The Difference Between Fischer-Tropsch Wax and PE Wax

Fischer-Tropsch wax is a type of synthetic wax that is derived from the Fischer-Tropsch process. This process involves the conversion of carbon monoxide and hydrogen gases into liquid hydrocarbons, which can then be further processed to obtain Fischer-Tropsch wax. Fischer-Tropsch wax is characterized by high melting point, narrow melting point range, low oil content, low penetration, low mobility, low melting viscosity, hardness, wear resistance and high stability. 

PE (polyethylene) wax, also known as polyethylene polymer wax or oxidized polyethylene wax, is a type of synthetic wax derived from polyethylene. It is produced by the oxidation of polyethylene under controlled conditions. PE wax has a wide range of uses and applications due to its unique properties. 

PE Wax Uses

1. Plastics and Rubber Processing: pe wax is widely used as a processing aid in the plastics and rubber industries. It acts as a lubricant and release agent, reducing friction and improving the flow and mold release properties of the polymer during processing. It also helps to improve the surface finish of molded products.

2. Coatings and Inks: PE wax is used in the formulation of coatings, paints, and inks. It provides enhanced scratch resistance, matting effects, and anti-blocking properties. PE wax can also improve the wear resistance, gloss, and water repellency of the coatings.

3. Printing and Paper Industry: PE wax is used as a surface treatment agent for paper and cardboard in the printing industry. It helps to improve the smoothness, printability, and ink holdout of the paper surface. PE wax can also be used in hot-melt adhesives for paper and packaging applications.

4. Textiles and Leather: PE wax is used as a lubricant and finish agent in the textile industry. It can be applied to yarns, fabrics, and fibers to improve abrasion resistance, anti-static properties, and reduce fiber-to-fiber friction. PE wax is also used in leather finishing to provide gloss and softness.

5. Candles and Wax Blends: PE wax can be used as an additive in candle manufacturing. It improves the burn time, hardness, and gloss of the candles. PE wax is also blended with other waxes, such as paraffin, to modify their properties and achieve desired characteristics.

6. Construction Materials: PE wax is used in the formulation of construction materials, such as PVC pipes, profiles, and composite decking. It acts as a lubricant and processing aid during extrusion and molding, facilitating the smooth flow of the material.

7. Personal Care Products: PE wax is sometimes used in the formulation of cosmetics and personal care products, including creams, lotions, lipsticks, and lip balms. It can provide texture, structure, and emollient properties to these products.

Fischer Tropsch Wax Uses

1. Cosmetics and personal care products: Fischer-Tropsch synthetic waxes are commonly used in the formulation of cosmetics, such as lipsticks, lip balms, creams, lotions, and hair care products. It provides emollient properties, enhances texture and stability, and helps to create a smooth and glossy finish.

2. Candles: Fischer-Tropsch wax is an excellent alternative to natural waxes like beeswax and paraffin for candle production. It has a high melting point, good burn stability, and low odor, making it suitable for various candle applications.

3. Packaging and coatings: Fischer-Tropsch wax is used in the production of packaging materials, such as paper and food packaging, to provide improved water resistance, gloss, and barrier properties. It can also be used as a coating on fruits and vegetables to extend their shelf life.

4. Polishes and coatings: Fischer-Tropsch wax is used in the formulation of polishes, coatings, and varnishes for wood, flooring, furniture, and automotive applications. It provides a durable and glossy finish, as well as resistance to scratching and scuffing.

5. Printing inks: Fischer-Tropsch wax is used as an ingredient in the formulation of printing inks and toners. It helps to improve gloss, printability, and adhesion properties.

6. Adhesives and sealants: Fischer-Tropsch wax can be used as a component in adhesive and sealant formulations to improve cohesion, flexibility, and barrier properties.

7. Rubber and plastic processing: Fischer-Tropsch wax is used as a processing aid in rubber and plastic industries to improve mold release, surface finish, and flow properties.

8. Paper and textile industry: Fischer-Tropsch wax is used as a sizing agent in paper manufacturing to enhance water resistance and smoothness. It is also used in the textile industry as a lubricant and softening agent in textile finishing processes.

PE wax vs paraffin wax

Compared with general polyethylene wax (PE wax), Fischer-Tropsch synthetic wax differs significantly in that:

(1) Molecular weight. The molecular weight of Fischer-Tropsch wax is much lower than that of PE wax, with fewer branched chains and high crystallinity. It is easy to penetrate into high viscosity macromolecular chains, significantly reducing melt viscosity, small migration in the processing process, and obvious lubrication effect in the later stage.

(2) Fischer-Tropsch wax is a saturated direct paraffin with no double bond, strong antioxidant ability and good weather resistance.

(3) Viscosity of Fischer-Tropsch wax is much lower than that of PE wax, only about 10 percent. The same lubrication effect can be achieved with a small amount of use, which is only 70-80 percent of PE wax. Fischer-Tropsch wax has good compatibility with PVC and can be used as both internal and external lubricants. It can be used as a good internal lubricant to effectively control shear conditions, promote flow, control friction and melting properties, thereby improving thermal stability. At the same time, because of its high crystallinity and high linearity structure, Fischer-Tropsch wax can obtain the best physical and processing properties of PVC products. According to the need, Fischer-Tropsch process can synthesize alkanes with different chain lengths, change the molecular weight of the final product, and form a series of products.            

It's important to note that while both PE wax and paraffin wax have distinct properties and applications, they can also overlap in certain areas. In some cases, they can be used in combination or blended together to achieve specific desired characteristics in various applications.        

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