Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Water-based Mould Release Agents
Polyurethane Foam Manufacturing.
Author: Alejandro Domínguez M. | firstname.lastname@example.org | April 4, 2019
What's a demoulding agent for?
The primary function of release agents is to perform the critical task of preventing the bonding of materials or substances to a mold. They also perform a number of secondary functions during the mold transformation process, such as reducing production time, facilitating cleaning, extending mold life, and giving certain characteristics such as gloss, color, and texture to final parts.
What type of vehicles or release agents are there?
One of the most important classifications has to do with the type of vehicles used to bring the active materials to the surface of the mold, which can be water or solvents with different flash point.
Whilst the active substances contained in the emulsion or solution may be: Waxes, lacquers, soaps, silicones or fluid polymers that together will form the release agent.
What are the differences between a solvent based water based release agent?
Today there are products with the same performance in both types, but undoubtedly a less harmful release agent for workers is the best option, as is the case of those that are free of solvents.
Are water-based release agents more difficult to use?
No, as far as performance is concerned there are only a few differences in sight, with some training, everyone can change from one technology to another in a few hours.
In both cases, excessive application will result in unwanted interaction causing low quality parts, high accumulation of residue on the mold and incompatibility with the subsequent process, gluing or painting.
What type of release agent leaves the most residue?
Both will tend to have some accumulation depending on the quantity applied per piece and after several cycles will be visible each with its particularities.
However, it is the waxes that, when forming thicker films, will have a visible residue in less time.
Intermol's fluid polymer technology has helped customers extend cleaning cycles by recommending the optimum dosing system and adjusting quantities to apply only what is needed.
In conclusion, the residue is a multivariable phenomenon and can be attacked in different ways. An expert technician can give you the best recommendation
Do Intermol release agents have waxes?
No, the family of polyurethane release agents is free of waxes, on the contrary, they are developed with a fluid polymer technology that helps to form a thinner and more resistant film.
How can Intermol help me?
Intermol is a pioneer in the co-creation of water-based solutions and their implementation in leading North American automotive companies.
We have a proven methodology to give you tailor-made solutions in your demoulding processes.
Why is industry migrating to greener, safer solutions?>
Regulations regarding VOC´s are some of the issues that have the greatest impact on the foam manufacturing industry. It is especially the regulations in force in Asia-Pacific and Europe that have the greatest impact on the global VOC emissions standard.
Finding the right balance between reducing or nullifying emissions and material performance is still a delicate issue. It is the final consumers who also push for cleaner solutions and tighter regulations. The automotive industry in particular is one of those trying to find cleaner and greener ways of production and in a clear example is the tendency to eliminate the "new car smell" which is related to these volatile components.
What are the VOC´S / COV´S?
VOC/COV stands for Volatile Organic Compounds, the classification is valid for numerous chemicals, some of which have negative health effects in the short and long term. They contribute to cancer, lung and heart disease, air pollution and environmental damage.
VOCs can cause various health effects due to their chemical nature. In the short term these effects may include irritation of the eyes, throat or nose, headaches, loss of coordination and nausea, while long-term effects include damage to the liver, kidney and central nervous system.
Signs and symptoms associated with VOC exposure may include headaches, allergic skin reactions. EPA, 2017
Mold release agents fall into the category of direct emissions and according to current European legislation, low flash point solvents (they are volatile at ambient temperatures) are not safe at any exposure while the medium and high flash point solvents most commonly used in solvents have a safety limit DNEL (DNEL= derived no effect level or other threshold) of 208 mg/kg on the skin and 871 mg/m3 by inhalation.
These values in an 8-hour day exposure indicate an unsafe work environment.
Which are the attributes that can improve or worsen a release agent depending on a good selection?
Intermol has developed a matrix that not only takes into account properties related to demoulding and parts, but has gone further to offer a comprehensive service involving service, technical, logistics and others.