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 molding process.
The good news is that making the switch to a water-based release doesn’t have to be frustrating 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. Water-based release technology is also less expensive to ship, less costly to store, and non-flammable, promoting better safety in your operation.
If you’re considering the switch to water-based releases 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 essential to understand the differences between traditional, solvent-based releases and their water-based counterparts.
Here’s a quick run-down of the advantages and drawbacks of each mold release type.
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 molding 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 molding operations will likely require some slight process 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 or equipment to your existing process, such as:
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, like our TraSys® 500 High Temperature Mold Release.
Kantstik LM 35 is another great water-based release agent option. This product is specifically designed for effective performance with composite molds, saving time and reducing labor costs. Due to its unique composition, Stoner LM 35 concentrate is non-hazardous, non-flammable, and able to withstand temperatures exceeding 350° F (177°C). This water-based mold release has been found to be particularly effective in the manufacture of friction parts such as brake shoes.
As you can see, the transition from solvent-based mold releases 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. And Stoner Molding is here to support your transition—just give us a call!