Wax: Wikis

  
  
  
  

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Wax candle

Traditionally, wax (or beeswax) is a substance secreted by bees and used in constructing their honeycombs. The term has come to refer more generally to a class of substances with properties similar to beeswax, enumerated below:

Waxes may be natural secretions of plants or animals, artificially produced by purification from natural petroleum or completely synthetic. In addition to beeswax, carnauba (a plant epicuticular wax) and paraffin (a petroleum wax) are commonly encountered waxes which occur naturally. Earwax is an oily substance found in the human ear. Some artificial materials such as silicone wax that exhibit similar properties are also described as wax or waxy.

Commercial honeycomb foundation, made by pressing beeswax between patterned metal rollers.

Contents

Wax chemistry

Chemically, a wax is a type of lipid that may contain a wide variety of long-chain alkanes, esters, polyesters and hydroxy esters of long-chain primary alcohols and fatty acids. They are usually distinguished from fats by the lack of triglyceride esters of glycerin (propan-1,2,3-triol) and three fatty acids. In addition to the esters that contribute to the high melting point and hardness of carnauba wax, the epicuticular waxes of plants are mixtures of substituted long-chain aliphatic hydrocarbons, containing alkanes, fatty acids, primary and secondary alcohols, diols, ketones, aldehydes.[1] Paraffin waxes are hydrocarbons, mixtures of alkanes usually in a homologous series of chain lengths.

Uses of wax

Wax sculptures

Waxes are used to make wax paper, impregnating and coating paper and card to waterproof it or make it resistant to staining, or to modify its surface properties. Waxes are also used in shoe polishes, wood polishes, and automotive polishes, as mold release agents in mold making, as a coating for many cheeses, and to waterproof leather and fabric. Wax has been used since antiquity as a temporary, removable model in lost-wax casting of gold, silver and other materials.

Waxes and hard fats such as tallow have long been use to make candles, used for lighting and decoration in a number of religious traditions, including Christianity and Hinduism, as well as various neo-pagan religions such as Wicca. The Emperor Constantine is reported to have called for the use of candles during an Easter service in the 4th century AD. Candles continue to be used today by Christians[2] in worship as symbols of the light of Christ. In the Roman Catholic Church, beeswax candles are used, since a colony of bees is a celibate sisterhood with a single mother.[3] Candles of wax or tallow took the place of lamps used in various Jewish rituals such as the Sabbath lights; in the Havdalah ceremony; and the Hanukkah lights. A synagogue had to be well lit, and pious folk used to donate candles for the purpose. On the basis of the verse: 'The soul of man is a candle of the Lord' a special candle which burns twenty-four hours is kindled on the anniversary of the death of a near relative (Yahrzeit) and often two lighted candles are placed at the head of the corpse awaiting burial.[4]. Candles have also played a role in pagan religions and in modern humanist festivals. Virtually all rituals in Wicca include the lighting of altar candles, where two main candles are often used to represent the God and the Goddess; and the lighting of candles is a central theme at the Wiccan holiday of Brigid or Imbolc, which is also known as Candlemas or the Feast of the Waxing Light. Wax candles were also used in secular life for lighting, signals in warfare, safety in travel and for time keeping, and are still in popular use today to provide soft lighting for meals and other social activities.

Wax-decorated Easter eggs as made in Ukraine and the Czech Republic

Wax with colorful pigments added has been used as a medium in encaustic painting, and is used today in the manufacture of crayons and colored pencils. Carbon paper, used for making duplicate typewritten documents was coated with carbon black suspended in wax, typically montan wax, but has largely been superseded by photocopiers and computer printers. In another context, lipstick and mascara are blends of various fats and waxes colored with pigments, and both beeswax and lanolin are used in other cosmetics. Also, the sports of surfing, skiing, snowboarding and skateboarding often use wax to enhance the performance. Beeswax or coloured synthetic wax is used to decorate Easter eggs in Ukraine and the Czech Republic. Paraffin wax is used in making chocolate covered bon-bons. Wax is also used in wax bullets, which are used as simulation aids.

Wax types

Animal waxes

Vegetable waxes

Mineral waxes

Petroleum waxes

Synthetic waxes

  • Polyethylene waxes - based on polyethylene
  • Fischer-Tropsch waxes
  • Chemically modified waxes - usually esterified or saponified
  • substituted amide waxes
  • polymerized α-olefins

See also

References

  1. ^ EA Baker (1982) Chemistry and morphology of plant epicuticular waxes. In The Plant Cuticle. Ed. DF Cutler, KL Alvin, CE Price. Academic Press. ISBN 0 12 199920 3
  2. ^ The Hive and the Honey Bee, ed. Dadant & sons, revised 1975, p. 540
  3. ^ Butler, C.G. (1954) The world of the honeybee. Collins, New Naturalist series, No. 29
  4. ^ Jacobs, Louis (1995) "The Jewish Religion - a Companion" Oxford University Press

External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

WAX, a solid fatty substance of animal and vegetable origin, allied to the fixed oils and fats. From these it is distinguished by the fact that while oils and fats are glycerides, a true wax contains no glycerin, but is a combination of fatty acids with certain solid monatomic alcohols (see OILs).


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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010
(Redirected to wax article)

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

WOTD - 3 April 2008    

Contents

English

Wikipedia-logo.png
Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

Beeswax
Earwax

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

Old English wæx, from Germanic *waxsan, from Proto-Indo-European *u̯okso-. Cognate with Dutch was, German Wachs, Norwegian voks; and with Lithuanian vaškas, Russian воск

Noun

Singular
wax

Plural
waxes

wax (plural waxes)

  1. Beeswax.
  2. Earwax.
  3. Any oily, water-resistant substance; normally long-chain hydrocarbons, alcohols or esters.
  4. Any preparation containing wax, used as a polish.
  5. A phonograph record.
Synonyms
Derived terms
Translations
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Adjective

wax (not comparable)

Positive
wax

Comparative
not comparable

Superlative
none (absolute)

  1. Made of wax.
Synonyms
Derived terms

See under the noun section above

Translations

Verb

Infinitive
to wax

Third person singular
waxes

Simple past
waxed

Past participle
waxed

Present participle
waxing

to wax (third-person singular simple present waxes, present participle waxing, simple past and past participle waxed)

  1. (transitive) To apply wax to (something, such as a shoe, a floor, a car or an apple), usually to make it shiny.
  2. (transitive) To remove hair at the roots from (a part of the body) by coating the skin with a film of wax that is then pulled away sharply.
Synonyms
Derived terms
Translations
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Etymology 2

Old English weaxan, from Germanic *waxsan, from Proto-Indo-European *u̯egs-. Cognate with Old Norse vaxa (Danish vokse (spelling before the writing reform of 1948: voxe), West Frisian waakse, Norwegian vokse, Swedish växa), German wachsen, Dutch wassen, Gothic 𐍅𐌰𐌷𐍃𐌾𐌰𐌽 (wahsjan); and with Ancient Greek ἀέξειν, Latin auxilium. It is in its turn cognate with augeo. See eke.

Verb

Infinitive
to wax

Third person singular
waxes

Simple past
waxed

Past participle
waxed

Present participle
waxing

to wax (third-person singular simple present waxes, present participle waxing, simple past and past participle waxed)

  1. (intransitive, with adjective) To increasingly assume the specified characteristic.
    to wax lyrical; to wax eloquent
    • 1885, H. Rider Haggard, King Solomon's Mines, page 72:
      The stars grew pale and paler still till at last they vanished ; the golden moon waxed wan, and her mountain ridges stood out against her sickly face
  2. (intransitive, literary) To grow.
    • 1602, William Shakespeare, Hamlet, act 1, sc. 3, lines 11-14,
      For nature, crescent, does not grow alone / In thews and bulks, but, as this temple waxes, / The inward service of the mind and soul / Grows wide withal.
  3. (intransitive, of the moon) To appear larger each night as a progression from a new moon to a full moon.
Usage notes
Synonyms
  • (to assume specified characteristic): become
Antonyms
Derived terms
Related terms
Translations

Noun

Singular
wax

Plural
uncountable

wax (uncountable)

  1. (rare) The process of growing.
Derived terms
Translations

Etymology 3

This definition is lacking an etymology or has an incomplete etymology. You can help Wiktionary by giving it a proper etymology.

Noun

Singular
wax

Plural
waxes

wax (plural waxes)

  1. An outburst of anger.
Derived terms

See also

  • waxen-kernel
  • waxloke

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

Made by melting the combs of bees. Mentioned (Ps 2214; 68:2; 97:5; Mic 1:4) in illustration.

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.
This article needs to be merged with WAX (Jewish Encyclopedia).

Simple English

Simple English Wiktionary has the word meaning for:

Wax (more precisely Beeswax) is a chemical substance. It is used by honeybees to build honeycombs. Beeswax (and other waxes) have the following properties:

  • They are soft, and easy to shape at room temperature
  • Their melting point is above 45 °C
  • They cannot be dissolved in water
  • They are hydrophobic, that is repelled by water.

Some waxes, like beeswax, carnauba (a vegetable wax), and paraffin (a petroleum wax) occur naturally. Another such wax is earwax, which occurs in the human ear. Other waxes may be manufactured.

Chemically, a wax may be an ester of ethylene glycol (ethan-1,2-diol) and two fatty acids. A fat is an ester of glycerin (propan-1,2,3-triol) and three fatty acids. A wax may also be a combination of other fatty alcohols with fatty acids. It is a type of lipid.









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