Wax paper

Last updated
Wax paper Waxedpaper.jpg
Wax paper

Wax paper (also waxed paper or paraffin paper) is paper that has been made moisture-proof through the application of wax.

Paper thin, flexible material mainly used for writing upon, printing upon, drawing or for packaging

Paper is a thin material produced by pressing together moist fibres of cellulose pulp derived from wood, rags or grasses, and drying them into flexible sheets. It is a versatile material with many uses, including writing, printing, packaging, cleaning, decorating, and a number of industrial and construction processes. Papers are essential in legal or non-legal documentation.

Wax class of chemical compounds that are plastic (malleable) near ambient temperatures.

Waxes are a diverse class of organic compounds that are lipophilic, malleable solids near ambient temperatures. They include higher alkanes and lipids, typically with melting points above about 40 °C (104 °F), melting to give low viscosity liquids. Waxes are insoluble in water but soluble in organic, nonpolar solvents. Natural waxes of different types are produced by plants and animals and occur in petroleum.

Contents

The practice of oiling parchment or paper in order to make it semi-translucent or moisture-proof goes back at least to the Middle Ages. Paper impregnated or coated with purified beeswax was widely used throughout the 19th century to retain or exclude moisture, or to wrap odorous products. Gustave Le Gray introduced the use of waxed paper for photographic negatives in 1851. [1] Natural wax was largely replaced for the making of wax paper (or paraffine paper) after Herman Frasch developed ways of purifying paraffin and coating paper with it in 1876. [2] Wax paper is commonly used in cooking for its non-stick properties, and wrapping food for storage, such as cookies, as it keeps water out or in. It is also used in arts and crafts.

Parchment animal skin processed for writing or painting on

Parchment is a writing material made from specially prepared untanned skins of animals—primarily sheep, calves, and goats. It has been used as a writing medium for over two millennia. Vellum is a finer quality parchment made from the skins of young animals such as lambs and young calves.

Middle Ages Period of European history from the 5th to the 15th century

In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.

Beeswax chemical compound

Beeswax is a natural wax produced by honey bees of the genus Apis. The wax is formed into scales by eight wax-producing glands in the abdominal segments of worker bees, which discard it in or at the hive. The hive workers collect and use it to form cells for honey storage and larval and pupal protection within the beehive. Chemically, beeswax consists mainly of esters of fatty acids and various long-chain alcohols.

Food preparation

Oven: wax paper is not recommended for baking use as it will smoke. [3] Parchment paper is better for this use.

Parchment paper cellulose-based paper that is used in baking

Parchment paper, baking paper, or bakery release paper are cellulose-based papers that have been treated or coated to make them non-stick. They are used in baking as a disposable non-stick surface. They should not be confused with wax paper or waxed paper, which is paper that has been impregnated with wax.

Microwave: wax paper can be used to prevent splatters by covering the food when microwave cooking. Since the paper is mostly unaffected by microwaves, it will not heat to the point of combustion under normal usage. This makes wax paper more functional than plastic wrap which will melt at higher temperatures, or aluminium foil which is not safe for use in most microwave ovens.

Combustion high-temperature exothermic redox chemical reaction between a fuel (the reductant) and an oxidant, usually atmospheric oxygen, that produces oxidized in a mixture termed as smoke

Combustion, or burning, is a high-temperature exothermic redox chemical reaction between a fuel and an oxidant, usually atmospheric oxygen, that produces oxidized, often gaseous products, in a mixture termed as smoke. Combustion in a fire produces a flame, and the heat produced can make combustion self-sustaining. Combustion is often a complicated sequence of elementary radical reactions. Solid fuels, such as wood and coal, first undergo endothermic pyrolysis to produce gaseous fuels whose combustion then supplies the heat required to produce more of them. Combustion is often hot enough that incandescent light in the form of either glowing or a flame is produced. A simple example can be seen in the combustion of hydrogen and oxygen into water vapor, a reaction commonly used to fuel rocket engines. This reaction releases 242 kJ/mol of heat and reduces the enthalpy accordingly :

Plastic wrap thin plastic film typically used for sealing food

Plastic wrap, cling film, shrink wrap, Saran wrap, cling wrap or food wrap is a thin plastic film typically used for sealing food items in containers to keep them fresh over a longer period of time. Plastic wrap, typically sold on rolls in boxes with a cutting edge, clings to many smooth surfaces and can thus remain tight over the opening of a container without adhesive. Common plastic wrap is roughly 0.0005 inches thick. The trend has been to produce thinner plastic wrap, particularly for household use, so now the majority of brands on shelves around the world are 8, 9 or 10 μm thick.

Aluminium foil thin, flexible sheets of aluminium, used for wrapping food, and other purposes

Aluminium foil, often referred to with the misnomer tin foil, is aluminium prepared in thin metal leaves with a thickness less than 0.2 mm ; thinner gauges down to 6 micrometres are also commonly used. In the United States, foils are commonly gauged in thousandths of an inch or mils. Standard household foil is typically 0.016 mm thick, and heavy duty household foil is typically 0.024 mm. The foil is pliable, and can be readily bent or wrapped around objects. Thin foils are fragile and are sometimes laminated to other materials such as plastics or paper to make them more useful. Aluminium foil supplanted tin foil in the mid 20th century.

Other uses

Safety razor blades are traditionally wrapped in wax paper to make handling them less dangerous. [4] Wax paper can also be used to make long lasting paper boats because of its high resistance to water.

Safety razor device to remove body hair, modern variant (non-electric)

A safety razor is a shaving implement with a protective device positioned between the edge of the blade and the skin. The initial purpose of these protective devices was to reduce the level of skill needed for injury-free shaving, thereby reducing the reliance on professional barbers. The term was first used in a patent issued in 1880, for a razor in the basic contemporary configuration with a handle attached at right angles to a head in which a removable blade is placed.

From the early 1950s to the mid-1990s, wax paper was used as a common wrapping for sports card packages (O-Pee-Chee, Topps, Donruss, etc.). It was notorious for leaving wax markings on the back card where the wax paper was heated to be sealed. Wax paper was used as a way to keep the enclosed piece of bubble gum protected.

Bubble gum type of chewing gum

Bubble gum is a type of chewing gum, designed to be inflated out of the mouth as a bubble.

In the mid-1990s, sports card manufacturers stopped including pieces of bubble gum in packs of sports cards, thus ending the need for wax paper packs. Plastic (mylar) or other plastic/paper blends were used from then on.

Wax paper is also commonly used to attach pattern pieces to fabric while cutting it for sewing. One presses an iron over the wax paper briefly and attaches it to the cloth, making it easier to trace while cutting.

When children's playground slides were made of metal, it was common to sit on a piece of wax paper. This would not only lessen the heat, it would make the ride much faster.

Wax paper's particularly high dielectric strength makes it a practical electrical insulator, although modern materials have surpassed and mostly replaced it. Common applications are coil winding separators and capacitor dielectrics, and other applications requiring resilience against a potential difference up to the order of a few thousand volts per layer.

Turntablists (DJs) commonly place one or multiple sheets of wax paper under their records to increase record slip and aid in scratch (where the record is rotated in a number of different ways by a finger to create special sound effects) routines.

In photography, wax paper can be used as a light diffuser.

Environmental issues

There are multiple environmental issues concerned with wax paper. Though it is biodegradable in its unaltered form[ citation needed ], oft-applied additives such as petroleum rid it of that quality. Wax paper also cannot be recycled. [5]

See also

Related Research Articles

Paraffin wax chemical compound

Paraffin wax is a soft colourless solid, derived from petroleum, coal or shale oil, that consists of a mixture of hydrocarbon molecules containing between twenty and forty carbon atoms. It is solid at room temperature and begins to melt above approximately 37 °C (99 °F); its boiling point is >370 °C (698 °F). Common applications for paraffin wax include lubrication, electrical insulation, and candles; dyed paraffin wax can be made into crayons. It is distinct from kerosene and other petroleum products that are sometimes called paraffin.

Microwave oven kitchen appliance

A microwave oven is an electric oven that heats and cooks food by exposing it to electromagnetic radiation in the microwave frequency range. This induces polar molecules in the food to rotate and produce thermal energy in a process known as dielectric heating. Microwave ovens heat foods quickly and efficiently because excitation is fairly uniform in the outer 25–38 mm(1–1.5 inches) of a homogeneous, high water content food item.

Chewing gum soft, cohesive substance intended for chewing but not swallowing

Chewing gum is a soft, cohesive substance designed to be chewed without being swallowed. Modern chewing gum is composed of gum base, sweeteners, softeners/plasticizers, flavors, colors, and, typically, a hard or powdered polyol coating. Its texture is reminiscent of rubber because of the physical-chemical properties of its polymer, plasticizer, and resin components, which contribute to its elastic-plastic, sticky, chewy characteristics.

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.

Baked potato potato dish

A baked potato, or jacket potato, is a potato that has been baked for eating. When well cooked, a baked potato has a fluffy interior and a crisp skin. It may be served with fillings and condiments such as butter, cheese, sour cream, gravy or even ground meat. Potatoes can be baked in a conventional gas or electric oven, a convection oven, a microwave oven, on a barbecue grill, or on/in an open fire. Some restaurants use special ovens designed specifically to cook large numbers of potatoes, then keep them warm and ready for service.

Shrink wrap, also shrink film, is a material made up of polymer plastic film. When heat is applied, it shrinks tightly over whatever it is covering. Heat can be applied with a handheld heat gun, or the product and film can pass through a heat tunnel on a conveyor.

Parafilm

Parafilm is a semi-transparent, flexible film composed of a proprietary blend of waxes and polyolefins. Parafilm is a registered trademark of Bemis Company, Inc, headquartered in Neenah, WI. It is a ductile, malleable, non-toxic, tasteless & odorless self-sealing thermoplastic.

Dielectric heating

Dielectric heating, also known as electronic heating, radio frequency heating, and high-frequency heating, is the process in which a radio frequency (RF) alternating electric field, or radio wave or microwave electromagnetic radiation heats a dielectric material. At higher frequencies, this heating is caused by molecular dipole rotation within the dielectric.

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.

Earth oven

An earth oven, ground oven or cooking pit is one of the most simple and ancient cooking structures. At its most basic, an earth oven is a pit in the ground used to trap heat and bake, smoke, or steam food. Earth ovens have been used in many places and cultures in the past, and the presence of such cooking pits is a key sign of human settlement often sought by archaeologists. Earth ovens remain a common tool for cooking large quantities of food where no equipment is available. They have been used in various civilizations around the world and are still commonly found in the Pacific region to date.

Oyster pail

An oyster pail is a folded, waxed or plastic coated, paperboard container originally designed to hold oysters. It commonly comes with a handle made of solid wire. Currently, it is often in use by American Chinese cuisine restaurants primarily throughout the United States, to package hot or cold take-out food. It can also sometimes be found in other Western countries, such as Australia, New Zealand, Germany and England, but is rarely seen in China and other Asian countries with high numbers of ethnic Chinese.

Gum base is the non-nutritive, non-digestible, water-insoluble masticatory delivery system used to carry sweeteners, flavors, and any other substances in chewing gum and bubble gum. It provides all the basic textural and masticatory properties of gum.

En papillote

En papillote, or al cartoccio in Italian, is a method of cooking in which the food is put into a folded pouch or parcel and then baked. The parcel is typically made from folded parchment paper, but other material, such as a paper bag or aluminium foil, may be used. The parcel holds in moisture to steam the food. The pocket is created by overlapping circles of aluminum foil and parchment paper and then folding them tightly around the food to create a seal. A papillote should be opened at the table to allow people to smell the aroma when it opens.

Plastic bottle bottle constructed of plastic

A plastic bottle is a bottle constructed from high density plastic. Plastic bottles are typically used to store liquids such as water, soft drinks, motor oil, cooking oil, medicine, shampoo, milk, and ink. The size ranges from very small sample bottles to large carboys. Consumer blow molded containers often have integral handles or are shaped to facilitate grasping.

Red rosin paper

Red rosin paper is a 100% recycled heavy duty felt paper used in construction such as underlayment under flooring and siding. The name "rosin-sized sheathing paper", commonly used to describe the material, comes from the rosin used in the paper, the process of sizing it to add the rosin, and its use by builders. "Alum-rosin size was invented by Moritz Friedrich Illig in Germany in 1807..." and is known to have been used as a building paper by 1850.

Plastic-coated paper is a coated or laminated composite material made of paper or paperboard with a plastic layer or treatment on a surface. This type of coated paper is most used in the food and drink packaging industry.

References

  1. Jawad Shuaib (December 29, 2008). "9 Inventions Edison Did Not Make" . Retrieved 28 October 2011.
  2. Wikisource-logo.svg Homans, James E., ed. (1918). "Frasch, Herman"  . The Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: The Press Association Compilers, Inc.
  3. Reynolds company, frequently asked questions. Retrieved October 1, 2014
  4. "Waxed paper". www.tis-gdv.de. Retrieved 2017-05-17.
  5. Wills, Amanda. earth911.com/. Earth911 http://earth911.com/food/ask-the-editor-recycling-wax-paper/ . Retrieved 10 July 2016.Missing or empty |title= (help)