Chlorinated Paraffins Explored: Varied Industrial Uses

While strict regulations have been overseeing the applications of chlorinated paraffins in recent years, the industry anticipates significant growth. Explore various industrial applications driving the chlorinated paraffin market's expansion.

September 20, 2022

Chlorinated paraffins are complicated chemical substances with various applications in different industries. In some businesses, it is used as a flame retardant, whereas in others, it is used as a secondary plasticiser in rubber, adhesives, caulks, paints, sealants, and plastics.

In factories where metal cutting and forming are done regularly, this substance is used as a coolant or lubricant.

This product is manufactured through the chlorination of straight-chain paraffin fractions that can be further classified into three categories based on their carbon chain length.

1. Short-chain C10-13

2. Mid-chain C14-17

3. Long-chain C18-30


Among the three types of chlorinated paraffins, the ones in the mid-chain are primarily produced in bulk quantities, followed by a long chain, and the rest the short-chain chlorinated paraffins.

The properties of each paraffin vary depending on the length of the carbon chain and the level of chlorination. This substance is insoluble in water with low vapour pressure and is essentially inert.

Mostly it is available in liquid form (with 30 to 70% chlorine) that can range from comparatively low to extremely high viscosity.

Manufacturing of this substance

The main ingredients required to produce Chlorinated paraffins are paraffin wax, and Chlorine

Initially, the paraffin wax is melted and then charged into a glass-lined chlorinator covered for steam heating. After this, from the bottom, dry chlorine gas is released into the melted wax at a temperature of 100oC for eighteen to twenty hours.

A packed absorption column is kept where water is kept to absorb the free hydrochloric acid so that the final chlorinated product can be blended with specific additives, filtered, cooled, and packaged in drums.

It is usually seen that approximately 300kt of chlorinated paraffins is produced worldwide in a year.

Its toxicity

In many studies, it has been seen that Chlorinated paraffins have very low acute toxicity if exposed to a single dose in the short term. And if prolonged intake of this substance in small quantities continues over a long time, then it can be hazardous.

Normally, you can encounter any unforeseen harm from this substance if you have ingested, inhaled or your skin comes in contact with this chemical.

Usually, in industries, if your skin is exposed to this substance, then slight irritation on your dermal surface and eyes can occur if your skin is exposed to this substance. But that is nothing serious as there is no proven record of it being highly dangerous.

Fact that it is of low vapour pressure, inhaling this chemical is also not a matter to worry about.

Moreover, it does not have any carcinogenic effect, so you can be relieved even if exposed to this substance in the factory. But always stay alert and check if the workplace has sufficient ventilation. After all, your health is an asset to you, and your need to make efforts to protect it from all potential hazards.

Areas where this substance is widely used

You might have been apprehensive about using PVC flooring and cables before because of their explosive property. But fret not, as chlorinated paraffins are piled in these products to make them flame retardant. 

It is used as a plasticiser in flexible PVC, paints, sealants, and adhesives to make it more functional due to its inertness property. 

Many rubbers and polymer systems have this substance mixed to make them less toxic than traditional additives like phosphate and bromine.

Machining and engineering operations vouch for this product because it is one of the most effective additives for lubricants used in these processes.

Hence, from the above information price, it is learned  about chlorinated paraffins and their various uses. If you are engaged in a business requiring this substance, you should communicate with a reliable supplier.

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