Formulating Wax Emulsions

Wax emulsions are used extensively in aqueous formulations such as coatings, inks and paints, textile and leather treatments, polishes, paper and cardboard coatings. The wax and other ingredients are processed, and the resulting emulsion has a very fine particle size that helps insure a homogeneous solution that maximizes the required effect(s).
Wax emulsions can be stabilized by either a steric mechanism (non-ionic emulsifiers) or by an electrostatic mechanism (ionic emulsifiers, most often anionics). Combining anionic and non-ionic emulsifiers gives the emulsion an optimum stability because wax particles are protected through both stabilization mechanisms, referred to as the electro-steric stabilization mechanism. Each stabilization mechanism has not only its own advantages and disadvantages but also significantly impacts the overall formulation.
Green Chem Coatings works with leading consultants to develop custom formulations that aid customers in product development. Many or our formulas are merely a starting point, and considerable time and expertise is utilized to achieve the desired result for a specific application.

Common Applications of Wax Emulsions.

Paper Chemicals

Wax-emulsions are used in the paper industry in order to impart or enhance the following properties:

  • Release
  • Lubrication
  • Hydrophobicity

Coatings, Inks, Paints & Laquers

By far the largest market for wax emulsions is for inks, coatings, paints and lacquers, where the following properties are achieved:

  • Scratch Resistance
  • Rub & Abrasion Resistance
  • Gloss & Matting
  • Anti-Blocking
  • Hydrophobicity


Wax-emulsions are used in the metal industry in order to improve the following properties:

  • Adhesion
  • Corrosion Protection
  • Lubrication
  • Release
  • Hydrophobicity

Additional Applications

  • Deep Drawing (lubrication)
  • Self Cutting Screws
  • Heat Seal Coatings
  • Mold Release/Aluminum Diecasting

For more information on use of wax emulsions, visit Special Chem for Coatings.