The performance and appearance of a candle are typically determined by the quality of the wax. Within the candle-making industry, it’s generally accepted that high-quality candles require high-quality waxes characterized by high melting points. However, the supply and price of high–melting point petroleum waxes, such as those made of paraffin, can be volatile. Thus, lower-quality paraffin waxes are often used to manufacture candles to reduce costs.
Candles produced with low-quality paraffin waxes typically have poor gloss, opacity, and durability. ChemPoint offers Epolene® additives that can be used to improve the properties of these lower-quality waxes and offer candlemakers a way to control the appearance and performance of their candles more precisely.
Epolene® - Additives for Candle Wax
Epolene® polyethylene wax polymers are commonly used for paraffin waxes used in candle manufacturing. Adding a very small amount of Epolene® wax into low-quality paraffin wax imparts features that are normally associated with higher-quality waxes, including improved opacity, color strength, gloss, and durability. Also, since Epolene® is practically odorless, it should not interfere with any fragrances that candle manufacturers may add. The recommended grades of Epolene® for candle applications and their suggested addition rates are listed in the table below.
Recommended Epolene® Wax Additive Grades and Addition Rates
To demonstrate the usefulness of Epolene® in modifying low-cost wax for candle applications, the physical properties of two paraffin waxes were evaluated on their own and with the addition of Epolene® C-15. The formulations and testing results are listed below.
The data above show that as the amount of Epolene® wax increases, all physical properties also increase to produce a harder, more durable candle wax. To further explain how Epolene® improves paraffin wax, micrographs are presented below.
Parrafin Wax - No Epolene® Added
Parrafin Wax - 0.5% Epolene®
Paraffin Wax - 1% Epolene
Paraffin Wax - 3% Epolene
In the images above, the white areas are crystalline material, and the black areas are amorphous material. As more Epolene® is added to the paraffin wax, the large crystalline and amorphous areas become smaller and more uniform. This increased uniformity is the cause for improvement of physical properties like hardness, tensile strength, and elongation.
Epolene® polymers like Epolene® C-15 can be blended with low-quality paraffin wax in relatively low quantities to improve the performance of the wax in candle formulations dramatically. The improved physical properties of candle wax modified with Epolene® result in high-quality candles with: