What Are Wax Emulsions & Dispersions?
Wax emulsions and dispersions are formulated additives made of dispersed wax particles
(identified in the Figure 1 as "oil") in water.
While wax emulsions normally have particle size < 1µm, and therefore,
a minimized effect on the coating gloss, wax dispersions (either water or
solvent-based), have a particle size typically > 1-2µm. Their very fine
particle size ensures thorough, homogeneous incorporation with other ingredients
of the formulation, maximizing the required effects
Wax emulsions can be stabilized by either nonionic emulsifiers (steric mechanism)
or by ionic emulsifiers, most often anionics (electrostatic mechanism). Combining
anionic and nonionic emulsifiers provides the emulsion the optimum stability because
wax particles are protected through both stabilization mechanisms.
In addition, each stabilization mechanism not only has its own advantages and limitations
but also significantly impacts the overall formulation giving added flexibility
in formulating. More information on the way to use wax emulsions & dispersions
can be found in the section - How to Formulate
with Wax Emulsions?