Carnauba Wax is obtained from the leaves of a palm tree known as Copernica Cerifera, which is also referred to as the "Tree of Life". This slow-growing Carnauba palm flourishes in the northeastern regions of Brazil, reaching an average height of 25-35 feet. It proliferates along river banks, streams and damp lowlands.
The tree exudes a wax through the petioles of its fan-shaped leaves, preventing dehydration from the equatorial climate.
The cutting of the leaves and sprouts takes place during the dry months of September through February. Workers use knives on long poles to trim the leaves from mature trees. The cut leaves are sun-dried and mechanically thrashed to remove the crude wax. This crude wax, in its powder form, is transported from the countryside and sold to shippers for export.
With a maximum cutting of twenty leaves per year from a tree, the average yield of wax for each tree is about one kilo per cutting. The majority of tree harvesting takes place in the Brazilian States of Ceara and Piaui. The color and quality of the wax are governed by the age of the leaves and care used in processing of this hard, brittle, lustrous wax.
Carnauba Car Wax vs. Paint Sealants: A Comparison Guide
Carnauba car wax is a product made from the leaves of the carnauba tree, and is ideal for use on your car. It is one of the top choices to make when protecting the paint on your vehicle from the effects of bad weather. You may be torn between the carnauba wax and an alternative, such as synthetic paint sealant, and unsure which is best at keeping the finish on your car looking great. If you are not sure which one of these you should choose between, then there are some clear differences which can help.
The type of car wax produced using the Brazilian tree is often preferred by those who collect cars, or who have expensive cars. So using this on your own vehicle will make it stand out as much as a rare or classic car. It produces an excellent shine which synthetic sealants will never be able to match, and produces the warm, deep halo of wax over your paint which will make it seem to glow. The wax is also 'breathable', which will help to keep the paint, and the car beneath it, in good condition. The wax will also repeal contaminants and water from the surface of the car, keeping the vehicle safe from heat and wet, rust caused by exposure to moisture, and damage done by acids in rain.
On the downside, there are many different standards of carnauba wax, and most of the ones available to the general public have a high percentage of additives. This is for two reasons: First, the carnauba wax is solid and brittle, so it needs to be mixed with oils to give it more flexibility; and Second, it makes the carnauba easier to put onto the car, which can save you money. Even the most costly carnauba wax, which declares itself '100 percent carnauba', is actually only around 30 percent natural produce of the carnauba tree. This makes a significant impact on the quality of the wax. Additionally, the wax is not permanent, and will be easily damaged by hot weather, so you may find you have to re-wax the car every 2 months.
Synthetic paint sealants are much tougher than the best carnauba wax, and are also available as easy-spray car wax products, so you can just spray the sealant over the car, and leave to dry. They will give the car a good shine, and will also last for between 4 and 6 months, which will save you money on resprays. This easy to apply, durable sealant is the choice of many who want to preserve the paint and don't mind about the finish.
On the downside, there is no resemblance between the hard, plastic look of a paint sealant, and the warm and natural shine of the carnuaba wax. While some people like the glassy stare of the sealant, most car enthusiasts prefer the beauty of the carnauba. Choosing between them will therefore depend upon whether you value functionality above appearance.
Carnauba Wax vs. Sealant
Waxing is the most important thing you can do to protect and maintain your car’s paint. The sun is your car’s worst enemy, followed by your good old grime and pollution. To combat this serious car buffs religiously follow a regimen that includes washing, claying, polishing, and waxing.
There are only two forms of protection: carnauba waxes and paint sealants. Car Waxes are the traditional, natural, time-tested form of protection for cars. Paint sealants are newer to the scene—chemically formulated to attempt the same task as a car wax.
What’s the difference? Carnauba car wax produces an enviable deep, wet healthy shine that you can’t attain with a sealant. Think about who tends to win at Pebble Beach. It’s Zymol, not Occidental Amalgamated Synthetic Diamond Rock Formulation 666!
Some people believe that waxes are harder to work with. If you follow our instructions, you will find that simply isn’t true at all! Waxes also last longer on a garaged vehicle, as opposed to one that stays outside.
Paint sealants are formulated to imitate the level of depth and wetness that a good car wax produces. Today’s top paint sealants last six to eight months! If you demand the best look, go with a high quality pure Carnauba wax, like Zymol Concours. Concours was designed for the Zymol owners’ own cars!
If you’re after long-lasting protection that comes close to a Carnauba wax finish, go with one of the latest paint sealants, like Deep Swax. Deep Swax is good for the owner who has less time to devote to his or her vehicle, but still wants protection from the elements.
Cheating can be fun!
Here’s a strategy for those who want the best of both worlds. We have a workhorse bright red BMW 325is that makes warehouse and shipping runs, along with hauling goods to car shows. This well-used but regularly maintained vehicle unfortunately has to stay outside. You can feed your paintwork with Zymol and top off with Deep Detail spray. I wax it to feed the paintwork (with Zymol Destiny last time), top off with Deep Detail and receive regular compliments!
Nobody yet has produced any synthetic product that produces the depth of “wet look” shine of a fine carnauba line like Zymol waxes and glazes. Nor do we expect this feat of chemistry anytime soon. Synthetic products can still offer valuable protection, however. The main point is to not ever go without protection. Your car is the second most expensive asset you will ever own!
Effect of UV exposure on polypropylene rope
Common synthetic polymers which may be attacked include polypropylene and LDPE where tertiary carbon bonds in their chain structures are the centres of attack. The ultra-violet rays activate such bonds to form free radicals, which then react further with oxygen in the atmosphere, producing carbonyl groups in the main chain. The exposed surfaces of products may then discolour and crack, although in bad cases, complete product disintegration can occur.
In fibre products like rope used in outdoor applications, product life will be low because the outer fibres will be attacked first, and will easily be damaged by abrasion for example. Discolouration of the rope may also occur, thus giving an early warning of the problem.
Polymers which possess UV-absorbing groups such as aromatic rings may also be sensitive to UV degradation. Aramid fibres like Kevlar for example are highly UV sensitive and must be protected from the deleterious effects of sunlight.
IR spectrum showing carbonyl absorption due to UV degradation of polyethylene
The problem can be detected before serious cracks are seen in a product using infra-red spectroscopy, where attack occurs by oxidation of bonds activated by the UV radiation forming carbonyl groups in the polymer chains.
In the example shown at left, carbonyl groups were easily detected by IR spectroscopy from a cast thin film. The product was a road cone made by rotational moulding in LDPE, which had cracked prematurely in service. Many similar cones also failed because an anti-UV additive had not been used during processing. Other plastic products which failed included polypropylene mancabs used at roadworks which cracked after service of only a few months.
Polymer degradation is a change in the properties—tensile strength, colour, shape, etc.—of a polymer or polymer-based product under the influence of one or more environmental factors such as heat, light or chemicals such as acids, alkalis and some salts. These changes are usually undesirable, such as cracking and chemical disintegration of products or, more rarely, desirable, as in biodegradation, or deliberately lowering the molecular weight of a polymer for recycling. The changes in properties are often termed "aging".
In a finished product such a change is to be prevented or delayed. Degradation can be useful for recycling /reusing the polymer waste to prevent or reduce environmental pollution. Degradation can also be induced deliberately to assist structure determination.
Polymeric molecules are very large (on the molecular scale), and their unique and useful properties are mainly a result of their size. Any loss in chain length lowers tensile strength and is a primary cause of premature cracking.
Today there are primarily seven commodity polymers in use: polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene terephthalate or PET, polystyrene, polycarbonate, and poly(methyl methacrylate) (Plexiglass). These make up nearly 98% of all polymers and plastics encountered in daily life. Each of these polymers has its own characteristic modes of degradation and resistances to heat, light and chemicals. Polyethylene, polypropylene, and poly (methyl methacrylate) are sensitive to oxidation and UV radiation, while PVC may discolour at high temperatures due to loss of hydrogen chloride gas, and become very brittle. PET is sensitive to hydrolysis and attack by strong acids, while polycarbonate depolymerizes rapidly when exposed to strong alkalis.
For example, polyethylene usually degrades by random scission - that is by a random breakage of the linkages (bonds) that hold the atoms of the polymer together. When this polymer is heated above 450 Celsius it becomes a complex mixture of molecules of various sizes that resemble gasoline. Other polymers - like polyalphamethylstyrene - undergo 'unspecific' chain scission with breakage occurring only at the ends; they literally unzip or depolymerize to become the constituent monomers.
Main article: UV degradation
Most polymers can be degraded by photolysis to give lower molecular weight molecules. Electromagnetic waves with the energy of visible light or higher, such as ultraviolet light, X-rays and gamma rays are usually involved in such reactions.
Chain-growth polymers like poly(methyl methacrylate) can be degraded by thermolysis at high temperatures to give monomers, oils, gases and water. The degradation takes place by:
Around 200 bars
Carbon monoxide, Carbon dioxide and hydrogen
Step-growth polymers like polyesters, polyamides and polycarbonates can be degraded by solvolysis and mainly hydrolysis to give lower molecular weight molecules. The hydrolysis takes place in the presence of water containing an acid or a base as catalyst. Polyamide is sensitive to degradation by acids and polyamide mouldings will crack when attacked by strong acids. For example, the fracture surface of a fuel connector showed the progressive growth of the crack from acid attack (Ch) to the final cusp (C) of polymer. The problem is known as stress corrosion cracking, and in this case was caused by hydrolysis of the polymer. It was the reverse reaction of the synthesis of the polymer:
Main article: Ozonolysis
Ozone cracking in Natural rubber tubing
Cracks can be formed in many different elastomers by ozone attack. Tiny traces of the gas in the air will attack double bonds in rubber chains, with Natural rubber, polybutadiene,Styrene-butadiene rubber and NBR being most sensitive to degradation. Ozone cracks form in products under tension, but the critical strain is very small. The cracks are always oriented at right angles to the strain axis, so will form around the circumference in a rubber tube bent over. Such cracks are dangerous when they occur in fuel pipes because the cracks will grow from the outside exposed surfaces into the bore of the pipe, and fuel leakage and fire may follow. The problem of ozone cracking can be prevented by adding anti-ozonants to the rubber before vulcanization. Ozone cracks were commonly seen in automobile tire sidewalls, but are now seen rarely thanks to these additives. On the other hand, the problem does recur in unprotected products such as rubber tubing and seals.
IR spectrum showing carbonyl absorption due to oxidative degradation of polypropylene crutch moulding
Polymers are susceptible to attack by atmospheric oxygen, especially at elevated temperatures encountered during processing to shape. Many process methods such as extrusion and injection moulding involve pumping molten polymer into tools, and the high temperatures needed for melting may result in oxidation unless precautions are taken. For example, a forearm crutch suddenly snapped and the user was severely injured in the resulting fall. The crutch had fractured across a polypropylene insert within the aluminium tube of the device, and infra-red spectroscopy of the material showed that it had oxidised, possible as a result of poor moulding.
Oxidation is usually relatively easy to detect owing to the strong absorption by the carbonyl group in the spectrum of polyolefins. Polypropylene has a relatively simple spectrum with few peaks at the carbonyl position (like polyethylene). Oxidation tends to start at tertiary carbon atoms because the free radicals formed here are more stable and longer lasting, making them more susceptible to attack by oxygen. The carbonyl group can be further oxidised to break the chain, this weakens the material by lowering its molecular weight, and cracks start to grow in the regions affected.
Polymer degradation by galvanic action was first[described in the technical literature in 1990. This was the discovery that "plastics can corrode", i.e. polymer degradation may occur through galvanic action similar to that of metals under certain conditions. Normally, when two dissimilar metals such as copper (Cu) and iron (Fe) are put into contact and then immersed in salt water, the iron will undergo corrosion, or rust. This is called a galvanic circuit where the copper is the noble metal and the iron is the active metal, i.e., the copper is the cathode or positive (+) electrode and the iron is the anode, or negative (-) electrode. A battery is formed. It follows that plastics are made stronger by impregnating them with thin carbon fibers only a few micrometers in diameter known as carbon fiber reinforced polymers (CFRP). This is to produce materials that are high strength and resistant to high temperatures. The carbon fibers act as a noble metal similar to gold (Au) or platinum (Pt). When put into contact with a more active metal, for example with aluminum (Al) in salt water the aluminum corrodes. However in early 1990, it was reported that imide-linked resins in CFRP composites degrade when bare composite is coupled with an active metal in salt water environments. This is because corrosion not only occurs at the aluminum anode, but also at the carbon fiber cathode in the form of a very strong base with a pH of about 13. This strong base reacts with the polymer chain structure degrading the polymer. Polymers affected include bismaleimides (BMI), condensation polyimides, triazines, and blends thereof. Degradation occurs in the form of dissolved resin and loose fibers. The hydroxyl ions generated at the graphite cathode attack the O-C-N bond in the polyimide structure. Standard corrosion protection procedures were found to prevent polymer degradation under most conditions.
chlorine attack of acetal resin plumbing joint
Another highly reactive gas is chlorine, which will attack susceptible polymers such as acetal resin and polybutylene pipework. There have been many examples of such pipes and acetal fittings failing in properties in the US as a result of chlorine-induced cracking. In essence, the gas attacks sensitive parts of the chain molecules (especially secondary, tertiary, or allylic carbon atoms), oxidizing the chains and ultimately causing chain cleavage. The root cause is traces of chlorine in the water supply, added for its anti-bacterial action, attack occurring even at parts per million traces of the dissolved gas. The chlorine attacks weak parts of a product, and in the case of an acetal resin junction in a water supply system, it is the thread roots that were attacked first, causing a brittle crack to grow. Discolouration on the fracture surface was caused by deposition of carbonates from the hard water supply, so the joint had been in a critical state for many months. The problems in the US also occurred to polybutylene pipework, and led to the material being removed from that market, although it is still used elsewhere in the world.
Biodegradable plastics can be biologically degraded by microorganisms to give lower molecular weight molecules. To degrade properly biodegradable polymers need to be treated like compost and not just left in a landfill site where degradation is very difficult due to the lack of oxygen and moisture.
Hindered amine light stabilisers (HALS) stabilise against weathering by scavenging free radicals that are produced by photo-oxidation of the polymer matrix. UV-absorbers stabilises against weathering by absorbing ultraviolet light and converting it into heat. Antioxidants stabilize the polymer by terminating the chain reaction due to the absorption of UV light from sunlight. The chain reaction initiated by photo-oxidation leads to cessation of crosslinking of the polymers and degradation the property of polymers.
Making a positive impact on our planet
Why Dr Fockerz:
We recycle as a company
We use ingredients that are safe Plastic
More than 2.4 billion pounds of plastic bottles were recycled in 2011. Although the amount of plastic bottles recycled in the U.S. has grown every year since 1990, the actual recycling rate remains steady at around 27 percent.
Plastics in the U.S. are made primarily (70 percent) from domestic natural gas.
Cardboard boxes should be flattened and left next to a blue recycling container in the office, for collection by the custodians.
Collect your boxes and are encouraged to flatten them and take to a cardboard collection station.
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