US 3026572 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
INVENTOR. fianfizih G. ffet cl.
March 27, 1962 F. G. REICK CANDLE MOLDING Filed Oct. 29, 1956 3 ,26,572 Patented Mar. 27, '1 962 free 3,026,572 CANDLE MOLDENG Franklin G. Reich, .larnesville, N.Y., assignor to Diversified Technology, Inc, Syracuse, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Oct. 29, 1956, Ser. No. 618,833
4 Claims. (Cl. 18--58) This invention relates to a method for making candles, and more particularly to a method for rapidly molding beeswax candles.
Heretofore the molding of beeswax candles has been difiicult due to the tendency of beeswax to stick tenaciously to mold surfaces. Its tenacious sticking tendency combined with its high shrinkage rate results in porosity and the forming of axial and conical end cavities. For these reasons recourse to the present has been had to the ancient methods of dipping or pouring over a string, except casting when restricted to small metal molds.
The dip method requires many dippings into a wax bath followed by cooling, until a candle of the desired diameter is obtained. The Wick pouring method consists of pouring hot molten Wax over a wick followed by cooling, successive pours being required to build up the candle to desired size. Finishing operations such as rolling on a marble slab are used to impart a uniform surface finish to the candle. This procedure is widely used in the manufacture of large beeswax candles. Another method consists of rolling up a sheet of beeswex around a wick to build up a candle of desired size. Occasionally small candles are cast in metal molds similar to those used for making paraffin candles. However, this method is limited to small candles due to the tendency to stick referred to.
The disadvantages of the above methods are widely known to those experienced in the art. The methods are slow, costly, require a great deal of hand labor, are inefficient and do not lend themselves to mechanized production. The high temperatures necessary for proper adhesion of wax between pours or dippings leads to the gradual oxidation of the molten Wax supply rendering it eventually unfit for high quality candles.
The present invention is directed to a method for molding beeswax candles and similar moldable items rapidly in inexpensive molds by constructing molds having micro-porous walls throughout their main body, capable of retaining water or a wetting aid innocous to candle performance. The pores of the micro-porous walls are such as to act as a reservoir within the mold wall to replenish water evaporated from the mold surface, thereby keeping the internal surface of the mold uniformly wet with a thin film of water. Liquid wax, hydrophobic in nature, will not adhere to the mold surface as long as the surface is wetted with a thin film of a hydrophilic liquid such as water. The hot liquid wax evaporates part of the water film to thereby form a cushion of water vapor between the wax and the mold surface so the wax and mold never come into intimate contact. The water film or wetting agent acts as a lubricant to permit the easy removal of the solidified wax from the mold.
The molds used in the invention may comprise phenolic resin impregnated cotton textile.
The above and other novel features of the invention will appear more fully hereinafter from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. It is expressly understood that the drawings are employed for purposes of illustration only and are not designed as a definition of the limits of the invention, reference being had for this purpose to the appended claims.
In the drawings, wherein like reference characters indicate like parts:
FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary sctional view illustrating the forming of the mold on a mandrel.
FIGURES 2, 3 and 4 illustrate successive steps in the use of the mold in the molding of a candle.
Referring to FIGURE 1, a mandrel 10, of steel or other material, having an external diameter similar to the candle diameter desired to be molded, and of a length greater than the mold length desired is coated with a thin layer of oil, wax or the like, which acts as a release aid in removing the mold to be formed thereupon. The mold is formed by spirally wrapping upon the mandrel a layer 12 of cotton cloth tape 14 impregnated with phenolic resin. Such cloth may comprise fabric hav ing nap, such as velveteen or flannel. The initial wrap is covered by a similar spiral over-wrap or layer 15, formed of cotton cloth tape 16, the tape being likewise impregnated with phenolic resin. The over-wrap is applied tightly over the initial layer, and acts to crush the pile thereof against the mandrel to form a smooth internal mold surface, corresponding to the mandrel surface. Such over-wrap may be spiralled in a reverse direction from that of the initial layer if desired. In applying the overwrap, wire hangers such as 18 may be bound in, the hangers being subsequently employed in mounting the mold, preferably in a vertical position, in the production use thereof.
The impregnated cloth wrappings of the mold are thoroughly heat cured, after which the mold is removed from the mandrel, dipped in water preferably with a surface active wetting aid, and thereafter given a light brushing on its internal surface to remove any of the oil or wax previously applied to the mandrel as a release aid. In impregnating the tape prior to wrapping on the mandrel, only sufficient phenolic resin is used as is necessary to bind the wraps and impart high strength to the mold, after the curing thereof, it being necessary that the final mold be micro-porous, and that plugging of the micro-pores from excessive impregnation be avoided.
The mold as thus formed is ready for casting. The wet mold, as shown in FIGURE 2, is provided with a wet plug 2% at the bottom, and a rod 22, or stiff wick is extended through and along the axis of the mold, such rod or wick extending through a small central aperture in the plug 20. The mold is then filled with molten beeswax. The molten wax may be poured carefully down the rod or wick to avoid spillage. A wet plug 24 is threaded on the upper end of the rod or wick and inserted in the upper end of the mold as indicated in FIGURE 3. The plugs center the rod or wick, and the upper plug prevents the formation of shrinkage cones at the upper end of the candle. The upper plug may be provided with a conical reservoir for excess molten wax which will supply wax to the center of the candle as shrinkage occurs.
The mold is allowed to cool sufiiciently to solidify the wax in contact with the plugs and mold wall and shrinkage draws the beeswax away from the mold wall. The plugs are then removed. When a rod is used in place of a wick, such rod, as is understood in the art, is provided with an eye or hook through which a wick is threaded. Electrical resistance heating of the rod may facilitate removal, especially after complete solidification. The rod is then withdrawn from the candle and a wick drawn through. At this stage the internal wax may be in a molten state, but the external shell and ends are sufficiently solidified to provide a rigid self sustaining structure, immediately removable from the mold as indicated in FIGURE 4. The relatively uniform shrinkage of the wax during cooling is sufficient to permit free removal of the candle from the mold at this time, and the Wet mold surface prevents adhesion during shrinkage and removal. After removal, the mold is again wetted by dipping in water, and the internal surface given a light brushing to remove any wax residue, and assure a smooth mold surface. The mold is then ready for the next pour.
The mold formed in the manner described is surprisingly strong and resilient, and may be subjected to repeated use indefinitely in normal production. The cooling of the candles or removal from the mold may be expedited by blowing air over the candles, or the candles may be dipped in water, or otherwise cooled by any other method used presently in the art.
Where a stiff wick is employed in the molding operation, such wick may be dipped in wax to provide such stiffening prior to disposition within the mold. The process may be used to produce candles /8" in diameter and 36" long composed of 100% beeswax, and the mold requires no draft or taper. Sufficient cooling of the cast molten beeswax takes place in about 30 seconds to provide a sutficiently rigid shell to permit the candle to drop free of the mold. Candles of larger diameter such as 2", and of 100% beeswax require a longer period within the mold, but have been found to drop from the mold of their own weight in about 15 minutes after pouring. In pouring, it is desirable to employ wax heated to a temperature only sufficient to render the wax molten, in order to reduce the actual time required within the mold for shell solidification following which the candle is removed and to avoid unnecessary oxidation of the wax. To speed up the initial solidification of the wax, immediately after pouring, the exterior of the mold may be cooled by directly applying a stream of water to the external surface. Such water, by reason of the wall porosity will seep through the wall assuring adequate wetting of the mold surface and thus aid in the removal of the candle as soon as it is sufiiciently solidified. The shrinkage of the wax away from the mold wall tends to draw air, or water, if such water cooling is used, through the porous mold wall.
The candles thus formed have a pleasing uniform matte appearance as molded. If desired, a glazed surface can be obtained by brushing the candle surface with a soft flame, or by exposure to an infra-red heat lamp, or by a subsequent dipping by conventional methods.
While the mold requires no draft, it will be appreciated that the molds may be tapered and circular or polygonal in cross section or of other sectional design for specialty candles, and may even have a uniform twist extending lengthwise therethrough since the shrinkage and free release due to the absence of adhesion permits the free removal of the candle from the mold.
While reference to beeswax has been made, the molds may also be employed for molding other waxes or mixtures thereof with beeswax. Molds for wax having less shrinkage may be provided with draft to assist the free removal of candles from the mold. Since molding may be effected at minimum temperatures, whereas dipping requires molten wax at higher temperatures to provide for proper adhesion of the layers, the wax is not subjected to gradual oxidation which in the dipping process, eventually renders such wax unfit for high quality candles.
While water has been generally referred to as a wetting agent, any hydrophilic liquid, preferably immiscible in respect to the article to be molded, and capable of providing a wet mold surface may be employed, and although the invention has been described in reference to candle molding, it will be appreciated that micro-porous structures may be produced using the methods referred to which structures may act as a wetting agent reservoir, to maintain a wetted surface to which wax will not adhere. Surfaces subjected to wax spillage when so constructed will permit ready removal and cleaning, since the wax will not adhere thereto. It can be seen that the invention comprises the use of a porous mold wall in which a release agent such as water may be stored to provide a wetted mold surface, to which the molten material such as wax will not adhere, the Water being not soluble, miscible or compatible with the molten material, either while molten or after solidification. So long as the relation of the wetting agent to the molding material is thus, any material which would tend to stick to the mold may be prevented from sticking by using a mold impregnating agent not miscible or compatible with the material molded. Thus the material to be molded may be hydrophilic while the release agent is hydrophobic, or an oil.
While the invention has been described principally in respect to the molding of beeswax candles, and a mold construction readily formed for such purposes, it will appear that the invention is not limited thereto. As various changes in the construction, arrangement and usage of the inventive concepts may be made to accomodate various applications, without departing from the spirit of the invention, as will be apparent to those skilled in the art, reference will be had to the appended claims for a definition of the limits of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A method of molding beeswax candles which comprises impregnating the walls of a micro-porous walled mold with water containing a wetting agent adopted to wet the internal molding surface of the mold, pouring molten beeswax into the mold, and applying additional water containing a wetting agent to the external surfaces of the mold to cool the mold and add to the water containing a wetting agent reaching the internal surface of the mold.
2. A method of molding beeswax candles which comprises impregnating the walls of a micro-porous walled mold with water containing a wetting agent adopted to Wet the internal molding surface of the mold, pouring molten beeswax into the mold, applying additional water containing a wetting agent to the external surfaces of the mold to cool the mold and add to the water containing a wetting agent reaching the internal surface of the mold, and removing the solidified beeswax from the mold while the internal surface is supplied with said wetting agent.
3. The method of molding beeswax candles and the like which comprises saturating the mold and walls of a tubular mold of cotton tape having nap on the inside surface and impregnated with phenolic resin to provide a micro-porous mold and Walls with water containing a wetting agent to provide a wetted internal molding surface, plugging one end of the tube, introducing molten beeswax into the other end, plugging the other end, removing the plugs after initial solidification of the molten material, and removing the candle from the mold for cooling.
4. The method for molding beeswax candles and the like which comprises saturating the mold and walls of a tubular mold of cotton tape having nap on the inside surface and impregnated with phenolic resin to provide a micro-porous mold and walls with water containing a wetting agent to provide a wetted internal molding surface, plugging one end of the tube, disposing wick threading means axially through the mold, introducing molten beeswax into the other end, plugging the other end, removing the plugs after initial solidification of the molten material, removing the wick threading means axially while drawing a wick through the axial center of the molded wax, and removing the candle from the mold for cooling.
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