Application of Polyethylene Wax in Plastic Processing

Polyethylene wax has much lower viscosity than plastic melt and can be used as a modification agent for plastic melt index. Due to its good thermal stability, low volatility at high temperature, and good dispersibility, it can improve the flowability of plastic processing and improve the performance of plastic processing.

Structural characteristics of polyethylene wax

The molecular structure of polyethylene wax is similar to polyolefins, and the polarity is weakly similar, with a large compatibility, playing the role of internal lubrication in the processing of polyolefin plastics. Modified polyethylene wax has a larger polarity, with low compatibility with polyolefin, playing the role of external lubrication. Polyethylene wax can significantly improve the flowability of materials in the extruder and the demoulding performance of finished products, and at the same time, the finished products show good surface properties, long-term stability and more attractive colors. Polyethylene wax is a lubricant used in PVC films, special-shaped materials, pipe fittings, and plastics processing industries, which can improve the toughness of plastic products, make the surface smooth and flat, and increase the yield of finished products.

As a PVC lubricant, it not only needs to have the function of internal lubrication but also needs to have compatibility. Compatibility with various resins is a prerequisite for the effectiveness of PVC lubricants. Esterified polyethylene wax has good performance in compatibility, which is compatible with polyamide, ABS resin, and polyoxymethylene (POM) resin. The esterified polyethylene wax has good compatibility with PVC, providing both internal and external lubrication and a brightening effect.

During rolling or forming, it plays a role in preventing the adhesion of the rolling mill; during extrusion molding or injection molding, it effectively prevents the adhesion of the screw, improves the demolding effect, and makes the PVC products glossy, beautiful, soft-touch, and attractive. At the same time, the carboxyl and ester groups on its molecule can form complex or ion chain chemical reactions with fillers and pigments, improving the binding between fillers and matrix resins and obtaining high physical and mechanical properties.

Polyethylene wax used in plastic processing

In the processing of polyamide, polyethylene wax is used as a dispersant, which can make the reinforcing material and pigment evenly distributed in polyamide. In the injection molding process of polyamide, the demolding difficulty depends on the crystallinity and effectiveness of the lubricant. Generally, modified polyethylene wax is used as a lubricant. In the injection molding of linear polyester (PET), polyethylene wax plays an important role in improving the demolding and flowability of filled PET. In the injection molding of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), which is very viscous just after processing, polyethylene wax can provide excellent demolding effect.

New engineering plastics are very difficult to process. Some plastics become very viscous during processing, and some have very poor fluidity due to their high molecular weight. Polyethylene wax is an important processing aid because of its low volatility, and can play the role of internal and external lubrication and demolding in polar and non-polar plastics, as well as resistance to migration.

The molding methods of wood-plastic composite materials (WPC) mainly include compression molding and single-screw extrusion. Polyethylene wax is usually used as a lubricant to prevent the decrease in the strength of the material melt and the burning of wood powder in the barrel due to the long residence time, improve the processing performance, and improve the flowability of the material.

To a certain extent, it regulates the physical plasticization process and forms a boundary film between the material and the metal. The film can not only prevent the material from adhering to the metal wall but also weaken the wear of the processing equipment and mold by the material. It also helps to improve the appearance quality of products.

Polyethylene wax has a wide range of applications, but there is still a lot of development space in the application of PVC special-shaped materials, plastic pipe fittings, plastic molding, inks, coatings, floor wax, car wax, and polishing wax, which requires further research and development to gain more applications.

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