Roberts, J. K. Formerly, Research and Development Department, Standard Oil Company, Chicago, Illinois.
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A smooth, semisolid blend of mineral oil with waxes crystallized from the residual type of petroleum lubricating oil. The wax molecules contain 30–70 carbon atoms and are straight chains with a few branches or naphthene rings. They are microneedles and hold a large amount of oil in a gel. Petrolatums are useful because they cling, lubricate, and resist both moisture and oxidation. They serve as lubricants in baking and candymaking; as carriers in polishes, cosmetics, and ointments; as rust preventives; as waterproofing agents for paper; and in other uses calling for an inert greaselike material. See also: Lubricant; Petroleum products; Petroleum wax
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