Exploring the Science Behind Water-Based Mold Release Agents

Injection Molding Machine

Water-based mold release agents help improve your industrial processes on several levels. They are composed of various chemical substances to give you better releases, fewer defects, and less maintenance for your industrial molds, thereby making your processes more cost-efficient.

Look at our guide to the science and chemistry behind water-based mold release agents. 

What Is the Composition of a Water-Based Mold Release Agent?

Semi-permanent water-based mold release agents are typically composed of fluoropolymers. These are chemically inert substances, meaning they don’t react when coming in contact with other substances unless it’s under extreme conditions. The carbon-fluorine (C-F) bonds form a chain within the polymer, creating a non-reactive film that stays on the mold rather than the product.

The Science Behind Fluoropolymers

Fluoropolymers are a class of synthetic polymers that contain fluorine atoms in their chemical structure. These materials are known for their exceptional chemical and thermal resistance, low friction, and non-stick properties. Fluoropolymers are used in various industries, including aerospace, automotive, food, and medical.

The unique properties of fluoropolymers can be attributed to the strong C-F bond. This bond provides excellent resistance to chemicals, heat, and UV radiation, making fluoropolymers ideal for harsh environments.

The unique properties of fluoropolymers make them ideal for use in mold release agents. Fluoropolymer mold release agents provide a non-stick surface that prevents molded parts from sticking to the mold, improving efficiency and productivity. Additionally, fluoropolymer mold release agents are environmentally friendly, as they do not contain harmful VOCs or ozone-depleting substances.

Because these substances are chemically inert, when chemical engineers combine them with other substances, it generally happens in particular conditions, such as increasing the temperature of the reactants while introducing specific catalysts to trigger the reaction.

Components of a Fluoropolymer Mold Release Agent

Fluoropolymer mold release agents are made of various components, each with its unique function in the final product. These components work together to provide a durable, high-performing coating that releases parts readily from the mold.

It starts with a fluoropolymer resin, which usually comes from beads but is made into a liquid that turns into a thin, invisible film on the mold release. This resin is what gives the agent its non-stick properties and provides a smooth, slippery surface that parts can easily release from. Depending on the specific application, different fluoropolymers may be used, such as PTFE or FEP. 

You’ll also find additives that improve performance and durability. In some cases, the mold release helps the processing aid during manufacturing as the part comes together in the mold.

When selecting a fluoropolymer mold release agent, it is essential to consider the specific components used and their suitability for the application. Factors such as temperature, part geometry, and release requirements should all be considered to ensure the best possible results.

Choosing the Right Fluoropolymer for Your Application

Fluoropolymers are versatile and effective materials used in a variety of applications. You’ll need to review several factors when deciding which water-based mold release suits your processes, but some aspects are more important than others.

First is the mold material you will be using. Different mold materials may require different types of fluoropolymers to achieve optimal release. Second is the material being molded, such as plastic, silicone, rubber, and metal. Third is the temperature of the mold because fluoropolymers work well with higher temperatures.

For our purposes, fluoropolymer mold release agents work with the rubber industry, silicone rubber extrusion, elastomer injection molding, and compression molding. Your products may receive a matte finish while producing less scrap.

World-Class Water-Based Mold Release Agents

EZ-Kote has more than 30 years of experience with water-based mold releases. Talk to our team about the right formula for your requirements based on your industrial process. 

Contact EZ-Kote or call (770) 720-1811 for more details. We’ll respond within 24 hours.