Raw Materials. Refining. Resources.

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More than refining wax for industrial applications, food packaging, and product manufacturers, IGI is the strategic partner of choice for companies who want value across the entire supply chain.

Wax Properties

Waxes are typically quality controlled with regard to the following physical properties: melt point, oil content, penetration, viscosity and color. A short description of each of these properties and the test method used to measure each is described in the chart at the right. For additional information regarding any one of these test methods, please go to ASTM's website.

Test Methods

Property Test Method Description Typical Values
Melt Point ASTM D87 Provides information on temperature at which most of a given wax changes from a solid to a liquid. Widely used for paraffin waxes. 100-160°F (43-71°C) for paraffin waxes
Congealing Point ASTM D938 Measures when a wax ceases to flow. Varies widely
Drop Melt Point ASTM D127 Generally used on waxes that don't show a melting plateau e.g. petrolatums and microcrystalline waxes. 140-200°F (60-93°C) for microcrystalline waxes
Needle Penetration ASTM D1321 Measures the hardness of wax. Usually determined at 77°F (25°C) or 100°F (40°C). Higher values indicate softer wax. 9-20 (0.1dmm) for paraffin @ 77°F (25°C)
Oil Content ASTM D721 The amount of oil in wax. Indicates degree of refining. Fully Refined <0.5%, Semi-refined 0.5-1.0%, Scale 1.0-3.0%
Kinematic Viscosity ASTM D445 The resistance to flow of a molten wax at the test temperature. Results in centistokes (cSt). 2.9-7.5 for paraffin
Mottling In-House Test done to ensure a production lot of wax exhibits a mottling finish to the surface when used under correct conditions. pass or fail
Viscosity Conversion of Saybolt to Kinematic and vice versa ASTM D2161 This practice covers the conversion tables and equations for converting kinematic viscosity in centistokes (cSt) at any temperature to Saybolt Universal viscosity in Saybolt Universal seconds (SUS) at the same temperature.  
Saybolt Color ASTM D6045 The deviation of molten wax from colorless. The Saybolt color scale ranges from +30 (colorless) to -16 (medium yellow/brown) Lightest color is highest, +30 is maximum
ASTM Color ASTM D6045 Visual comparison of wax color (molten) against glass color standards. Used for light amber and darker waxes and blends. Darkest color is highest, 8 is black
Odor Test ASTM D1833 Procedure for rating the odor intensity of waxes derived from petroleum. A value of 1 or less is acceptable for paraffin


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