Packaging & Corrugated Products

Waxes for Packaging and Corrugated Board

Select paraffins and paraffin blends are used to impart properties such as moisture and grease barriers, gloss, and freshness seals.

Waxes are added to everyday paper products.  Food packaging ranging from hamburger wrappers to frozen food packaging are waxed.  Select paraffins and paraffin blends are used to impart properties such as moisture and grease barriers, gloss, and freshness seals.

IGI will be pleased to discuss with you the use of waxes in your specific packaging application.  Please contact us and we will review with you available products.

Paper and Paperboard Packaging

In all packaging applications, the package must contain and protect its products or contents. Depending on the product, these two major functions can take on a wide range of meanings. For example, paper and paperboard can be of greater value in their ability to contribute strength and stiffness or rigidity to a container. Plastics, glass and metals may also offer strength and stiffness, but paper is more resilient than glass and can be more resilient than plastic over a wider temperature range. Paper and paperboard can also be lighter and far more easily printed on than the other materials.

The only difficulty you run into with paper and paperboard is their inherently poor barrier properties. In most cases, paper and paperboard must be coated with waxes or plastics, or laminated to plastic films or foil to develop barrier capabilities to water, vapor, gases or odors.

Numerous converting operations are used to apply waxes to paper and paperboard.  Product can be applied in roll or sheeted form via mayer rod, roll coater, cascader or curtain coater, to name a few.  The application type is dictated by the end use markets the products will serve, strength and repellency requires fiber treatment while moisture vapor barrier requires a uniform surface treatment.   IGI specifically designs products to meet the end use needs, and the characteristics of the coater employed, to ensure the highest level of performance.  IGI recognizes that our performance specifications cannot be looked at in isolation; does the coated paper need to be printed, glued, does it require a specific slide angle to facilitate handling. Matching the product to the equipment, to the converter’s needs, to the customer’s needs; this is where IGI excels.

Petroleum Wax Usage in the Packaging Industry

As previously mentioned paper and paperboard must be coated with waxes or plastics, or laminated to plastic films or foil in order to develop barrier capabilities to water, vapor, gases or odors. The four major industry segments in which petroleum wax and/or wax blends are used are as follows:

  1. Folding Cartons
  2. Corrugated Containers
  3. Flexible Packaging
  4. Paper Cups and Food Containers

Custom Wax Blends for Your Specific Needs

IGI can take the specific needs of a customer, balancing the above properties to develop a custom blend for their process. Please take a moment to contact IGI so we may review your specific application.

Wax Advantages for the Packaging Industry

Water Resistance & Water Vapor Resistance

Water and water vapor resistance is the most important property associated with paraffin wax in conjunction with paper.

Gas and Odor Barrier

In addition to good protection against moisture vapor, paraffin wax is a good barrier against odor and gas transmission. It is this property which protects products against loss of flavor and odor and from contamination by foreign odor.


Petroleum based waxes are very economical water-resistant materials and their low viscosity requires relatively minimal machinery cost for application at high speeds.


Many grades of petroleum based wax are food grade, tasteless and odorless.

Blended Wax and Physical Modification for Paper and Corrugated Packaging

In addition to the core advantages of barrier resistance, economy and purity, petroleum wax can be blended with other waxes and additives and even physically modified via mechanical means to impart the following important properties to paper packaging:

  • Heat Sealability
  • Hot Tack
  • Gloss and Gloss Stability
  • Blocking
  • Friction
  • Scuff Resistance
  • Grease Resistance

Talk to an IGI Wax Expert

Call 1-800-561-3509