Wax Dispersions

Wax dispersions are widely used for optimizing the final performance of coatings and inks by efficiently controlling surface properties. They are prepared to simplify incorporation of a surface modifier into liquid coatings. Their fine particle size (typically ranging from 2-6 microns) ensures thorough, homogeneous incorporation with other ingredients of the formulation to maximize the desired effects. Modified protection and aesthetic properties are driven by the wax additive that is dispersed in the liquid media.

Lubrizol has considerable experience developing wax dispersions for use in multiple liquid carriers, from aqueous-based formulations to non-aqueous systems ranging from polar to non-polar solvents to oligomeric carriers targeted at energy-cured formulations. Our wax dispersion technology is used in paints, coatings and inks to meet a wide range of performance requirements, like imparting excellent rub resistance and toughness, scratch resistance, abrasion and block resistance, as well as slip and rub resistance. Our wax dispersions also function as a lubricity additive to impart further protective properties, while delivering ease of incorporation and handling and good in-can/formulated stability.

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.

Typical Applications

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) for use in paint, coating and ink applications. These applications include can coatings, coil coatings, protective coatings, metal finishes, printing inks and more.

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.

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