Using a high pressure homogenizer for wax emulsions is very important because wax emulsions are so widely used and come in many various forms. Carnuba waxes, extracted from palm leaves, are used to impart a glossy sheen and are seen in car waxes, shoe polishes, furniture polish and more. Parafin wax is derived from petroleum, shale or coal and is used in making lubricants, electrical insulation and candles. Other wax emulsions are used in printing inks, lacquers, leather and textiles, paper and wood.
Wax emulsions are very common in the manufacture of wood and particle board products, to provide sheen, moisture protection, sealing and more.
The better the wax emulsion, the better the finished product. The more you can reduce the wax droplets within a water phase, the more sheen polishes and waxes can impart for improved appearance, or the better the sealing properties you can provide in making wood and particle board products.
Wax Emulsification Process
High Pressure Homogenizers for wax emulsions is necessary because the wax is homogenized with water. Wax is immiscible in the water making it difficult to form an emulsion. This can be handled by use of surfactants and by various emulsifying processes. Our Sonolator homogenizer device is used in complete emulsification systems that we design and fabricate and provides certain benefits above and beyond that of conventional methods of mixing.
The Sonolator uses fluid acceleration, cavitation and high pressure to homogenize and emulsify fluids. These forces act on the fluid inline as material is pumped by a high pressure PD pump through the Sonolator Orifice and Blade mixing chamber.
These turbulent forces shear droplet sizes and particles, forcing immiscible fluids to stay in suspension for long periods of time with a tight and uniform particle size distribution. See our latest blog for more specifics on wax emulsion homogenization.
Multiple-Feed Homogenizer Systems to Process Wax Emulsions
One of the greatest assets of the Sonolator high pressure homogenizer technology is the concept of multiple-feed inline emulsification. Sounds like a mouthful. Here it is in a nutshell: High pressure is often required to reduce wax droplets to below 1 micron in size and our homogenizer can do this while metering 2 or 3 distinct phases wax, water, surfactant) inline to create an instant emulsion. Even more impressive is that we can typically meter a hot wax phase with lower temperature water and surfactant phase to generate a cooler emulsion all inline as we simultaneously transfer finished emulsion to a hold tank or downstream process tank. This process is achieved with a single skidded system consisting of up to 3 PD pumps, mass flow meters, instrumentation and PLC automated controls. Pump housings and process piping are jacketed and insulated to keep the wax molten and free flowing. It’s a truly unique answer to wax emulsion making and can save quite a bit of time and money:
- Eliminate large mixing/heating vessels
- Reduce heating cost by not heating entire batch in large tanks
- Reduce process time by eliminating transfers to and from batch tank
- Reduce cooling by metering low temperature water with hot wax inline