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Microcrystalline waxes are chemically inert. The ratio of iso-paraffinic hydrocarbons and naphthenic hydrocarbons is higher for micros than for paraffin waxes. The elastic and sticky properties of microcrystalline waxes derive from the high proportion of branched, iso-paraffins. The waxes have a microscopic, crystalline structure and these small crystals provide increased flexibility compared to paraffins. Crucial differences between micros result from: crystalline structure & size, molecular weight, and the iso-parraffin/normal paraffin ratio.
Molecular weights of the various components range from approximately 580 to 700, implying an average carbon content of 41 to 50 carbon atoms. Microcrystalline waxes are moisture free and range in color from a white to a brown, depending on the degree of refinement. Highly refined Micros are white.
All Micros are free of odor and taste. Microcrystalline waxes dissolve like paraffin waxes: theyre freely soluble in chloroform, ether, benzene, carbon disulfide, volatile oils and many fixed oils. Micro waxes do not dissolve in water and alcohol and dissolve only slightly in absolute alcohol. IRM microcrystalline waxes are extremely tough yet are very plastic. This makes them very ductile and flexible, even at low temperatures; they possess high tensile strength. Micros are highly cohesive; this gives them adhesive properties and makes them resist both water vapor and water. IRM microcrystalline waxes excellent for laminating, coating, or hardening materials. Other useful properties include: changing from solid to liquid over a narrow range of temperature; their low viscosity as a liquid immediately above their melting point; their opalescence in thin films; and there electrical properties.
Applications for Microcrystalline Wax
Base for chewing gum, cosmetics, ointments where they harden, lubricate and protect against moisture, food packaging, protecting against moisture through wax impregnated paper, film, foil, and corrugated board , increasing the fluidity and the flexible bonding of hot-melt adhesives, crayons, candles and insulating materials