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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Release Agents Used in Composite Industry

A release agent is simply a coating that is applied to a surface to stop the material being moulded (usually a plastic) from sticking, i.e. it facilitates the easy release of the plastic from the mouldA lubricant, liquid, or powder (often silicone oils and waxes) used to prevent sticking of molded articles in the cavity.

Release Agent Requirements

• Guaranteed release
• Quick and easy to apply
• Low cost / part
• High quality finish
• Low defect rate
• No processing problems
• Ability to release a wide range of materials

Release Agents used in Composite Industry

i. Paste /Liquid Wax
Traditional products for open face, low temperature moulding processes, e.g. GRP. Usually carnauba wax based

ii. PVA (PolyVinylAlcohol dissolved in water)
Provides a release film; poor finish, guaranteed release

iii. Internal Mould Release Agent (IMR)
-Soaps, glycols or phosphates
-Used in pultrusion, abrasive processes or easy to release systems such as SMC

iv. Semi-Permanent Mould Release Agent (SPMRA)
-Polymer resins used extensively throughout advanced composite processes and where optimum productivity is paramount
-Lowest cost per released part