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Tung Oil Uses

Bhakti Satalkar May 13, 2019
Tung oil is extracted from the seeds (in the form of nuts) that grow on the tung tree--a deciduous species found in China. There are several uses that tung oil boasts of. Let us look through the next sections for what these are.
Tung oil is yellow in color and is also called Japanese wood oil or China wood oil. The tung tree is a tropical tree and its scientific name is 'Aleurites fordii'. The oil is found in the seeds of the tung nuts. The main importer of tung oil till recent times was China, but America has gotten into the production of the same as well.

Usage of Tung Oil

  • The most important of all its uses is that as a dryer in paints and varnishes. It is similar to safflower, linseed, and soybean oil, and is often used as a replacement for linseed oil.
  • This oil is alkali-proof, and is therefore used as a seal on the outer surface of shipping vessels.
  • It is used as an insulating component in wires, and telephones, telegraph instruments, and radio and television sets are also coated with it due to its insulating property.
  • Both, the linoleum and the oilcloth industries make use of tung oil.
  • This oil is normally combined with naphtha to be used on granite and marble as it adds a sheen to these. This tung oil-naphtha solution permanently seals the surface, and kitchen countertops are usually coated with a layer of this solution. In fact, it is also used as a layer on kitchen and bathroom tiles because it gives the surface a 'wet look'.
  • Since it is non-toxic in nature and protects molding, tung oil is also applied on children's toys.
  • The oil being rust-resistant, it is applied to the steel machine parts in factories to prevent the expensive machinery from catching rust.
  • Tung oil is a component that goes into the making of mortar and caulk.
  • The ink used by the printing industry is also manufactured using this oil.
  • Lately, this oil has also been applied to beverage and food containers.
  • Small scratches that form on wood can be repaired with the use of this oil. It fills up the gaps, thus giving the wood a smooth finish.
  • This particular oil penetrates into the pores of wood and protects it from moisture. Linseed and soy oil, as well as paraffin, do not dry completely when applied on wooden surfaces and are, therefore, unable to form a durable coat on the wood. A coat of tung oil is more durable because it dries completely.
Once this oil is applied on the wood, a clean and clear, high-resistant layer is formed after the oil comes in contact with air. The oil is very flexible and is able to endure wear and tear and prevent the wood from cracking.
You can apply tung oil to your furniture without any professional help. Although time-consuming, it is not difficult. Apply a layer of the same to the surface of your wood furniture and use a sandpaper over it. Then clean the surface with a soft cloth and leave it to dry.
The oil takes about 7-8 hours to dry after application. The last coat is usually a thick coat and it takes approximately 2-3 days to dry. Although cumbersome to apply, it is used by many craftsmen all over the globe.
People with nut-related allergies might be allergic to this oil since it is made from tung tree nuts. Some people are also allergic to the odor of tung oil. Nevertheless, with all the uses that the oil provides, it is not surprising that it is used in various industries.