufactured in Mexico:
The most suitable wax is selected in accordance with the quality specifications for the candle type to be produced.
Multiceras has forged a wide experience in the formulation, development and manufacturing of waxes for this application, investing in laboratory and process equipment, with the aim of fulfilling the increasing requirements of candle producers.
The knowledge and skills acquired have also led to the development of new additives, which have enabled a significant improvement in the following base wax properties:
Multiceras works in close collaboration with its customers, in order to develop new effects, appearances and creative formulations, with the aim of fulfilling the needs of the multiple candle users.