Wax Additives / Surface Modifiers

Lubrizol surface modifiers are advanced wax additive components that enable coating formulators to enhance and protect at the interface between an ink or coating and the outside world. Our wax additive products modify the appearance, feel, slip, abrasion resistance and overall durability of coatings and are available in any form to suit diverse manufacturing requirements. Available in both powder and liquid forms, Lubrizol wax additives are designed to modify coated surfaces through unique performance benefits for specific applications, including metal, wood, printing, and packaging. Lubrizol offers the widest range of wax additive chemistries and particle size control tailored to meet specific performance requirements. Our surface modifiers include wax dispersions, wax emulsions, micronized wax, matting agents, flow and leveling agents, and powder coating additives..

Wax Dispersions

Dispersed wax additives are prepared to simplify incorporation of a surface modifier into liquid coatings. Modified protection and aesthetic properties are driven by the wax additive that is dispersed in the liquid media. Wax dispersions are available in aqueous-based formulations, non-aqueous systems ranging from polar to non-polar solvents and oligomeric carriers targeted at energy cured formulations. Water-based systems typically require a dispersant to stabilize the non-polar wax additive in the aqueous phase and compatibilize the wax dispersion in the coating or ink formulation.  Solvent-based wax dispersions typically do not require a dispersant and the selected solvent drives compatibility in the coating or ink formulation.

A broad portfolio of non-aqueous and aqueous dispersions of wax additives is available from Lubrizol under the Lanco™ Glidd brand (part of the Lanco™ Surface Modifiers portfolio). Polymers such as polyethylene, polypropylene, PTFE, polyamide, carnauba wax and combinations of these materials are available in dispersed forms. Selection of the appropriate wax additive dispersion to modify the targeted property minimizes the addition level to achieve the targeted property.  Use of PTFE, for example, is recommended for the harshest application and use environment. Compared to other wax additives, PTFE yields the lowest coefficient of friction, the most slippery surface and provides the best protection from scratching and abrasion. However, the density of PTFE (@2.2g/ml) is very high compared to the density of water (1.0 g/ml). Consequently, stable aqueous dispersions of PTFE typically require more surfactant, a rheology control agent or a polar wax additive to stabilize the dispersion and to prevent settling.

Wax Emulsions

Emulsified wax additives are typically used to protect clear coated surfaces from damage due to abrasive forces or damage due to moisture exposure. Typically, emulsified wax is used in the coating or ink without impacting the appearance of the finish. Emulsified wax particles are usually less than 1 micron so that high gloss finishes are maintained. Processes used to prepare and stabilize small particle size emulsions require the use of surfactants and rheology control agents in all formulations. Specific additives are chosen to compatibilize the emulsified wax in the finished coating or ink and can be adjusted from the acidic to the basic pH range.

Polyolefins such as polyethylene, oxidized polyethylene, Fischer-Tropsch, polypropylene, and paraffin are available in small particle size wax emulsions. Amides, carnauba wax and other natural occurring waxy materials are available in emulsified forms. Achieving the desired surface protection without impacting other properties, such as adhesion or appearance, is dependent on selection of the correct polymer with the appropriate stabilizing package. Aquaslip™ Wax Emulsions and Liquilube™ Wax Emulsions from Lubrizol include a broad range of polymers designed specifically to protect coating and ink surfaces for diverse applications.

Micronized Wax Additives

Micronized wax additives are used to protect ink and coating surfaces and adjust the appearance. They are commonly chosen to modify abrasion resistance, slip properties and overall durability of an ink or coating. Micronized wax additives are also available to enhance the aesthetics of a cured coating or ink, including gloss, texture and feel. The ultimate aesthetic or protective properties of a micronized wax additive are dependent on factors such as polymer composition, type of coating or ink ranging (from aqueous-based to solvent-based and 100% solids), cure parameters, thickness of the protective layer, and overall particle size distribution of the micronized wax additive.

Lubrizol's portfolio of Lanco™ Surface Modifiers includes a wide range of micronized wax additive technologies using polyethylene, polypropylene, polyamide, and PTFE, combined with unique particle size reduction and classification technologies to meet specific performance and appearance requirements. The desired performance characteristics vary by market such as UV or thermal cure OPV, digital ink applications, printed media, can, coil, powder, wood, architectural or masonry coatings. Lubrizol’s quality control systems ensure that the protection and appearance properties are developed consistently with every lot supplied to our customers. 

Flow & Leveling Agents

Flow and leveling additives are used to eliminate coating surface defects caused by airborne contaminants or poor surface pretreatment.Polymeric flow and leveling agents function by reducing the surface tension to eliminate defects such as fisheyes, craters, pinholing, ghosting/telegraphing, orange peel or overspray. Acrylic copolymers with carefully controlled molecular weight distribution are prepared and supplied in a wide range of solvents to enable easy handling and compatibility in solvent-based coatings are available. Lanco™ Flow Additives are available in neat, solvent-diluted or powdered forms for easy addition to a broad range of industrial liquid and powder coating formulations. 

Powder Coating Additives

Wax additives for powder coating applications are tailored specifically to protect the coating surface or control the aesthetics of the cured powder coating. Wax technologies act as processing aids and enable highly filled systems to feed easily during the extrusion process. These same technologies will produce powder coatings with a textured finish ranging from a very fine, wet look texture to a course sanded appearance. Wax technologies based on polyolefin wax, polypropylene, polyamide and PTFE are commonly used to manipulate the appearance and protect cured powder coatings.

Powder coatings present unique challenges to the formulator that require innovative wax additives to meet those requirements. Unique wax additives are available to protect a high gloss powder coating surface from abrasion damage without impacting the gloss or inducing haze in the coating. Processing aids based on wax additives are available to enhance the powder feeding process during spray application, minimize static effects such as ‘Faraday Cage’ effect and enhance degassing properties over varying metal surfaces. PowderAdd™ Micronized Wax Additives are available from Lubrizol to enable powder processing, adjust aesthetic properties and protect the surface of powder coatings from damage due to abrasive forces.