Hardwax Oil

Table of Contents
Introduction ............................................................................................................................................ 1 History of Wood Oils .............................................................................................................................. 2 How Hardwax Oil Works......................................................................................................................... 2 Benefits of Using Hardwax Oil ................................................................................................................ 3 Ingredients.............................................................................................................................................. 4 Preparation ............................................................................................................................................. 7 Application.............................................................................................................................................. 8 Maintenance .......................................................................................................................................... 8 References .............................................................................................................................................. 9

Introduction
Hardwax oil (or “hard wax oil”) is made from natural vegetable oils and waxes, and may contain bonding agents, drying agents, solvents, petroleum products, and other ingredients. See Ingredients below. Hardwax oil is used to protect and preserve wood and other surfaces. It’s suitable for most interior wooden surfaces, such as wood flooring, kitchen worktops, cupboards, skirting, spindles, doors and furniture, even children’s toys. When dry, it’s safe for humans, animals, and plants. Additionally, unsealed terracotta tiles and quarry tiles1 - as well as stone and concrete – are potential candidates because of their porous nature and wood-like qualities2 Make sure to check the specifications of the product you’ve chosen to find the right match for your requirements.

Because oils and wax oil systems are predominantly manufactured in Europe, these products must comply with stringent EU standards for VOC emissions, environment and sustainability.3 As environmental considerations become more and more important for the building industry – the standard really – the ingredients of any product, its packaging, and the fumes emitted during application have become critical elements for many in the industry. Typically, hardwax oils contain very little or no VOCs. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. This is a big group of chemicals that evaporate quickly and contain one or more C-atoms. 4 VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors. 5 Oil systems are highly certified for most situations, with certificates supporting such properties as antibacterial characteristics and commercial slip ratings. Manufacturers are often ISO rated and have strict requirements that require products to be harmless to humans, animals and the environment from manufacture through to their final application. Harmful substances, such as heavy metal driers and plant-derived Terpenes have been renounced by some companies due to

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potential health risks. Similarly there are manufacturers that extol the environmental virtues of low or zero VOC oils as a priority. 6

History of Wood Oils
Prior to the use of polyurethanes or plastic surface seals, oils were the traditional finish of choice for timber flooring. The preservation of wood has been practiced for almost as long as the use of wood itself. Records of wood preservation reach back to ancient Greece during the rule of Alexander the Great, when bridge wood was soaked in olive oil. The Romans protected their ship hulls by brushing the wood with tar. 7 A common wood preservative called tung oil is believed to have originated in ancient China and appear in the writings of Confucius from about 400 BC. Throughout history, the Chinese have used tung oil to waterproof the masts and sails of timber boats, to finish furniture of royal families and according to legend, to seal the Great Wall if China. When Marco Polo returned from China, he brought tales of “China wood oil”, but tung oil was not used in the west until the 1900s.8 During the Industrial Revolution wood preservation became a cornerstone of the wood processing industry. Inventors and scientists such as Bethell, Boucherie, Burnett and Kyan made historic developments in wood preservation, with the preservative solutions and processes. Commercial pressure treatment began in the latter half of the 19th century with the protection of railroad crossties using creosote. Treated wood was used primarily for industrial, agricultural, and utility applications, where it is still used, until its use grew considerably (at least in the United States) in the 1970s as homeowners began building decks and backyard projects. Innovation in treated timber products continues to this day, with consumers becoming more interested in less toxic materials.9 Since the protective properties of linseed oil were discovered in the late 1800s, people have been oiling timber floors and furniture (even cricket bats). To enhance the finish and further increase its durability, beeswax was often applied afterwards but due to its relative softness this gave little protection and did not last. 10 Before the growth of the consumer market in the 1960s and 1970s there was little confusion about finishes. There were fewer products available and most were bought and used by professionals who were fairly knowledgeable about them. Manufacturers helped by listing ingredients, something few do today.11 After the introduction of high solid oils, the next step was to combine oil and wax into one product to make the most of both product attributes. 12 The original hardwax oil, Osmo Polyx Oil was invented by the German company OSMO approximately 15 years ago according to Osmo sources, although one online source indicates 2004 based on the date of the article13

How Hardwax Oil Works
Hardwax oil works by fortifying wood fibers, rather than walling them off. 14 Layers of penetrating oil finish soak into the wood fibers, really getting in there and bonding with the wood. Buffing helps. As the oil cures and hardens in the top layer of wood fibers, it forms an integral part of the timber floor, creating a protective surface. This surface is not only part of the wood floor, but it creates a
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wear-resistant finish. Natural oils let the timber breathe and move as the environmental conditions change.15 A distinguishing feature of many oil systems is that – not only do they have a very high solid content – but they are manufactured using cold pressed vegetable oils and aromatic hardening oils. Solids are anything left on the floor after the coating has dried and cured 16 and are expressed as a percentage of weight. A coating with 90% solids will have only 10% of the product evaporating into the atmosphere. Simply, the higher the solids, the more coating will have been left on the floor after it dries, influencing the durability of the coating. 17

Benefits of Using Hardwax Oil
Hardwax oil finish penetrates deeply into the wood, enhancing the overall look and creating durability from within, while the wax remains on the surface to create a protective layer offering a resistant, lasting and readily reparable finish. Hardwax oil is extremely water repellent and does not watermark, will not crack, flake, peel or blister, like a traditional polyurethane finish. Hardwax oil is stain-resistant against wine, beer, cola, coffee, tea, fruit juices, and milk. Hardwax oil finishes penetrate into wood fibers and protect from within, instead of coating the floor with a film, as polyurethane does. Polyurethane and lacquer finishes don't bond chemically to previous layers, so touch-ups grip only where the surface has been thoroughly scuffed. The repair often shows, particularly with oil-based polyurethane, as color-matching can be difficult. But with hardwax oil, when the finish wears—as all floor finishes eventually do—spot-repair is easy enough that homeowners can keep the finish in good shape indefinitely. Lacquers and thick film finishes are film-building coatings that do not integrate with the wood but lay on its surface. This results in a closed film that protects the surface against weathering and other influences but does not allow for the natural shifting of wood. Swelling and shrinking in connection with moisture allow small cracks to develop, enabling moisture to penetrate. The film surface is not sufficient for releasing the moisture which can cause the wood to rot. Emerging vapor pressure loosens the color from the wood and can cause flaking. Re-sanding is not a concern when a floor is finished with hardwax oil. With proper maintenance cleaning, your floor will last a lifetime and will always maintain its genuine natural beauty. Even enhancing with time as the patina enriches itself with easy selfmaintenance. "Plastic" finished floors need to be re-sanded approximately every 7-10 years, although studies have indicated that high traffic areas may require re-finishing sooner. In high traffic applications, such as commercial and industrial floors, refreshing is recommended more often.

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Hardwax oils are environmentally friendly and contribute to a healthy living environment. Produced from natural materials, such as linseed oil and natural waxes made from purified and rapidly renewed natural resources, its open cell structure allows the floor to breathe, which has a regulatory effect on moisture ensuring a healthy room climate. The unique attributes of the finish allow the oils to penetrate deeply into the grain of the wood. This accentuates the natural characteristics, while the wax remains on the surface—maintaining a beautiful natural matte finish and creating a protective layer offering a resistant and lasting finish. Hardwax oils are easy to repair. In comparison to the commonly used polymerized or "plastic" finishes of today, such as ceramic and aluminum-oxide, hardwax oil is easily and readily repairable. This is true for spot repair or for the entire floor. In contrast, "plastic" finishes are not spot-repairable, in order to repair any damage to a "plastic" finished floor, it is necessary to completely sand down and refinish the floor, regardless of size. This means substantial expense and inconvenience. Hardwax oil can be buffed repeatedly to its original luster. And when a fresh coat of finish does need to be applied, it's a simple process. Polyurethane loses gloss with heavy wear, and no amount of buffing will restore the sheen to the same level that will show on the patch.

Ingredients
Hardwax oils are based on natural vegetable oils and waxes, but may contain other ingredients as well. Some common ingredients found in hardwax oil products are listed below. Oils Linseed Oil: Also known as flaxseed oil, linseed oil is a colorless to yellowish oil obtained from the dried ripe seeds of the flax plant (Linum usitatissimum, Linaceae). Linseed oil ensures a deep penetration of even the smallest wood pores thanks to a small molecule size and a long processing time. 18 Tung Oil: A drying oil obtained by pressing the seed from the nut of the tung tree(Vernicia fordii). As a drying oil, tung oil hardens (dries) upon exposure to air. The resulting coating is transparent and plastic-like, a property exploited in most of its applications, which include wood finishingand the composition of oil paints and printing inks. Related drying oils include linseed, safflower, poppy, and soybean.[2] The oil and its use are believed to have originated in ancient China and appear in the writings of Confucius from about 400 B.C. Sunflower Oil: 19 20 The non-volatile oil compressed from sunflower (Helianthus annuus) seeds. Sunflower oil is commonly used in food as a frying oil, and in cosmetic formulations as an emollient. Thistle Oil: a vegetable oil pressed from the seeds of Silybum marianum. A good potential
source of special fatty acids, carotenoids, tocopherols, phenol compounds and natural antioxidants.

Jojoba Oil: The liquid wax produced in the seed of the jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) plant, a shrub native to southern Arizona, southern California, and northwestern Mexico.

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Ricin Oil: Dehydrated castor-oil (also called miracle oil because of its laxative effects). Castor oil, or Ricinus Oil, is non-volatile fatty oil obtained from the seeds of the (poisonous) castor bean, Ricinus communis, of the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae). It is used in the production of synthetic resins, plastics, fibers, paints, varnishes, and various chemicals including drying oils and plasticizers. Castor oil is viscous, has a clear and colorless to amber or greenish appearance, a faint characteristic odor, and a bland but slightly acrid taste, with a usually nauseating aftertaste. Castor oil is obtained from castor beans either by pressing or by solvent extraction. It is often used in pharmaceuticals, the cosmetics industry, and paints.21 Safflower Oil: Safflower oil is obtained from the seeds of the plant. It does not yellow with age, making it useful in preparing varnish and paint. Most of the oil, however, is consumed in the form of soft margarines, salad oil, and cooking oil.22 Waxes Beeswax: A natural wax produced in the bee hive of honey bees of the genus Apis. It is mainly esters of fatty acids and various long chain alcohols. Typically, for a honey beekeeper, 10 pounds of honey yields 1 pound of wax. Carnauba Wax: Also called Brazil wax and palm wax, carnauba is a wax of the leaves of the palm Copernicia prunifera, a plant native to and grown only in the northeastern Brazilian states of Piauí,Ceará, and Rio Grande do Norte. It is known as "queen of waxes" and in its pure state, usually comes in the form of hard yellow-brown flakes. It is obtained from the leaves of the carnauba palm by collecting and drying them, beating them to loosen the wax, then refining and bleaching the wax. Candelilla Wax: A wax derived from the leaves of the small Candelilla shrub native to northern Mexico and the southwestern United States, Euphorbia cerifera and Euphorbia antisyphilitica, from the family Euphorbiaceae. It is yellowish-brown, hard, brittle, aromatic, and opaque to translucent. Isoparaffin: Alkanes (also known as paraffins or saturated hydrocarbons) are chemical compounds that consist only of hydrogen and carbon atoms and are bonded exclusively by single bonds (i.e., they are saturated compounds) without any cycles (or loops; i.e., cyclic structure). With the general chemical formula CnH2n+2, alkanes belong to a homologous series of organic compounds in which the members differ by a constant relative molecular mass of 14. They have two main commercial sources: crude oil and natural gas.23 Paraffins can be arranged either in straight chains (normal paraffins, such as butane) or branched chains (isoparaffins). Most of the paraffin compounds in naturally occurring crude oils are normal paraffins, while isoparaffins are frequently produced in refinery processes. The normal paraffins are uniquely poor as motor fuels, while isoparaffins have good enginecombustion characteristics. Longer-chain paraffins are the major constituents of waxes.24 Microcrystalline waxes: A type of wax produced by de-oiling petrolatum, as part of the petroleum refining process. In contrast to the more familiar paraffin wax which contains mostly unbranched alkanes, microcrystalline wax contains a higher percentage of isoparaffinic (branched) hydrocarbons and naphthenic hydrocarbons. It is characterized by the fineness of its crystals in contrast to the larger crystal structure of paraffin wax. It is generally darker, more viscous, denser, tackier and more elastic than paraffin waxes, and has a higher molecular weight and melting point. The elastic and adhesive characteristics of microcrystalline waxes are related to the non-straight chain components which they contain. It is commonly used in cosmetic formulas.25 Microcrystalline waxes can generally be put into two categories: "laminating" grades and

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"hardening" grades. The laminating grades typically have a melting point of 140-175 F and needle penetration of 25 or above. The hardening grades will range from about 175-200 F, and have a needle penetration of 25 or below. Color in both grades can range from brown to white, depending on the degree of processing done at the refinery level. 26 These waxes are derived from the refining of heavy distillates from lubricant oil production. This byproduct must then be de-oiled at a wax refinery. Depending on the end use and desired specification, the product may then have its odor and color removed (which typically starts as a brown or dark yellow). This is usually done by means of a filtration method or by hydro-treating the wax material. 27

Clays Collodial Clay: Clay consisting of very tiny particles often used in paints and coatings. For more information about the chemistry behind colloidal clay, refer to the Journal of Physical Chemistry. Kaolin: Hydrated natural aluminum silicate, also called “China Clay.” This is a powder that is also used in the making of pills and powders in the pharmaceutical industry. This soft white clay is an essential ingredient in the manufacturing of china and (hydrated natural aluminum silicate). This is a powder that is also used in the making of pills and powders in the pharmaceutical industry) also called china clay, this soft white clay is an essential ingredient in the manufacturing of china and porcelain and is widely used in the making of paper, rubber, paint, and many other products. 28 Drying Agents Cobalt Octoate: Cobalt is an extremely active and widely used drier in coatings. It can be used as a single drier. It is primarily an oxidation catalyst and acts as a "surface drier.” Cobalt is generally used in combination with other metals, such as manganese, zirconium, calcium, and combinations of these metals. As quantity of cobalt drier used is very small, it minimizes discoloration in paints & enamels as compared with other driers. Cobalt does not discolor white paints, because the deep blue color of the cobalt counteracts the yellow of the oils and resins, thereby enhancing the whiteness of the paint. The unique feature of cobalt is that it is least affected by atmospheric humidity. Cobalt is an effective accelerator for polyester.29 Zirconium Octoate Zinc Octoate Manganese Octoate: Manganese driers are intermediate in activity & they have both oxidizing & polymerizing properties. When manganese used alone it may produce too hard & too brittle films. When used in combination with Lead, hard tough & durable films are produced. One disadvantage in use of manganese driers is their relative dark color, which has a tendency to discolor white or light finishes. 30 For more information, check out Chemical Book. Solvents Information added here soon.

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Other Resins: Rosin Resin (Aquamarijn Waxol 100) Rosin, also called colophony or Greek pitch (Pix græca), is a solid form of resin obtained from pines and some other plants, mostly conifers, produced by heating fresh liquid resin to vaporize the volatile liquid terpene components. It is semi-transparent and varies in color from yellow to black. At room temperature rosin is brittle, but it melts at stove-top temperatures. It chiefly consists of different resin acids, especially abietic acid. The term "colophony" comes from colophonia resina or "resin from the pine trees of Colophon," an ancient Ionic city. Natural Resin Ester: Commonly known as “ester.” Ester is any of a class of organic compounds that react with water to produce alcohols and organic or inorganic acids. Esters that are derived from carboxylic acids are the most common. Liquid esters of low volatility serve as softening agents for resins and plastics. Silicic acid: A general name for a family of chemical compounds containing the element silicon attached to oxide and hydroxyl groups. It is a weak acid, that occurs in a rich variety of forms, among which are silicates, often used in paints (silicate-paints) Smithsonite, or zinc spar, is zinc carbonate (ZnCO3), a mineral ore of zinc. Formaldehyde, alkanes, alkenes and alkynes; benzene toluene and xylene

Preparation
Specific preparation details depend on the specific product you choose, but here are some general guidelines. 1. Sand wood surfaces with a smooth sandpaper (grit number depends on product, so make sure to check product specifications) and sand off other coatings31 Most previously oiled surfaces can be over-coated, without sanding. 32 If you’re using Ciranova products, we recommend no higher grit than 100 or 120. If you need to sand it to the higher grit for any reason, you should reopen the grain with 100 or 120 grit paper to assure that the oils and waxes impregnate themselves sufficiently into the grain of wood.33 2. Remove any dust. A vacuum cleaner works great. 3. Clean the surface with a product that the manufacturer recommends. 4. Use a high quality paint brush, floor applicator, roller, or a good quality cloth. Select the method best-suited to the job. 34 5. Make sure the product is at the right temperature and humidity level for the product you are using. Check the specifications if in doubt. 6. Do a small trial application. If you are coloring a previously oiled surface, a trial application is essential.35 7. Before using, shake and stir the hardwax oil product well.

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Application
Depending on the product and surface, hardwax oil systems typically require two or more coats, depending on coverage specifications. The most important thing, of course, is to understand which system and product is right for your situation. When polishing the surface, it is important to thoroughly remove or buff in all excess oil in with a white pad, as excessive oil may lead to glossy, sticky spots.36 Hardwax oil should permeate completely into the wood and must not form a layer on the wood. After allowing for adequate drying time, polish with a clean, lint-free cloth. Drying Time and Factors Affecting It Drying time depends on the product, the quantity applied, and the temperature and ventilation of the room. 37 Higher temperature and good ventilation expedites drying time,38 however – if you want the best results – make sure the temperature is within the range suggested by the specific product. Some products report drying times of 4 hours39, while others can be 6 40 or even 8 41 and 8-12 hours. Safety Precautions Used cloths or pads should be plunged in water because of the danger of spontaneous combustion.42

Maintenance
Of course, preparation will depend on the specific product, but here is some general information regarding maintenance. Oils do not require the major project of re-sanding, just ongoing, regular reapplication to keep a timber floor in good condition.43 Maintaining the floor through the process of reapplication will partly retain its essence thereby making it quite easy to maintain.44 Oil and wax oil45 finishes usually require marginally more maintenance but when properly maintained, can last longer and can be easily re-coated and “spot repaired” 46 if necessary, instead of the need to be fully sand and refinish a damaged or spot-worn floor.47 After applying hardwax oil to floors, avoid walking on it for about 24 hours. This waiting time will allow the finish to properly dry. Additionally, avoid using water to clean the floor for the first month after application (sweeping and vacuuming are fine). 48 Wash the floor regularly with wood soap diluted with warm water. A typical soap may contain soy, coconut fats and lanolin, which feed the timber leaving an invisible film on the surface of the floor for added protection. Periodically, maintenance oil should be buffed into the surface to rejuvenate the floor finish.49 Looking after floors which have been finished with hard oils and waxes is the same as for any other floor: keep the amount of grit and dirt to a minimum, use dirt trapping mats at all entrances, apply protective pads to furniture, avoid high heels, consider using rugs in high traffic areas and avoid wetting the floor excessively. 50 Wipe away any liquid spills as soon as possible- do not allow them to

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dry on the surface.51 Hardwax oils require little or no buffing. They are also suitable for floor machines with soft pads. 52

References
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http://www.articlesbase.com/diy-articles/have-a-hardwood-floor-you-can-be-proud-of-with-hardwax-oil-1797455.html
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http://www.unearthedpaints.com/products/hard-wax-oil http://www.atfa.com.au/pdfs/tf/Timber_floors_19.pdf

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