Adhesives, Paints, Cosmetics | Measurement of PE wax according to ASTM D1986 and ASTM D3236 with ViscoQC 300

Viscosity is an important parameter for PE wax to ensure a proper application. This application report shows how a quality control test according to ASTM D1986 and ASTM D3236 is performed with ViscoQC 300 and ETD 300.

The synthetic polyethylene (PE) wax has a crystalline structure and is odourless and colourless. The wax contains a combination of non-polar polymers with hydrocarbons between C20 and C50 or higher. PE wax has a wide range of applications in various industries due to its excellent properties such as low melt viscosity, high melting point, and good hardness. It is a versatile additive that can improve the performance and quality of the end products.

Typical examples:

  • Paints/coatings: Used as matting and slip agent.
  • Adhesives: Used as tackifier and processing aid in hot-melt adhesives.
  • Plastic/Rubber: Used as lubricant.
  • Candle: Used to improve melting point, hardness and fragrance retention.
  • Personal care: Used as thickening agent, emulsifier and consistency enhancer.

Moreover, PE wax is non-toxic and biodegradable and therefore often used for ecologically friendly goods.
The test methods ASTM D1986 and ASTM D3236 are significant for quality control of PE wax. The methods describe the measurement of the dynamic viscosity of wax and thereafter the utility of the wax can be assessed.

The viscosity of four different PE wax samples was determined using the rotational viscometer ViscoQC 300 according to ASTM D1986 and ASTM D3236.

  • Two different low-density polyethylene waxes
  • One high-density polyethylene wax
  • One medium molecular weight, copolymer wax

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