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  1. #21
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    Wow - interesting thread.

    I have a question though... I always thought wax was a polymer - isn't it? As such, shouldn't wax's physical properties/behaviour be more similar to the behaviour of other polymers?

    I'm really thinking back here, but IIRC polymer chain length had a lot to do with how a polymer behaved. Shorter chains meant a softer material, longer chains meant a stiffer material. Does aging of wax result in additional chain linking over time? This would cause it to become harder and perhaps more brittle. Since reheating causes wax to melt, I'm guessing heat also breaks the chains down into smaller "links," which "re-link" on cooling to some intermediate length which restored pliability. Just some thoughts...

    Anyway...

    I enjoyed the steel discussion - haven't heard anyone even mention the word "martensite" in 15 years - took me back to college days and my "Ferrous Production Metallurgy" class (among others).

    Steel has another interesting trait that hasn't been mentioned here directly yet - it undergoes a ductile-to-brittle transition at low temperatures. We demonstrated this in lab using charpy bars, a charpy impact tester, and liquid nitrogen. Chilled bars broke cleanly in half, while room temperature bars usually just bent or tore part-way through. Though liquid nitrogen made the steel extremely brittle, steel can become noticeably brittle even at more "reasonably encountered" temperatures like those that might be encountered in Winter in the northern states or Canada. Thought you might find this interesting.

    -Pete
    ------------------------------
    "If it ain't broke, I'll break it!"

  2. #22
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    MB wrote:"Pure iron transforms from BCC to FCC at 1670°F. "

    From other source: Iron atoms are arranged in a body-centered cubic pattern (BCC) up to 1180 K. Above this temperature it makes a phase transition to a face-centered cubic lattice (FCC). The transition from BCC to FCC results in an 8 to 9% increase in density, causing the iron sample to shrink in size as it is heated above the transition temperature.

    More here: http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~scdiroff.../BCCtoFCC.html

    I am sorry, Jim, but that IS a change in the crystaline structure. There are many metals (and other crystals as well) that do change their crystaline structure with temperature. Besides iron, great example is carbon (graphite and diamond). Another great example is water. Ice has at least 13 (thirteen) known phases that differ by crystalline structure, ordering and density. Besides the normal hexagonal ice structure, there are cubic and seven more structures that can be recovered at ambient pressure, by carefully chosing thermal paths and heating/cooling speeds. There are two more (metastabile) phases of ice that are possible under pressure. The last one was discoverred in 1996.

    Mr.Bush's wording may not be as scientific as you pretend yours to be, but he is right. There is no fundamental scientific principle that forbids wax cooled at different rates to have different physical properties.

    Vladimir Marinov
    (Ph.D. in physics)

  3. #23
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    I thought that everyone had wandered off after
    other bright shiny objects, and left this
    non-issue alone.

    > Iron atoms...

    Of course metals can be heat treated to an
    "austenite phase", and if you want to call
    this a "crystal structure change" rather than
    a "grain change", you would only be corrected
    by a metallurgist.

    > can be recovered at ambient pressure, by
    > carefully chosing thermal paths and
    > heating/cooling speeds.

    Again, with care and equipment beyond the
    resources of beekeepers.

    > There is no fundamental scientific principle
    > that forbids wax cooled at different rates to
    > have different physical properties.

    And I sure with a large enough budget and enough
    time, one might be able to modify the crystal
    structure of pure beeswax.

    But NOT by tossing the wax into a home freezer,
    which was the original question, and the focus
    of the discussion.

    So I'll say it again. YOU (beekeepers, including
    Mr. Bush) aren't going to change the basic
    crystal structure of wax, certainly not by
    cooling. Mr. Marinov won't either, as I am sure
    he has better things to do.

    > Mr.Bush's wording may not be as scientific as
    > you pretend yours to be

    Please forgive me for speaking in plain English.
    You will find as you gain more practical
    experience that speaking simply and clearly is
    difficult while still covering all possible cases.
    Courtesy to a colleague is optional, but
    something else that you may find helpful.

    So to review:

    1) Tossing a candle in a kitchen freezer will
    have no significant effect at all on a candle.

    2) The candle will not burn longer.

    3) Arguments offered by those who like to
    argue for its own sake are about things that
    are not candles, things that can withstand
    much higher temperatures like metals, and

    4) Water IS a special case. Water is always
    a special case. Water is amazing stuff.

  4. #24
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    >I thought that everyone had wandered off after
    other bright shiny objects, and left this
    non-issue alone.

    Sorry, I hapenned to read it today for the first time, and I could not resist.

    >Of course metals can be heat treated to an
    "austenite phase", and if you want to call
    this a "crystal structure change" rather than
    a "grain change", you would only be corrected
    by a metallurgist.

    Change in the crystal lattice configuration and dimentions is precisely what is happening in the transitions I gave as a short list of examples in the previous posting. Such changes are much better described by the words "crystal structure change" than by "grain change".

    >> can be recovered at ambient pressure, by
    >> carefully chosing thermal paths and
    >> heating/cooling speeds.

    >Again, with care and equipment beyond the
    >resources of beekeepers.

    This was example that such changes ARE possible, as a couterargument to your statements that once something has frozen termal change cannot change it's crystaline structure

    (quote):Once wax or paraffin has solidified, subjecting
    it to colder temperatures is not going to somehow
    change the existing crystal structure formed at
    solidification any more than freezing a quartz
    crystal would somehow change its structure.

    This may be or may not be true for wax. If you can cite a study that says it is not, it will be entirely different situation. What Mr.Bush was (and now I am) trying to comunicate to you is that it follows from nowhere that it wouldn't. Since there are plenty of examples where crystaline structure is changed with the temperature, there was nothing wrong to imagine (what mr.Bush did) that wax MIGHT change its crystaline structure when cooled at a higher rate. You jumped at him saying it's impossible. I jump in to say that it is.

    >And I sure with a large enough budget and enough
    time, one might be able to modify the crystal
    structure of pure beeswax.

    It might be the case that all the budget you need is to buy a home freezer.

    >But NOT by tossing the wax into a home freezer,
    which was the original question, and the focus
    of the discussion.

    Again, that may or may not be true. You did not provide any evidence in either direction.

    >So to review:

    >1) Tossing a candle in a kitchen freezer will
    have no significant effect at all on a candle.

    How did you find out that?

    >2) The candle will not burn longer.

    Why not? *IF* faster cooling leads to structural change in the wax (call it grain change or whatever) that leads to higher melting point of the wax, that will bring us a candle that burns longer.

    >3) Arguments offered by those who like to
    argue for its own sake are about things that
    are not candles, things that can withstand
    much higher temperatures like metals,

    That is irrelevant. I can give you examples with crystals that change their structure at ambient or low temperature. But that is also irrelevant. The question is that it is possible in principle, and if the wife tale about putting candles in the freezer has a grain of truth in it, change in the crystaline structure is not only a possible explanation, but aslo a very likely candidate.

    >4) Water IS a special case. Water is always
    a special case. Water is amazing stuff.

    Indeed. That's why I gave it as an example.

  5. #25
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    > Such changes are much better described by the
    > words "crystal structure change" than by "grain
    > change".

    You are entitled to your individual preferences
    in semantics, no matter how creative. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    But wordplay won't change the crystal structure
    of wax any more than a kitchen freezer, nor will
    it enhance the burn time.

    > If you can cite a study that says it is not,
    > it will be entirely different situation.

    Sadly, modern formal studies on such subjects
    have not been done, for the same exact reason
    that no one is still trying to make gold from lead. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    I can offer you one citation. This book
    should answer your questions, and refute your
    speculative argument as applied to wax.

    Root, H.H. (1951)
    "Beeswax: Its Properties, Testing, Production and Applications"

    This book is very out of print, but it is the
    only source I know of that gives a decent
    non-cursory coverage of the detailed biochemistry
    of beeswax.

    > The question is that it is possible in
    > principle, and if the wife tale about putting
    > candles in the freezer has a grain of truth in
    > it, change in the crystaline structure is not
    > only a possible explanation, but aslo a very
    > likely candidate.

    Here's an idea - why not do your OWN homework,
    and actually find out what is "possible in
    principle", by asking someone who is an actual
    wax chemist at an actual candle company? AI
    Root company (H.H. Root's company) is not only
    still in business, but can be asked questions
    here:
    http://www.rootcandles.com/contact_us/

    Perhaps they will be able to enlighten you
    as to some of the differences between metals
    and wax. [img]smile.gif[/img]

  6. #26
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    Great posts!! Incredible information and very interesting and mind expanding reading (at least for my little mind). A simple solution would seem to take 6 candles from the same batch of wax freeze 1/2 and allow to return to room temperature. Now light all as well as a couple of additional candles from a different batch as a control group. Lets see if in fact the frozen candles burn longer and if so is the extra time enough to be of any value. At this point lets work backwards listing all the possible explanations and then by the process of elimination narrow the field until we reach a solution. If the frozen candles don't burn longer then the rest is academic. Or we could just contact Root and see what they say!

  7. #27
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    >I can offer you one citation. This book
    should answer your questions, and refute your
    speculative argument as applied to wax.

    >Root, H.H. (1951)
    "Beeswax: Its Properties, Testing, Production and Applications"

    Have you read it? Do you own it? If so, can you cite here text that supports your claim that wax does not change it's crystaline structure with temperature.

    Here's an idea - why not do your OWN homework,
    and actually find out what is "possible in
    principle", by asking someone who is an actual
    wax chemist at an actual candle company?

    Sir, I did not make any claims that need to be supported, so it is not me that needs to do homework. You say with certainity that something DOES NOT happen, so it is you that have to support your claims in order they to be beleived. On the other hand, neither me nor Mr.Bush claimed that wax DOES change its crystaline structure. (In fact Mr.Bush said several times that he rather beleives it doesn't). We simply state that it MIGHT, as so many other substances do.

  8. #28
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    > Have you read it?

    Yes.

    > Do you own it?

    Sadly no, it was a borrowed copy.

    > If so, can you cite here text that supports
    > your claim...

    You wanted a citation, you have it.
    Now you also want quotes?
    Next, you'll want me to buy you a copy of the book! [img]smile.gif[/img]

    > Sir, I did not make any claims that need to
    > be supported

    Yes you did. You misapplied the properties of
    metals to beeswax.

    > We simply state that it MIGHT...

    Glad to see that you are emphasizing "might".
    In this case, the term "might" should be
    read as similar to "we might travel faster
    than light by 2020". [img]smile.gif[/img]

    On the other hand, Mike can speak very well
    for himself, so you should not presume to
    represent his position, as he offered slightly
    different speculation from yours. You should
    replace your "We" with "I".

    If you don't want to bother to find a copy
    of an out-of-print book, why don't you ask a
    candle company?
    Any large candle manufacturer will do.
    They are all sure to have addressed this
    old wives tale many times.

    Another book that might be of help in your
    studies would be Hepburn, H.R., "Honeybees and
    Wax" (1986) but it is published by the very
    expensive Springer-Verlag company. Something
    like $400.00 for less than 200 pages. Not as
    complete as the Root book, but more recent.
    (Yes, I've read it, no I don't have a copy here.)

  9. #29
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    Dr Marinov said: We simply state that it MIGHT...

    Dr Fischer said: Glad to see that you are emphasizing "might".

    "MIGHT" is not new to this discussion.
    --------------------------------------
    Things *I* said (emphasis added):

    Is it POSSIBLE that freezing a candle causes some kind of crystalization?

    I assume we are talking about rapidly cooling a candle in the freezer and this very well MIGHT change the crystaline structure.

    You are PROBABLY right that freezing a beeswax candle won't change the burning rate. But without some experimentation, I don't see how we can say for a fact that it won't.

    So it does NOT seem impossible to me that rapid cooling of beeswax could have an effect on the burning time of a candle. So, as I said to you in the first place, "You are probably right that freezing a beeswax candle won't change the burning rate. But without some experimentation, I don't see how we can say for a fact that it won't."

    Since wax is also a crystaline solid I would SUSPECT it would have to follow some of the same rules.
    ----------------------------------
    Things Dr. Marinov said (emphasis added):

    There is no fundamental scientific principle that FORBIDS wax cooled at different rates to have different physical properties.

    This was example that such changes ARE POSSIBLE..

    This MAY be or may not be true for wax.

    ...wax MIGHT change its crystaline structure when cooled at a higher rate

    *IF* faster cooling leads to structural change in the wax (call it grain change or whatever) that leads to higher melting point of the wax, that will bring us a candle that burns longer.

    We simply state that it MIGHT, as so many other substances do.
    ------------------------------------


    Might has been precisely what this entire discussion has been about. It was not a recently introduced idea.


    Dr Fischer said: On the other hand, Mike can speak very well
    for himself

    As can Dr Marinov.

    Dr Fischer said: ...so you should not presume to
    represent his position, as he offered slightly
    different speculation from yours. You should
    replace your "We" with "I".

    I thought he was representing EXACTLY what I'd been saying. I got the impression he read what both of us said quite carefully.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #30
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    DING!
    You going to take that Dr. Jim?
    Time for round three!
    DING!
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  11. #31
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    Sorry Bill, you'll have to seek entertainment elsewhere.

    I've said what I have to say on this, take it or leave it.
    Folks can either fact-check, or do their own experiments.

  12. #32
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    Waahh!

    Well it was fun while it lasted.

    The winner of this contest with a come from behind knock out, wearing the white trunks and Rising Sun, The Oriental Atom Bomb, Buuuusuuuukeeee!
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  13. #33
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    I wish I could try some candle experiments in my freezer, but it's full of food.

  14. #34
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    You live in Alaska, just set them outside.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  15. #35
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    That's right Bill, what the hell do I need a freezer up here for.

  16. #36
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    Dick, I would suggest you could buy one to do candle experments in thus settling the orginal question in this post, does freezing candles make them burn longer? I'm afraid to add that it is also alleged they drip less. How could that be?

  17. #37
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    I make no claims at all about this brand of candle:
    http://candles.genwax.com/candles/___0___P0779455.htm

    Clearly, the usual rules would not apply. [img]smile.gif[/img]

  18. #38
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    >....do candle experments in thus settling the orginal question in this post.....

    Joel, it wouldn't settle a thing. There'd be something not quite right to be nit-picked over just the same. You know that as well as the rest of us do.

  19. #39
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    I thought, for a minute or two, that I had stumbled on a "bee" forum......I guess I'll go back to the blacksmith shop.
    Just have fun, if you're not working.
    Take care,,, Joe in S. AL
    Joe

  20. #40
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    This thread was astounding. I can't believe there was this much talk and no one ever put a candle in the freezer or out on the tundra.
    It\'s people! Soylent Green is peeeeople!

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