What Is a Mold Release Agent?

A mold release agent is a chemical that prevents a substrate from bonding with the surface of a mold. Mold release agents are essential for many manufacturing industries, especially those involving rubber, plastic and other composite casting processes. Finding the right mold release agent for your project can save you money while decreasing your overall production time. 

Is a Mold Release Agent Really Necessary?

In general, if you’re casting a substrate in a mold, you need a release agent. Mold release agents work by preventing items from bonding with the surface of a mold. When casting a product, many substrates will naturally stick to the mold material. When an item fuses to the mold, the final product often comes out damaged or with imperfections. There are also times when the item becomes stuck in the mold permanently. 

With a mold release agent, you create a barrier between the mold and casting material. That barrier ensures a quick release from the mold, which extends the mold’s life while producing higher-quality products. Using a mold release agent saves valuable time and money in the casting process. 

Types of Mold Release Agents

Every industry that uses molds in its production process uses mold release agents. Because there’s such a variety of manufacturing industries, there’s also a wide range of release agents available. We can categorize these mold release agents as either internal, nonpermanent or semipermanent.  

Internal Mold Release Agents

Manufacturers can add internal release agents directly to the composite materials before casting. This type of release agent integrates with the substrate to provide a fast mold release without residue. Tire molding manufacturers typically use internal mold release agents to speed up production and drying times. 

Nonpermanent Mold Release Agents

Nonpermanent — also called sacrificial — agents are conventional, solvent-based mold release agents. These release agents are versatile, as manufacturers can use them on a broader range of substrates. However, they’re also more labor-intensive since you must apply them before each molding cycle. 

At W.N. SHAW & CO., we customize nonpermanent mold release agents based on your composite and mold materials. Because every composite has a unique curing time, temperature and viscosity, there are many factors to consider when finding the perfect mold release agent. Ordering a release agent tailored to your composite can extend your mold’s lifespan and improve the overall quality of your casts. 

Semipermanent Mold Release Agents

Semipermanent is the most common type of mold release agent in manufacturing. This release agent is also the most cost-effective and offers increased flexibility and control over the casting process. We customize our semipermanent release agents to your specifications to ensure you get the maximum number of cycles before reapplication. 

Mold Release Agents in Manufacturing

Mold release agents are an essential part of manufacturing and production. These agents allow manufacturers in numerous industries to cast parts and products accurately and efficiently. Mold release agents drastically decrease production times by preventing imperfections in the cast, lengthening the lifespan of the mold and facilitating cleanup. 

Mold release agents are common in rubber goods industries, including car tires, rubber gloves and automotive appliances. However, manufacturers that mass-produce items with glass, metal, plastic and concrete also rely on mold release agents during production. 

How to Use a Mold Release Agent

Regardless of your application needs, learning to apply a mold release agent is straightforward. The application process will change based on your composite and the type of mold release agent you choose to use. For example, when using an internal mold release agent, you’ll simply mix it in with your composite before casting. 

To apply nonpermanent and semipermanent mold release agents, you should first clean your mold thoroughly. Once it’s clean and dry, spray a thin layer of the mold release over your mold. Allow the spray to dry for about two minutes before casting. Semipermanent agents will work for multiple cycles, but you must reapply nonpermanent agents after each cast.

Get Custom Mold Release Solutions at W.N. SHAW & CO.

At W.N. SHAW & CO., we’re committed to providing the best custom solutions for your mold release needs. Call us today at 1-636-271-3335 or contact us online to learn more about our mold release agents and their applications. Once we know more about your project, we’ll create a mold release agent that perfectly meets your needs.