Candelilla wax is a complex substance of vegetal origin. It is hard, brittle and easily pulverized. Prior to refining it has an opaque appearance. Once refined, its color can range from light brown to yellow depending on the degree of refining and bleaching. Its surface can reach high levels of brilliance once refined; this is one of the most valued properties of Candelilla wax for a variety of specialty applications. It easily dissolves basic dyes. It is insoluble in water but highly soluble in acetone, chloroform, benzene and other organic solvents.
Most of the components of Candelilla wax are naturally found in vegetables and fruits. Its chemical composition is characterized by a high hydrocarbon content (around 50%) and a relatively low amount of volatile esters. Its resin content can reach 40% by weight, a major factor contributing to its sticky consistency.
Typical Candelilla Wax Composition.
Candelilla wax exhibits very low contraction, for which it is used in precision foundries. It is highly adhesive and can be used in the formulation of cosmetics, polishes and waxes for furniture, leather, textiles and floors. When mixed with other waxes, it is used in finishes for leather, textiles and cords, for lubricants and greases, adhesives in which the resin eliminates the slippery finish, and for paper and cardboard coatings. It can harden other waxes without significantly increasing the melting point of the mixture.
Physical-Chemical Properties of Candelilla Wax
There are different Candelilla wax products, which differ basically in their presentation and refining grade. Traditionally, the following presentations have been commercialized in the international market:
However, in most applications based on Candelilla wax, it is recommended to handle and use the product in the pastilles form, as they offer important advantages compared to other product presentations.
In general, Candelilla wax pastilles require lower production costs, they present higher purity levels in semi-refined and refined products, they allow for a more precise control during dosing, as well as for a higher thermal efficiency in the wax melting process.
The Candelilla wax powder, in spray or in ground form, is considered an specialty product, which is used mainly for selected applications in the cosmetics and food industries.
Chemical Composition of Refined Candelilla Wax.