What is wax?
We might imagine wax as jus wax,,,,,,infact it’s a bit a tricky term to define.
The term “wax” is almost as the term “plastic”: it refers to a collection of different substances with similar properties.
Just as we should talk about “plastics” (because there are many different ones), so we should talk about waxes.
Waxes are mainly defined by their physical properties, not their chemical properties.
For our purposes, we can think of a wax as a complex mixture of fatty organic chemicals that has waxlike properties:
It has a relatively low melting point above room temperature (50°–90°C) and melts without decomposition above 40°C.
- It has relatively low viscosity just above the melting point.
- It has no viscoelasticity (deforms and gradually returns to shape after a force is applied).
- It can be polished (buffed) and becomes plastic above 20°C with slight pressure.
- It burns with a sooty flame (the characteristic property of a candle).
- It’s a poor conductor (of both heat and electricity).