Mold Release Agents

Mold Release Agents - Description

Mold Release Agents | Miller-Stephenson

ReleaSys™ Release Agents | High-Temp Release Agents | PTFE Release Agents

Miller-Stephenson’s mold release agents are backed by over 50 years of research and development and are relied upon by global industries to ensure efficient, cost-effective, and high-quality release of their molded parts. Our Sales and Technical team understands what it takes to release the most complex materials in the most demanding molding applications. The ReleaSys brand of release agents offers efficient, cost-effective, and safe formulations for your molding processes.

What is a Mold Release Agent?

Mold release agents are specialized coatings designed to provide a barrier between the mold surface and the molded part. The release agent barrier prevents adhesion of the substrate to the mold facilitating smooth removal. Without the use of a mold release agent, the mold part would bond to the surface.  This can have significant impacts on speed of production, quality of parts, and cost. Selecting and applying the correct release agent for your process ensures that your production team is work efficiently and safely.  There are several class and types of release agents engineers should be aware of, this is addressed in the next section

Type of Mold Release Agents

Mold Release Agents can be broken down into three basic categories: Sacrificial Semi-permanent, and Permanent. Miller-Stephenson specializes in providing only the highest quality release solutions and offer unmatched performance and value.

Sacrificial Mold Release Agents

Sacrificial release agents tend to require application more frequently but are very effective for high tack and high temperature applications. This class of coatings generally offer high lubricity, more flexibility and are easier to apply than other alternatives. Silicones, waxes, and PTFE release agents will fall into this class of products. ReleaSys™ ECO2, ReleaSys™ EP5, and ReleaSys™ 7200 are good examples.

Semi-Permanent Release Agents

Semi-Permanent release agents allow for numerous cycles to completed before reapplication is needed. This class of mold release offers high slip, zero transfer, and cleaner mold surfaces. Surface quality of molded parts is greatly improved as well. Advanced fluoropolymer, crosslinking siloxanes, and hybrid wax release agents are typically found in this class. ReleaSys™ 7200W, ReleaSys™ DF, and ReleaSys™ 8500

Permanent Release Agents

Permanent Release Agents require more skilled to apply and specialized curing procedures to achieve an optimal coating.  The result is a coating which can typically last week or months, producing thousands of parts before the coating wears out. Unlike the previous mold release agents, these permanent coatings can not be repaired if damaged.  If damage does occur, the entire mold must be cleaned and application process repeated.

What are important attributes for a release agent:

    • Surface adhesion and durability
    • Ability to form a thin, continuous film
    • Sufficient surface slip & Ease of release
    • Chemical inertness to the molding process
    • Numerous releases per application
    • Minimal or No Transfer
    • Ease of application
    • Environmental Friendliness and High Worker Safety

Release Agent Applications

Miller-Stephenson produces different release agents formulations based on the substrate being molded, temperatures, application method, and performance requirements.  We offer mold release agents designed specifically for:

    • Polyurethane
    • Rubber / Elastomers
    • Composites / Epoxies / FRP
    • Plastics
    • Metals and Glass
    • Concrete

Our technical team can help to recommend the best product for your specific operation and production challenges.  Miller-Stephenson also recommends reading our Next-Gen Release Agent article for assistance with selection. Regardless of the application, the ReleaSys brand of product will delivery superior release, reduced downtime, and improved surface quality.

How Are Release Agents Applied?

Miller-Stephenson release agents come in two many versions: Aerosol and Liquid Bulk.  Aerosol mold release sprays provide convenience and ease of application, ensure smooth, uniform films are applied.  Thin application is critical for proper mold release performance and minimizing mold fouling.  Aerosol sprays ensures this regardless of the skill-level of the operator.

Liquid release agents offer more economical and advanced chemistries. The performance gained can be substantial as well as the ROI.  The primary drawback is the requirement for independent spray or application equipment. However, once a process is optimized the benefits and cost-effectiveness are superior to aerosols. Selection of water-based or solvent-based comes down to mold temperatures, application process, and dry times needed.  Typically for room temperature molds we strongly recommended solvent-based coatings.  For heated molds the recommendation favors water-based release agents.