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Chlorinated paraffin (CP) is a complex chemical substance used in multiple applications across diverse industries. It is often used as a flame retardant and secondary plasticizer in rubber, paints, adhesives, caulks, sealants and plastics. Another use is as a coolant or lubricant in metal cutting or forming. Due to its versatile nature, it can be found in many products we use on an everyday basis.
Today, we’re sharing the six reasons why chlorinated paraffin has become the compound of choice for many companies. Keep reading to learn more about its physical and chemical properties, benefits, and primary applications.
1. Flame Resistance
Chlorinated paraffin offers a low-cost, flame-retardant solution for a wide range of applications. When exposed to high temperatures, CP releases a substantial amount of HCI. In its condensed phase, HCI contributes to the formation of char. In its vapor phase, it can function as a flame poison. Additionally, the decomposed CP forms a char-like residue, which also acts as a flame retardant.
Because of its flame-retardant properties, chlorinated paraffin is ideal for use in rubber, plastics, sealants, industrial coatings, adhesives, fabric or any application where fire resistance is essential. For example, many large manufacturers of upholstered furniture use CP as an additive flame retardant. This allows them to meet even the most stringent flammability requirements.
2. Low-temperature Flexibility
Chlorinated paraffin ensures greater flexibility at lower temperatures than conventional plasticizers. As a result, it is often added to products that require a high flexibility in colder weather, such as some types of flooring, wire and cable insulation, and garden hose. In the production of plastics, CP is added to increase the elasticity of materials like PVC.
3. Stain Resistance
Another reason why chlorinated paraffin may be selected is its improved stain resistance. This is an important consideration in applications where a certain aesthetic is desired, including flooring, wall coverings and upholstery. In comparison, sulfurized additives can stain metals and cause rancidity.
4. Resistance to Aqueous Detergent Extraction
Many manufacturers use water-based detergents/additives to clean their metal parts. While this cleaning process eliminates contaminants like grease and oil, it can also remove plasticizers that are required for an effective formulation. Chlorinated paraffin, however, releases hydrochloric acid at elevated temperatures, which then bonds with the metal surface and forms a thin yet solid film of lubricant.
5. Chemical Resistance
Chlorinated paraffin offers improved resistance to both water and chemicals. For this reason, it is often added to paints, sealants and coatings. It is especially effective in paints used for traffic markings and marine applications, such as coatings for industrial flooring, vessels, swimming pools, etc.
6. Plastisol Viscosity Stability
Chlorinated paraffin serves as a viscosity regulator for plastisols. This is especially critical in the manufacturing of PVC plastisol, which must maintain a stable viscosity for an extended period of time (during dip and rotational molding). For improved stability, we recommend using CPs with a chlorine content of 30%-40%.
If you need help choosing a processing aid or plasticizer for your application, our material experts can make a recommendation. Contact us today.