If you’re a fan of warm, beautiful lights while eating, it’s no doubt you would have come across candle wax. Dining with your loved ones can be more fun with a couple of candles to liven up the atmosphere.
However, to be pretty sure you’re not turning your so-called family dinner into a fire explosion scene, stick around to discover whether the wax is flammable.
Is Wax Flammable?
Wax is an extremely flammable solid. Wax or candle wax can catch fire readily even at low temperatures of about 392°F. And unlike some flammable substances, wax doesn’t catch fire randomly.
Candle wax will only ignite under certain conditions. First, the wax changes from the solid state to the gaseous or vapor state. This occurs when the wax is subjected to high heat. Moreso, oxygen or air must be present for the wax to catch and sustain a fire.
The flash point temperature for wax usually falls within 392°F and 480°F range. Also, note that there are different candle wax. But paraffin is the most popular form of candle wax.
Is Paraffin Wax Flammable?
Paraffin wax, also known as wax, is a highly flammable solid used in candles, tea lights, tapers, etc. So, you need to be very cautious while handling wax to avoid the trouble of a fire explosion.
Can Candle Wax Start Fire?
Sure, candle wax can start a fire. The combustible substance in candles is its paraffin wax. Paraffin wax can also support a fire. Such that when the wick of candles is lit up by matches, the wax becomes boiling.
As the burning wick reduces, it melts the candle gradually. So once the wick is burnt down, the hot residue wax can attract fire if brought near some combustible materials.
However, if you’re big on how to start a fire afresh with candle wax, then you need some sets of helper materials. These materials will help with the kindling of the fire. An empty carton, some dry wood shavings, and a few candle wax chips, when lit up, can start a fire.
Is Beeswax Flammable?
Yes, Beeswax is flammable. Beeswax is a special wax that has an inviting aroma. However, beeswax is highly flammable and catches flames easily. Hence, burning Beeswax can cause an abrupt fire if care is not taken.
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At What Temperature Does Wax Catch Fire?
Even though paraffin wax is so flammable, still it doesn’t have a particular flashpoint (the temperature at which it catches fire). This is because wax comes in two distinct forms; pure paraffin wax and hardened wax.
Thus, the popular flash point temperature of the wax, which is 392°F is set just to serve as a guide to wax’s flammability capability. Typically, pure wax and mixed wax have different flashpoint temperatures.
Depending on the melting point, a pure wax should ignite around 390.2°F or about 199°C. Owing to hardeners or additives in mixed wax, its flash point is higher than that of pure wax.
Hardeners reinforce the paraffin and make it difficult for the molecular bonds to break down. Hence, paraffin wax with hardeners catches flame at 480.2°F or 292°C.
Can Wax Burn?
Sure, wax can burn. Almost all candles are made from paraffin wax. And paraffin wax is highly combustible in its vaporized state. Owing to this, OSHA qualifies wax as combustible rather than flammable.
That said, candle wax will burn steadily at any temperature above 100°F. Candle wax comprises two gases, hydrogen, and carbon. Thus, a burning wax combines with oxygen to give light, heat, water, and carbon dioxide, respectively.
Can Wax Explode?
If the wax is exposed to temperatures below its flash point, then it is safe. However, once wax faces extreme heat greater than that of its ignition point, it can catch fire. This usually happens when you burn candles for a longer period.
If any material that absorbs heat readily like glass is present, the wax can explode. And just as you know, an explosion comes with a lot of damage.
How To Extinguish A Wax Fire.
The best way to put out a wax fire is by using a candle snuffer. A candle snuffer is a special device designed to extinguish a wax fire without flinging hot wax around. This device operates by blocking the oxygen supply to the wax, extinguishing its fire rapidly.
Also, one thing you should never do is quench a wax fire with water. The fire caused by wax is not just any kind of fire. If you sprinkle water on it, the hot wax can spread out everywhere. And along the process, if the hot wax fell on your skin, you might sustain a burn.
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What Happens To The Wax When You Burn A Candle?
There’s a little mystery behind the burning of a candle. Most people believe that when a candle burns and the wick goes down, the wax also burns with it. But this is not so true because the wax will never burn in the actual sense.
Here’s what usually happens when you burn a candle. First, the wick at the center burns and reduces. Next, the wax becomes hot and melts into vapor. Then, the vapor burns. So, it is the vapor that undergoes a burning process and not the wax.
The melting wax will always keep its solid form. Gradually, it will clog up around the base of the candle. And within some minutes, in the presence of air, it becomes solid again.
However, one thing you should note is that a melted wax that re-solidifies can never be equivalent and weight to the original candle. Why? It’s simple. Some wax has transformed into wax fumes and evaporated.
In a nutshell, wax is a flammable substance. Thus, ensure you don’t mess around with your lit candles.
However, you can invite a fire hazard if you place your lit candle in the wrong position where it can easily fall and burn materials. Note that a lit candle remains a source of the naked blaze. So you should be careful around them. Visit here to learn more about how to control wax fire.