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Art & Architecture Thesaurus

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Any solid or semi-solid substance that is slightly greasy to touch, usually solid, translucent, and has low melting points; waxes are not a chemically homogeneous group. Waxes are composed of long chain hydrocarbon compounds, and may contain esters of fatty acids and alcohols, are thermoplastic and melt at low temperatures of between 40 and 100 C. In general, waxes are water-repellent, smooth, soluble in organic solvents, and classified as animal (e.g., beeswax), vegetable (e.g., bayberry), mineral (e.g., paraffin), or synthetic (e.g., polyethylene). Waxes are used for polishes, candles, crayons, sealants, coatings, adhesives, waterproofing, carbon paper, media in encaustic and wax emulsion paintings, and as repellents in wax-resist watercolor paintings.





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