Wax melter

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Wax melters are devices used in the packaging and candle-making industries to melt wax.

Candle solid block of wax with embedded wick

A candle is an ignitable wick embedded in wax, or another flammable solid substance such as tallow, that provides light, and in some cases, a fragrance. A candle can also provide heat, or be used as a method of keeping time. The candle can be used during the event of a power outage to provide light.


The type of tank used to melt candle wax is quite different from adhesives, solder, and tar. For example, tanks used for adhesives may need to be heated up to 260 °C (500 °F) [1] whilst an organic soy wax will be ruined at over 60 °C (140 °F) and should never be heated above 93 °C (200 °F). [2] A delicate soy wax used to make candles would be destroyed and burned if not heated in an even manner at lower temperatures than solder or tar. Also, since soaps and candles are scented and coloured, tanks designed for melting these substances need to be specially polished to ensure there is no contamination between different scented/coloured candles or soap. For this reason, there are melting tanks that are specially coated for candle wax melting. [3]

Soy candle

Soy candles are candles made from soy wax, which is a processed form of soybean oil. They are usually container candles, because soy wax typically has a lower melting point than traditional waxes, but can also be made into pillar candles if certain additives are mixed into the soy wax.

Solder metal alloy used to join together metal pieces with higher melting points

Solder is a fusible metal alloy used to create a permanent bond between metal workpieces. The word solder comes from the Middle English word soudur, via Old French solduree and soulder, from the Latin solidare, meaning "to make solid". In fact, solder must first be melted in order to adhere to and connect the pieces together after cooling, which requires that an alloy suitable for use as solder have a lower melting point than the pieces being joined. The solder should also be resistant to oxidative and corrosive effects that would degrade the joint over time. Solder used in making electrical connections also needs to have favorable electrical characteristics.

Tar substance

Tar is a dark brown or black viscous liquid of hydrocarbons and free carbon, obtained from a wide variety of organic materials through destructive distillation. Tar can be produced from coal, wood, petroleum, or peat. Production and trade in pine-derived tar was a major contributor in the economies of Northern Europe and Colonial America. Its main use was in preserving wooden sailing vessels against rot. The largest user was the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom. Demand for tar declined with the advent of iron and steel ships.


Wax melters, such as melting tanks, are generally classified as either 'direct heating' or 'water jacket heating'. A third type is known as the convection melter.

A water jacket melter is generally preferred if more than 40 litres or so are to be poured. A melter should be polished and have a coating to prevent cross contamination if heavily scented or coloured substances are to be used.

Direct heat

Direct heat melters are generally made from aluminium and can heat up to over 260 °C (500 °F). The uses vary from wax to solder. These melters have the heating element placed in contact with the aluminium, which is directly against the substance to be melted, hence the name 'direct melter'. Since these melters apply heat directly, they generally cannot be larger than 20-40 litres. [4]

Aluminium Chemical element with atomic number 13

Aluminium or aluminum is a chemical element with symbol Al and atomic number 13. It is a silvery-white, soft, nonmagnetic and ductile metal in the boron group. By mass, aluminium makes up about 8% of the Earth's crust; it is the third most abundant element after oxygen and silicon and the most abundant metal in the crust, though it is less common in the mantle below. The chief ore of aluminium is bauxite. Aluminium metal is so chemically reactive that native specimens are rare and limited to extreme reducing environments. Instead, it is found combined in over 270 different minerals.

Water jacket

Water Jacket Melters function more like a large, commercial double boiler in that they keep substances evenly heated but generally heat up to only 100 °C (212 °F), since that is the boiling point of water. They can be made of aluminium, but are generally made of stainless steel. Unlike direct heat melters, water jacket melters can be almost unlimited in size, with 580 litres being common and up to the larger ~3800 litre melters and more. [3]

Bain-marie double boiling

A bain-marie, a type of heated bath, is a piece of equipment used in science, industry, and cooking to heat materials gently and gradually to fixed temperatures, or to keep materials warm over a period of time. A bain-marie is also used to melt ingredients for cooking.

Stainless steel steel alloy resistant to corrosion

In metallurgy, stainless steel, also known as inox steel or inox from French inoxydable (inoxidizable), is a steel alloy, with a minimum of 10.5% chromium content by mass and a maximum of 1.2% carbon by mass.


There is another type of melter which uses convection heating similar to an oven but these are generally more expensive than normal heaters, even though they are very inefficient and take a long time to heat simply because they rely on air to heat. [5] Since wax is flammable, another concern with using convection melters is that the flash point of wax will be triggered and there will be an explosion. Convection melters are dangerous when heating flammable substances and should not be used.

Oven thermally insulated chamber used for the heating, baking or drying of a substance

An oven is a thermally insulated chamber used for the heating, baking, or drying of a substance, and most commonly used for cooking. Kilns and furnaces are special-purpose ovens used in pottery and metalworking, respectively.

Explosion sudden release of energy through high temperatures and gas expansion

An explosion is a rapid increase in volume and release of energy in an extreme manner, usually with the generation of high temperatures and the release of gases. Supersonic explosions created by high explosives are known as detonations and travel via supersonic shock waves. Subsonic explosions are created by low explosives through a slower burning process known as deflagration.

See also

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Brazing metal-joining technique by high-temperature molten metal filling

Brazing is a metal-joining process in which two or more metal items are joined together by melting and flowing a filler metal into the joint, the filler metal having a lower melting point than the adjoining metal.

Rosin organic substance

Rosin, also called colophony or Greek pitch, is a solid form of resin obtained from pines and some other plants, mostly conifers, produced by heating fresh liquid resin to vaporize the volatile liquid terpene components. It is semi-transparent and varies in color from yellow to black. At room temperature rosin is brittle, but it melts at stove-top temperature. It chiefly consists of various resin acids, especially abietic acid. The term "colophony" comes from colophonia resina, Latin for "resin from Colophon", an ancient Ionic city.

Induction heating is the process of heating an electrically conducting object by electromagnetic induction, through heat generated in the object by eddy currents. An induction heater consists of an electromagnet, and an electronic oscillator that passes a high-frequency alternating current (AC) through the electromagnet. The rapidly alternating magnetic field penetrates the object, generating electric currents inside the conductor called eddy currents. The eddy currents flowing through the resistance of the material heat it by Joule heating. In ferromagnetic materials like iron, heat may also be generated by magnetic hysteresis losses. The frequency of current used depends on the object size, material type, coupling and the penetration depth.

Wax play

Wax play is a form of temperature play practiced in a BDSM context. The idea of wax play is to introduce a slight burning sensation to the skin.

Woods metal alloy of bismuth, lead, tin and cadmium

Wood's metal, also known as Lipowitz's alloy or by the commercial names Cerrobend, Bendalloy, Pewtalloy and MCP 158, is a eutectic, fusible alloy with a melting point of approximately 70 °C (158 °F). It is a eutectic alloy of 50% bismuth, 26.7% lead, 13.3% tin, and 10% cadmium by weight. The alloy is named for Barnabas Wood.


In electronics, desoldering is the removal of solder and components from a circuit board for troubleshooting, repair, replacement, and salvage.

A fusible alloy is a metal alloy capable of being easily fused, i.e. easily meltable, at relatively low temperatures. Fusible alloys are commonly, but not necessarily, eutectic alloys.

Melt and Pour soap crafting is a process often used by soapmakers, both for large scale (commercial) and small scale manufacture. Small scale artisan soap makers find "melt and pour" production useful when trying out new product lines. The process differs from the cold process or hot process in utilising a pre-manufactured solid soap base which has already undergone saponification, so the soap maker does not need to handle caustic alkali, i.e. lye.

A filler metal is a metal added in the making of a joint through welding, brazing, or soldering.

Microcrystalline waxes are a type of wax produced by de-oiling petrolatum, as part of the petroleum refining process. In contrast to the more familiar paraffin wax which contains mostly unbranched alkanes, microcrystalline wax contains a higher percentage of isoparaffinic (branched) hydrocarbons and naphthenic hydrocarbons. It is characterized by the fineness of its crystals in contrast to the larger crystal of paraffin wax. It consists of high molecular weight saturated aliphatic hydrocarbons. It is generally darker, more viscous, denser, tackier and more elastic than paraffin waxes, and has a higher molecular weight and melting point. The elastic and adhesive characteristics of microcrystalline waxes are related to the non-straight chain components which they contain. Typical microcrystalline wax crystal structure is small and thin, making them more flexible than paraffin wax. It is commonly used in cosmetic formulations.

An induction furnace is an electrical furnace in which the heat is applied by induction heating of metal. Induction furnace capacities range from less than one kilogram to one hundred tonnes, and are used to melt iron and steel, copper, aluminium, and precious metals.

Hot-melt adhesive solvent-free and at room temperature more or less solid products which are applied to the adhesive surface when hot

Hot melt adhesive (HMA), also known as hot glue, is a form of thermoplastic adhesive that is commonly sold as solid cylindrical sticks of various diameters designed to be applied using a hot glue gun. The gun uses a continuous-duty heating element to melt the plastic glue, which the user pushes through the gun either with a mechanical trigger mechanism on the gun, or with direct finger pressure. The glue squeezed out of the heated nozzle is initially hot enough to burn and even blister skin. The glue is tacky when hot, and solidifies in a few seconds to one minute. Hot melt adhesives can also be applied by dipping or spraying, and are popular with hobbyists and crafters both for affixing and as an inexpensive alternative to resin casting.

Electric heating process in which electrical energy is converted to heat

Electric heating is a process in which electrical energy is converted to heat energy. Common applications include space heating, cooking, water heating and industrial processes. An electric heater is an electrical device that converts an electric current into heat. The heating element inside every electric heater is an electrical resistor, and works on the principle of Joule heating: an electric current passing through a resistor will convert that electrical energy into heat energy. Most modern electric heating devices use nichrome wire as the active element; the heating element, depicted on the right, uses nichrome wire supported by ceramic insulators. A warning that these can go to very high temperatures and create excruciating burns

Pipe fitting

Pipe fitting or pipefitting is the occupation of installing or repairing piping or tubing systems that convey liquid, gas, and occasionally solid materials. This work involves selecting and preparing pipe or tubing, joining it together by various means, and the location and repair of leaks.

Thiele tube thiele tube

The Thiele tube, named after the German chemist Johannes Thiele, is a laboratory glassware designed to contain and heat an oil bath. Such a setup is commonly used in the determination of the melting point of a substance. The apparatus itself resembles a glass test tube with an attached handle.

A melting tank is a tank used by manufacturing companies to manufacture a variety of products.

Soldering process of joining metal pieces with heated filler metal

Soldering is a process in which two or more items are joined together by melting and putting a filler metal (solder) into the joint, the filler metal having a lower melting point than the adjoining metal. Unlike welding, soldering does not involve melting the work pieces. In brazing, the work piece metal also does not melt, but the filler metal is one that melts at a higher temperature than in soldering. In the past, nearly all solders contained lead, but environmental and health concerns have increasingly dictated use of lead-free alloys for electronics and plumbing purposes.


  1. "Candle Making Wax: Soy wax, candle wax supplier". Tayloredconcepts.com. 2004-06-01. Retrieved 2013-01-13.
  2. 1 2 "History of Candle Making Equipment". Waxmelters.com. Retrieved 2013-01-13.
  3. "History of Candle Making Equipment". www.waxmelters.com.
  4. "Candle Wax Melting Tanks vs Convection Melters". Waxmelters.com. Retrieved 2013-01-13.