Wax vs. Sealing Wax

Difference Between Wax And Sealing Wax

Wax, Beeswax was probably the wax first known to humans. Later, other materials having properties similar to those of beeswax were discovered and also called waxes. Waxes generally are slippery or tacky, opaque, water repellent, and soluble in hot turpentine or naphtha, and become glossy when rubbed. Different types of wax vary in these characteristics, as well as in such qualities as hardness, ductility, and melting point.

Waxes are differentiated from one another by variations in the following essential properties: color; luster; odor; density; hardness; ductility; toughness; plasticity; flexibility; viscosity, stringiness, and expansion, when melted; penetration; contraction when cooled; tackiness; adhesiveness; water impermeability; moisture transmission; stability to light, air, acids, alkalies, solvents, and attack by microbes; solubility and gelling in solvents; emulsifiability; compatibility with other waxes, resins, and asphalt; melting or softening point; transparency or opacity; toxicity; presence of impurities; electrical resistance; structure; edibility; flammability; surface tension; and specific gravity. The accompanying table details the chemical and physical properties of a number of commercially utilized natural waxes.

Because of the very specific properties that any given wax possesses, it is usually necessary to blend various waxes with resins or other products to obtain the exact combination of characteristics necessary for a specific use. Thus carnauba wax, which is valued for its hardness and luster, is compounded with paraffin and with beeswax or oils, or both, to make it more flexible and adhesive when used for polishes. A dental carving wax may contain paraffin, ozokerite, montan, and carnauba waxes. This combination produces a finished product with the desired characteristics by utilizing specific features of each component wax. For economic reasons, low-priced waxes are added to those of higher cost when their addition does not significantly reduce the desirable properties of the latter.

Sealing Wax

Sealing Wax, a plastic preparation applied to folded papers, envelopes, or documents to fasten them and receive impressions of identifying seals. In the Middle Ages it was made of beeswax, Venice turpentine, and vermilion or other pigment. Later lac or, in inferior grades, rosin, was substituted for wax. Sealing wax has generally been replaced by the gummed envelope.

 

 

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