Vybar™ is a trademark of Baker Hughes Inc.
Vybar™ is a polymer. A polymer is a high molecular weight organic compound, natural or synthetic, whose structure can be represented by a repeated small unit, the monomer (eg, polyethylene, rubber, cellulose). Synthetic polymers are formed by addition or condensation polymerization of monomers.
In candlemaking, Vybar™ is mainly used to "bind" fragrance oil and paraffin.
To add scent to a candle (this is explained in details in the article about Candle scents), you add a certain amount of fragrance oil (FO) to the wax. Paraffin, due to its chemical composition, only allows for a limited amount of additional oil.
The classic proportion of FO is 1 oz (28,35 grams) per pound (453 grams) of paraffin but, as 1 oz is considered by the industry as "double-scented", the actual "basic" proportion is 1/2 oz per pound.
When you visit the website of a candle vendor and they describe their creations as being "double-scented" or "triple-scented", what they actually mean is their wax contains respectively 1 oz and 1 1/2 oz per pound of paraffin.
To bind such a quantity of fragrance oil to the paraffin, it is necessary to add a binding agent. This is where Vybar™ plays an important part.
But caution is required: too much of this additive and the scented oil will become binded so tightly to the paraffin that the scent will be neutralised, literally imprisoned into the wax (which is not what you are looking for).
If you have trouble achieving a strongly scented candle, try and decrease the proportion of Vybar™. 1% is a good starting point. To find the ideal proportion, a little trial and error is unavoidable!
The advantages of Vybar™
Taken from the Baker Hugues website, here are the industry recognized benefits of using Vybar™:
More Consistent Product
Lower Raw Material Costs
Reduction in Surface Flaws
Elimination of Mottling
Higher Fragrance Loads
Elimination of Cracking
Uniform Dye Dispersion
Elimination of Oil Bleed
Elimination of Bubbles
The "mottled" effect is very popular nowadays (this effect makes a candle look like its surface is covered with snowflakes). Mottling, as it is called, occurs when there's actually too much oil in the paraffin. This is why, if you try to achieve that "snowflake" effect, you'll want to avoid using Vybar™ or use the specially formulated for mottled candles Vybar™ 343.
There are several Vybar™ for several applications but, where candlemaking is concerned, only three of them are commonly used:
Vybar™ 103 works best with a high melting point paraffin (135░F and higher), which makes it perfect for pillar, votive and taper candles
Vybar™ 260, as you may have guessed, is formulated for paraffins with a melting point lower than 135░F (when making container candles, for instance)
Vybar™ 343 is a new member of the Vybar™ family and has been developped specially to give candlemakers the advantages of Vybar™ even when they want to obtain the "mottled" look (the two previous variants of Vybar™ inhibit mottling).
Vybar™ can also be used to "bleach" paraffin.
As opposed to Stearin, it does not modify the melting point of the paraffin to which it is added.
It accentuates the colors, hardens the candles surface and helps get rid of surface bubbles.
Baker Hughes Inc. markets several versions of the Vybar™ polymer