Paraffins and Microcrystalline Waxes

difference between Paraffin and Micro crystalline Waxes

There are two major classifications of petroleum waxes: paraffin, which form large, clearly defined crystalline structures; and micro-crystalline waxes, which have more branched chains and much smaller crystals of irregular shape. Micro crystalline wax has a higher melting point, higher viscosity.Fully refined wax has oil content less that 0.5%. Semi -refined waxes have up to 1.5% oil. Scale waxes and slack waxes have even more oil, up to a common maximum of 35%. Paraffin waxes sold commercially are mixtures of normal(straight chained) and ISO(or branched) Alkanes. They are exempt from the presence of the esters, acids, etc. Found in the animal and vegetable-based waxes. Hence they are much more suitable for industrial formulations where predictable outcomes are preferred. Both Paraffin and Micro crystalline waxes are largely inert (the name paraffin itself comes from the Latin, meaning against affinities). Micro-crystalline waxes contain a higher proportion of isomers while paraffins have a higher proportion of normal carbon chains.

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