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I want to make a very thin sheet of wax by pour hot wax over a surface and letting it cool. What surface would wax spread out on best? I.e. which one would give the best wettability? Many thanks everyone

THanks guys - will let you know how this goes!

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    $\begingroup$ Do you want to remove the wax layer from the surface after setting? If yes, then a good wettability will make that difficult. $\endgroup$ – vapid Oct 3 '16 at 8:07
  • $\begingroup$ Hi Vapid. Good point and yes I would need to. The important thing though is that its a very thin sheet I create - hence why I'm thinking the surface needs to adhere well to the wax to decrease the surface tension and allow it to spread out better. Perhaps once I've got this I could then heat up the surface itself very gently just enough that the wax sheet slid off? $\endgroup$ – Oliver Walters Oct 5 '16 at 18:07
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I think that you need a surface with very low wettability, because as you said in the comments, you want to remove the solidified wax layer afterwards. It is possible to make a very thin layer of wax by spreading it between two hard plates pressed against each other. I would try something like this:

wax sheet

You spread the molten wax between the two sheets made from an appropriate material placed between two plates (glass or metal). To precisely regulate the thickness of the wax layer you use some separators placed near the edges. After setting you remove the plates, then carefully remove the sheets. The main problem is to choose a suitable material for the sheets. You can experiment with various materials. I think that a sheet made from, or covered with a silicone rubber would be perfect. You can try a parchment paper, aluminum foil, glassine and so on. If you need a really thin and fragile wax layer, you can try to use a tin or aluminum foil, and then remove it chemically using diluted hydrochloric acid.

EDIT: Now it hit me. There is another, simpler method you may try. If you want a wax plate with a uniform thickness and smooth surfaces use the procedure above. However, if you don't have those requirements, then simply pour the molten wax on the surface of hot water in a large pot. The wax should spread evenly on the whole surface. Leave it to cool down and collect the wax plate. It may be a bit thicker near the edges and its surface will be matte, but maybe it'll suit your needs.

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    $\begingroup$ I want to add to this that the thin sheet should be flexible enough to allow for bending, so that it can more easily be separated from the wax plate by "rolling back" of the support method. $\endgroup$ – tschoppi Oct 6 '16 at 14:54
  • $\begingroup$ Hi Vapid, thats brilliant. Sorry I've been away for a while and just picked this up, but will definitely try it asap! Cheers $\endgroup$ – Oliver Walters Nov 29 '16 at 18:33
  • $\begingroup$ @OliverWalters That's OK, let us know how did it go. I am sure that it will work, but I can't say if the resulting product will fulfill your requirements. $\endgroup$ – vapid Nov 30 '16 at 8:24

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