Wax additive is a commonly used coating ink additive. In waterborne coating systems, waxes as additives are mainly available in solid form as waterborne micronized waxes and in liquid form as wax emulsions and wax dispersions.
The advantage of water-based micronized wax is that it does not contain emulsifier and has no effect on the water resistance of coating ink after film formation. The disadvantage is that the dispersion in aqueous system has high technical condition requirements and the ease of application is poor. It is irregular, and the handfeel and gloss are generally poor.
The advantages of wax emulsions and wax dispersions are ease of use, many product specifications and a wide range of options. Our company can customize the product to meet the customer’s requirements. The disadvantage is that the matching relationship with the ph value and ionicity of the water-based resin system should be fully considered, and the shelf life of the wax emulsion products and the storage and transportation of high and low temperature resistance should be considered.
As shown in the table below, in general, products with an average particle size of less than 500nm are called wax emulsions, of which products less than 100nm are called microemulsions. Products with an average particle size greater than 500nm are called wax dispersions, of which those less than 1um are called microdispersions.
Difference of wax dispersion vs emulsion
|Classification||Subdivision||Average particle size||Appearance|
|Emulsion||<500nm||Milky white with blue light|
|Wax dispersion||Microdispersion||<1-2um||Milky white|
|Dispersion||>2um||Milky white with granularity|
In production practice, microemulsions are not easy to measure by conventional methods due to their very small fineness. 1% visible light transmission is used as their fineness index, the higher the light transmission, the finer the fineness. Wax emulsions and microdispersions need to be tested for fineness using a nano-laser particle size meter, while wax dispersions can be tested using a common micron laser particle size meter.
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