How to Select The Best Type of Mold Release Agent

by Ahmet Emek on January 16, 2023

Whether you work in the medical, construction, electronic, automotive or food and beverage industry, it’s essential to produce your products quickly. Many parts and products in these industries are made with molds, from shoes to insulation panels to wind turbine blades. While molds enable fast, uniform production, sticking parts can cause excess debris that damages your machine and products. 

Sticking parts can become damaged, deformed or blemished, impacting your cycle times and cutting into your profits. A mold release agent provides a solution to these issues, acting as a lubricant coating to prevent your products or parts from sticking to the mold. These agents are a simple way to extend the life of your molds, prevent sticking pieces and minimize resin buildup. 

Different Types of Mold Release Agents

Mold release agents perform the critical task of preventing materials from bonding to a mold. They also help reduce production time, improve cleanup procedures and increase the mold’s life span. Many different types of mold release formulas on the market are useful for industrial applications. Here are the most common ones. 

Water-Based Mold Release Agents

Water-based mold release agents use water as their primary component. These agents require extensive research and have complex development processes. Though water-based mold release agents are more challenging to formulate, they provide a smoother release from molds and minimize the occurrence of damage. These agents also pose less of a health and safety risk than solvent-based mold release agents. 

Water-based agents’ excellent release ease and surface and finish properties make them useful in multiple applications. Some of the advantages of water-based mold release agents include: 

  • Reduced buildup and mold fouling. 
  • Environmental advantages over petroleum agents thanks to a lack of harsh chemicals like volatile organic compounds (VOCs). 
  • Versatility to use them in a diluted or concentrated form. 

This type of mold release agent is most suitable for concrete molds, which often work better with water. 

Solvent-Based Mold Release Agents

Solvent-based mold release agents contain chemical materials such as refined petroleum to enhance mold release with polymers, rubbers and metals. These agents require fewer complex processes to create. They produce high-quality, fast-drying results that can lead to increased productivity and reduced production costs.

Solvent-based mold release agents are compatible with a wide range of applications in many different industries. While some of these agents contain VOCs, they are also generally less expensive and easier to manufacture due to their simple technology. Solvent mold releases are also easy to apply and facilitate strong film formation. 

Silicone Mold Release Agents 

Silicone mold release agents are an effective choice for many different releases, including:

  • Plastic
  • Tires
  • Concrete
  • Die casting 

Silicone mold releases have lower use rates than some alternatives and generally produce a cleaner finished product. They also provide fast release, low material waste and a longer life span for the mold and machinery, leading to increased savings over time. Silicone mold release agents serve many industries, including construction, athletics, medical and footwear. These industries benefit from silicone agents’:

  • Exceptional oxidation resistance.
  • Higher heat stability than organic alternatives.
  • Reduced surface tension.

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