Whether you’re responding to new regulations or have other reasons to consider a switch to water-based mold release agents, you probably have questions about how the change will impact your process.
The good news is that making the switch to a water-based release doesn’t have to be scary or overwhelming. In fact, water-based mold releases offer many benefits that could improve your production process in the long-run.
One of the biggest benefits of making the switch is the ability to reduce overall Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in your manufacturing facility. This newer release technology is also less expensive to ship, less costly to store, and non-flammable.
If you’re considering the switch for your production molds, read on for some quick, thought-provoking tips for plant managers and mold operators.
Before you decide if the switch to a water-based mold release agent is right for you, it’s important to understand the differences between traditional, solvent-based releases and their water-based counterparts.
Here’s a quick run-down of the pros and cons of each.
The primary component in solvent-based mold release agents is petroleum. Known throughout the industry as “traditional” mold release agents, solvent-based releases are manufactured using simple technology and are useful in a wide range of applications, from rubber to polyurethane.
As you might expect, the primary component in water-based release agents is water. Since water-based release agents don’t use petroleum, there are no harsh chemical solvents that can pose environmental challenges or health risks. Water-based releases are useful in a wide range of applications and are preferred by many manufacturers.
While there are many benefits to making the switch to a water-based mold release, your process will likely require some changes.
Water-based releases require either time or heat to cure and achieve optimum performance. To transition from an ambient cure, solvent-based system to a semi-permanent, water-based mold release, you will likely need to add steps to your existing process.
Adding heat to a mold can be accomplished internally or by applying heat externally with an oven or autoclave.
New molds or new ovens may not be an economically viable option for smaller molders, but the benefits of a water-based release can still be achieved with time.
Adding time can be as simple as setting your mold to the side while the water carrier evaporates naturally, or adding a fan to increase airflow and decrease down-time.
The key is allowing the release to cure correctly. A properly cured mold will often mean that you can achieve multiple releases without re-application. This saves both time and money.
If you are replacing a sacrificial, solvent-based release, you can probably switch to a water-based release without adding time or heat to the process.
Stoner Molding Solutions’ TraSys® water-based mold release products provide great release options for most applications, most notably in the rubber and rotational molding markets. The various grades available are ideal for:
There are even high-heat options available for molds reaching above 600-degrees Fahrenheit.
As you can see, the transition from solvent-based mold release to more environmentally friendly, water-based products has many advantages from a safer work environment to reduced costs for shipping and storage. While you may encounter some challenges during the initial transition, we think the switch is well worth the benefits for many manufacturers.
With more than 75 years of experience in the mold release industry, Stoner Molding’s industry-leading experts, chemists, and engineers are here to help you find the right combination of releases to maximize your production and profits. Unlike many mold release brands, we formulate, manufacture, and distribute our own products. Check out our complete line of mold releases, sealers, cleaners, rust preventatives, and lubricants, in stock and ready to ship today!