Epolene® polymers are a line of domestically-produced medium–to low–molecular weight polyethylene homopolymers that are also often referred to as polyethylene wax or PE wax. Unlike paraffin wax and other petroleum waxes, Epolene® polyethylene waxes are not a by-product of oil production. They are produced on-purpose by polymerization of ethylene and propylene monomers resulting in high purity waxes with a higher melting point and hardness than most natural and synthetic waxes. Epolene® PE wax is commonly used in plastics, elastomers, & masterbatch compounding as a processing aid, mold release agent, dispersion aid, or coupling agent. Epolene® polyethylene wax is also commonly used as a base resin for hot-melt adhesives, pavement striping, and paperboard coatings or as an additive in cable filling, candles, and investment casting molds.
Epolene® polyethylene waxes range in physical properties but come in three main types: coatings (C), emulsifiable (E), and non-emulsifiable (N).
Epolene® C grade waxes are low density polyethylene (LDPE) waxes with a branched molecular structure. As the name implies, these PE waxes are designed for use as a binder and viscosity modifier in hot melt paper coating formulations.
Epolene® E grade waxes are oxidized polyethylene polymers that can be used to make water-based dispersions of polyethylene wax. Water-based emulsions of these polyethylene waxes are often used in floor finishes, lubricants, and citrus coatings.
Epolene® N grade waxes are medium density polyethylene waxes that are commonly used as a modifier to improve durability of synthetic and natural waxes. These PE waxes are also used in ink formulations and as a processing aid for masterbatch and plastics production.
These three types of wax offer a variety of molecular weights allowing for complete control over viscosity, gloss, color retention, melting point and set time. Epolene® polyethylene wax grades also vary in particle size ranging from prills to powders. Most grades also meet FDA requirements for indirect food contact applications. To learn more view the available grades of Epolene® polyethylene polymers below.