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Release agents are used to prevent the product you’re creating from bonding to surfaces. They are a crucial part of rubber manufacturing and mould release for plastics, rubbers and other products. However, not all release agents are right for everyone and there are a few signs which tell you it’s time to switch up your release agent.

Sticking Pieces

The purpose of a release agent is to ensure a slick extraction when it comes to removing your new product from the mould. If your mould is getting stuck to the piece and is not coming away with ease, you need to review your application process or take a look at the release agent that you’re using.

After vulcanisation, a good mould release agent creates a barrier between the mould and the product and acts as a lubricant to get the piece out easily. It’s also important to remember that all rubber types (natural, neoprene, silicone etc.) do not respond in the same way to release agents – make sure you do your due diligence, order samples and find the best agent to complement your materials.

Inefficient Operations

An unsuitable mould agent is not only harmful to the piece you’re creating, it can also damage the overall efficiency of your operations.

By spending additional time cleaning up after moulding and removing residue or leftover rubber pieces, you are using time that could be better spent elsewhere. With the right rubber agent, mould release will become an efficient process that keeps your projects on track and client satisfaction high.

Rough Edges

If your products and pieces are coming out with rough edges, this is a sign that they are sticking to the moulds.

You should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is this the right release agent for this type of rubber?
  • Have I applied it correctly?
  • Is this release agent suitable for use at the temperature I am using?
  • Is the mould free of abrasions that could be causing rough edges?

If the answer to the above questions is yes, it could be the brand of rubber release agent that is the issue. Perhaps it is low-quality, or not suitable for the purpose you are using it for – either way, it’s time to switch up your agent.

Nasty Chemicals

If your current release agent is giving off nasty chemicals, this could be causing more trouble than it’s worth.

First of all, using these types of release agent requires you to follow more stringent health and safety protocols which can be more time-consuming. This could mean more protective equipment, risk assessments and safety processes. There are also flammable risks with solvent-based agents – something that is important to minimise.

Alternatively, if you switch to a solvent-free agent, you are; compliant with environmental standards, not giving off any CFC or VOC (volatile organic compounds which are irritants), subject to cheaper transportation due to non-flammable nature.

Corrosion of Moulds

It could also be time to switch your release agent if you have noticed that your moulds are corroding.

This could be due to improper application, lack of thorough cleaning, or poor quality agents. Corrosion can cause mould sticking, rough edges on pieces and damaged moulds. This means that moulds have to be replaced more frequently which is costly for the business and leads to more downtime.

Keep an eye out for the five signs that you need to replace your mould release agent – wondering how it works? Check out our blog on how does a release agent work.

Order a free sample of Ababol N from us, or get in touch if you have more questions.