Insulating wax melters

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I have up to now used either a solar Melter or more frequently a steamer and brood box set up to render down old wax for exchange, whilst at the same time cleaning old up frames . Neither have any insulation, are not tightly sealed and work fine. I now have a stainless steel container to steam the wax out of and was looking at insulating this with a hot water tank jacket, on the basis that this should prevent heat loss and allow the melter to work more efficiently. 2 questions for the forum

1) has anyone else insulated their stainless steel wax steamer?
2) by (presumably) keeping the temperature higher in the steamer, is the wax quality impacted?

Not intending to melt capping wax in this, they go in the oven at 65 -70C.
TIA
 
I have insulated two stainles containers this way. I have an outer ply box, and the gap I have filled with polystyrene insulating foam.

Insulating is needed under bottom and around the walls.

Then insulating stripe on the upper edges of container, and glass over the stip without a frame.

If glass is 4 mm thick, it reduces clearly sun heat and wax melting is slower. Thin glass is fragile and it must be handled carefully.
 
You are fine with a glass lid for a solar wax melter but when I used greenhouse (2mm ?) glass on my wax steamer ... unframed ... it shattered. I suspect the heat from the steam on the inside and colder air on the glass outside stressed it. I'd suggest a metal or solid timber lid for a steam wax melter - although, with steam heat timber can warp. I'm not totally convinced about using steam as a medium for wax melting in a DIY way ... it's violent heat and whilst it certainly renders down brood frame wax very quickly it does seem to overheat is. I'm not sure how you can thermostatically control free steam heat.
 
Go to a double glazing company and ask if they are chucking out any double glazing units which were mis measured and then build your solar melter around that - have had one for years and it takes 10 national frames at a time.
 
thanks for the thoughts. in hindsight I wasn't clear enough. new device is second hand Lyson steam wax melter, so I'm not bodging some thing together. Back in the day I remember working with steam tables to work out temperature / pressure requirements for different process conditions, so I have plenty of respect for the power of steam.

I suppose it more of a general question. Why don't vendors of purpose built metal steam wax extractors insulate them? seams a big waste of thermal energy (and a burn risk), but is it necessary to reduce temperature to a level where thermal degradation of wax is prevented? I have some temperature probes so I'll try some temperature mapping, with and without a jacket, and see what happens. Maybe jacketing the vessel will only be useful for frame clean-up rather than rendering wax if the temperature is too high.
 
I missed that one
It was on the 'stories' part of his Instagram account which are ephemeral, only existing for a day or so and I don't know how easy they are to view if you are not on Instagram and a follower.
The insulation looks somewhat Heath Robinson in design, it appears to be a celotex/kingspan type material and I'd be interested in how he has managed to fit that snugly round the body of the melter.
I have the 70l Lyson steam wax melter and it is noticeably (albeit anecdotally) more effective in the summer months than in the winter. The ambient temperature difference between using it is September compared to now in March can only be 10-15 C so I'd imagine that effective insulation would improve overall efficiency.
 
It was on the 'stories' part of his Instagram account which are ephemeral, only existing for a day or so and I don't know how easy they are to view if you are not on Instagram and a follower.
The insulation looks somewhat Heath Robinson in design, it appears to be a celotex/kingspan type material and I'd be interested in how he has managed to fit that snugly round the body of the melter.
The only way you will fit it around the melter, would be to cut out a series of triangular pieces.
 
I wrapped some multi layer insulation round my melter (left over from insulating rooms in the cottage) and it was fine on a gas burner. It dramatically cut down on the overall time it took to get to the pouring point.

PH
 
I have insulated two stainles containers this way. I have an outer ply box, and the gap I have filled with polystyrene insulating foam.

Insulating is needed under bottom and around the walls.

Then insulating stripe on the upper edges of container, and glass over the stip without a frame.

If glass is 4 mm thick, it reduces clearly sun heat and wax melting is slower. Thin glass is fragile and it must be handled carefully.
I agree!
 
"Recticel Insulation products can withstand a safe operating temperature range of -20°C to 100°C. Higher temperatures can be withstood for a brief time in certain applications, for example when adhering hot bitumen to appropriate flat roofing boards."
As Used in a combined solar wax melter / beer coolbox/ Haybox cooker/ Frozen goods store/ Nuc Cosy appplication
 

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