29th January, 2021
A release agent is an essential for rubber manufacturers, making mould release easier and more effective – but how does it actually work? We’ve summarised the benefits of a good release agent so you can look out for one yourself.
Creates a barrier
High-performance polymers create a barrier between the mould and the product to prevent them from bonding, this also keeps them entirely separate.
In a good agent, these polymers also have anti-sticking properties add lubricity to the mould. They include compounds that reduce the stickiness or tackiness of the mould, allowing it to be released with ease.
Complements different materials
The same release agent is not used for every moulding material and it is important to test samples of an agent before you buy in bulk.
For example, where a silicone-based agent might work well for plastic, if this was applied to a silicone-based rubber product, it wouldn’t give the same result.
You will tend to find there are different release agents for the following categories; asphalt, concrete, food processing, metal casting, paper, pharmaceuticals, plastic and rubber.
Not only does the release agent prevent a bond from forming, but it also prevents the material from slipping out of the mould before it has been vulcanized. They do this by creating an anti-friction layer between the mould and the material, helping it stay in place throughout the process.
Prevent build up on moulds
Without a release agent, residue from the material can stay in the mould and build up over time. This leads to a misshapen mould and therefore unsuitable products. This is all down to the barrier-forming between the two and the lubricity that the release agent brings.
A low-quality release agent will leave some of its own residue behind which can cause build-up, and it’s important to check for this between mould uses and clean thoroughly.
As you can see, a release agent works by creating a barrier, complementing the material you’re using, stopping unwanted slippages and preventing build-up on moulds. Think your release agent needs changing? Read our blog on the 5 signs you need to switch your release agent. Or if you want to find out more about our mould release agent Ababol N and order a sample, get in touch.