US Patent No. 5,879,694
Burns much longer than
*Use only with Non-Polar fragrance oils with a flashpoint
of 170F or higher!*
scented candles, this will hold approx. 1/2oz of fragrance per lb.
Gel comes packed in a
heavy duty plastic bag, cut into large chunks for your convenience in the 10lb &
35lb packages. The 360lb package comes in a 55 gallon drum.
Penreco Safety Factor List
1. Formulation Ingredient - Gel
Penreco sells a series of candle gels under the Versagel™ brand name. They are
formulated with a narrow cut hydrocarbon oil of exceptional safety relative to
the flash point. Via the COC method, flash points of 430ºF and sustained burn
(Fire Point) of 500ºF are typical. Penreco also has optimized polymer type and
concentration to produce a gel of exceptional clarity and maximized viscosity to
resist cold flow of the gel in the container of choice. Each Versagel™ grade is
designed for different fragrance capacity with Versagel™ CLP designed for
fragrance loads of 0-3%, Versagel™ CMP designed for fragrance loads of 3-5%, and
Versagel™ CHP grade designed for suspension of ingredients such as glitter, and
specialty pigments along with up to 5% fragrance.
2. Formulation Ingredient - Fragrance
Penreco does not sell fragrances but has developed excellent relationships
with several of the leading fragrance companies. Fragrance selection becomes
critical as it relates to compatibility or solubility in the gel. Each fragrance
is a complex mixture of many aroma chemicals, perhaps 30-50 different chemical
ingredients, combined to produce a fragrance in which the polarity of the
needs careful consideration.
A fragrance with a non-polar (hydrocarbon compatible) character is most
preferred. This non-polar character does not deteriorate the gel strength and
has excellent solubility. The second variable in fragrance selection is the
fragrance's flash point. Most fragrances have flash point of 140ºF and higher. A
most preferred fragrance flash point would be 170ºF or higher. In summary, the
types to most avoid would be polar fragrances with flash points below
170ºF. A quick check for fragrance polarity can be done with mineral oil. A
non-polar fragrance should be 100% soluble (with no separation) in mineral oil
at the following ratios:
25% fragrance / 75% Mineral oil
75% fragrance / 25% Mineral oil
3. Formulation Ingredient - Dyes
No information has been found which shows that the dye influences candle
4. Formulation Processing or Mixing
When processing the Versagel™ candle gel series, Penreco has insure that the polymer concentration is uniform throughout the gel. Care must be taken in not only selecting the correct fragrance but also in completely and uniformly mixing the fragrance into the gel before packaging the
gel into the container. Incomplete mixing of the fragrance can cause an irregularly burning flame.
5. Gel Candle Wicks
Penreco does not sell wicks or make wick recommendations for final consumer packages. We believe the slower burn rate of gelled candle technology (perhaps 40-50% slower than wax) may, unfortunately, encourage manufacturers to use "oversized" wicks.
Pre-wicked wick systems are available with the wick attached to a 20mm metal clip. Wick sizes are diverse and must be test burned by the manufacturer to make sure
they work with the gel and additive combination. Different sized containers and additive combinations (colors, specialty pigments, fragrance load, etc.) can effect how the candle will burn. These wicks and tabs can be manufactured to any length and wick size up to 2mm in thickness including the wax coating. Cotton and paper cored wicks are generally not used in gel candles, whereas zinc cored wicks stand straight in hot gel during
manufacture and burning. Wick length and placement are important details that can contribute to candle safety. Wicks not trimmed to less than ¼ inch
creates a potential for a very large flame with non-uniform combustion, which, when no centered properly, can create localized overheating of the container and "pool". Such conditions can cause uneven
temperature dissipation, a potentially unsafe condition.
6. Gel Candle Containers
Penreco has studied and burned countless experimental candles in containers, jars, glasses, and
mugs of different sizes and shapes. As mentioned in the wick choice, the characteristics of the "pool
viscosity" and pool temperature are influenced by the wick size and container selection. Container diameter will influence
"pool temperature" and can hinder the safe dissipation of generated heat. The container also becomes important at the end of the burn cycle during the burning of the last few grams of candle gel. Therefore container composition (glass, tempered glass, clay, etc.), container
center of gravity and base stability, and container diameter are all factors to be considered.
7. Gel Candle Consumer Use Instructions
Penreco feels proper consumer education to also be an important aspect of gel candle safety. Points are as follows.:
1. Never burn a candle unattended
2. Never burn for more that four hours
3. Always trim wick to ¼" above the gel surface before use.
4. Never burn the last inch of a candle.
In summary, we have attempted to identify key safety factors. However, this report should not be construed by the manufacturer as license to bypass clear and decisive safety testing of all variables
Also check out www.GelCandlemaking.com
for detailed instructions & safety info!