Evaluating mold release sprays

Evaluating and developing Mold release sprays

Mold release sprays are semi­con­duc­tor mold main­te­nance prod­ucts that are used in between trans­fer or com­pres­sion mold­ing shots to make sure that mold­ed devices will “pop-off”” eas­i­ly after cure. They are a cru­cial part of the clean­ing and con­di­tion­ing cycle of the mold­ing process.

Options such as wax con­di­tion­ing sheets or wax con­di­tion­ing pel­lets are also pos­si­ble but mold release sprays are a very easy and flex­i­ble method for mold con­di­tion­ing. These meth­ods need to be applied after the clean­ing cycle with melamine pel­lets and rub­ber clean­ing sheets and be effec­tive but not too waxy so that the part pops out with­out any wax residues.

Con­di­tion­ing is not an either/or sit­u­a­tion. You should use either wax con­di­tion­ing sheets/pellets or a mold release spray. Under nor­mal con­di­tions, you should not com­pound them. For exam­ple, in the fol­low­ing cycle, you could either use 

You only get to pick one.

In the fol­low­ing image you can see a clas­sic clean­ing and con­di­tion­ing cycle. This is not set in stone but it is a start­ing point that you can adjust for your own needs. Ide­al­ly you should apply a lay­er of car­nau­ba wax/mold release spray with­in the EMC pro­duc­tion step(every 50 shots) that can extend your pro­duc­tion cycle well beyond its nor­mal capac­i­ty and up to 1000–1200 shots. 

Typ­i­cal appli­ca­tion of mold release is to spray quick­ly at 1foot dis­tance from the mold and then go at the back and do the same from the same dis­tance. Two spray appli­ca­tions in total. Some com­pa­nies tend to be scared of Auto igni­tion (~237°C) or oth­er such issues but expe­ri­ence has showed that there are not many (if any) issues in mass mold­ing pro­duc­tion envi­ron­ments. Espe­cial­ly if you are keep­ing prop­er dis­tance and safe­ty measures.

After con­di­tion­ing, Dum­my shots are required and after 2 shots you should be able to get the OK from QA that you are good to go. This is done to avoid shiny sur­faces that can inter­fere with the laser mak vis­i­bil­i­ty of the vision sys­tem lat­er on. That’s why we want a bal­anced sur­face that is con­sis­tent, not shiny and prop­er­ly laser mark­able. And then the cycle continues..

In a pro­duc­tion envi­ron­ment, it’s not easy to nit­pick and mon­i­tor the exact amount of shots. That’s why you want to devel­op a habit to clean and con­di­tion every X hours or every morn­ing or night depend­ing on your per­son­nel and process habits. This will keep the process con­sis­tent, the line prop­er­ly con­di­tioned and the pack­ages clean and (not too) shiny.

If you are read­ing this you are prob­a­bly already aware of the MJ Gor­don sit­u­a­tion where mul­ti­ple com­pa­nies were com­plete­ly cut off the sup­ply chain after MJ went dark, leav­ing process­es with­out a reli­able mold release spray alter­na­tive. That’s when we, as CaplinQ, real­ized we should find an imme­di­ate solu­tion and after an intense research peri­od, we start­ed devel­op­ing what proved to be a direct alter­na­tive. CHEMLINQ MRE C909.

In the mean­time, we already start­ed look­ing for oth­er alter­na­tives, so oth­er Non-sil­i­cone prod­ucts were found to be eval­u­at­ed. We used some left­over MJ Gor­don, the new­ly devel­oped MREC909 and 3 oth­er com­pet­i­tive Non Sil­i­cone can­di­dates. Here’s what we did:

Evaluation of mold release products

Five (5) “non-sil­i­cone” can­di­dates were eval­u­at­ed along­side the bench­mark MJ Gor­don #909C

Hysol’s GR15F-MOD2C Semi­con­duc­tor Grade Epoxy Mold­ing Com­pound was mold­ed with 5 dif­fer­ent “non-sil­i­cone” based release agents. Two test coupons were made out ot each:

  1. Non-sil­i­cone” can­di­date 1
  2. Non-sil­i­cone” can­di­date 2
  3. Non-sil­i­cone” can­di­date 3
  4. MJGordon’s #909C mold release available
  5. CAPLINQ Chem­linq™ MRE-C909

Results with the first three candidates

Many mold release types are INCOMPATIBLE with Epoxy Mold­ing Com­pound (EMC)

Results with oth­er mold release agents:

  • Did not dry dur­ing the mold­ing cycle
  • Caused increased stick­ing in the mold
  • Poor mold­ed part quality
  • Visu­al defects in mold­ed bars were observed
  • Offen­sive to the oper­a­tor; burn­ing eyes, irritation

These bars were mold­ed after treat­ing the molds with oth­er non-sil­i­cone candidates 

Results with CAPLINQ MRE-C909 & MJ Gordon Permasil #909C

These bars were mold­ed after treat­ing the molds with MRE-C909 and Gordon’s Car­nau­ba spray release. 

Mold results with MRE-C909 were iden­ti­cal as those with MJ Gor­don #909C

Results with CAPLINQ Chem­linq™ MRE-C909

  • Processed equal­ly well as MJ Gor­don #909C
  • No stick­ing
  • No irri­ta­tion to the operator
  • Very good release properties

Not all “Non-Sil­i­cone” car­nau­ba mold release prod­ucts are the same

Of all the car­nau­ba wax can­di­dates test­ed, only the MRE-C909 gave the same excel­lent results as the MJ Gor­don #909C

There was a clear dif­fer­ence between oth­er “non-sil­i­cone” car­nau­ba wax epoxy mold com­pound release prod­ucts and the MRE-C909. Only the MRE-C909 worked like a true alter­na­tive to the MJ Gor­don Per­masil #909C

Carnauba wax is the same natural mold release wax used in the manufacture of semiconductor epoxy molding compounds

There is no sil­i­cone, Teflon or oil in the MRE-C909 for­mu­la­tion. While Teflon and sil­i­cone may be well-suit­ed for the release of rub­ber molds or to coat anti-stick sur­faces, they rarely have a place when work­ing with liq­uid epoxy, epoxy mold­ing com­pounds (EMC) and oth­er ther­moset plas­tic types. They are sim­ply not compatible.

Chem­linq MRE-C909 does not con­tain any chlo­ro­flu­o­ro­car­bon and ozone-deplet­ing sub­stances. It also does not con­tain trichloroethane CAS No: 71–55‑6 or dichloromethane CAS No: 75–09‑2, mak­ing the sol­vent and pro­pel­lant used phys­i­o­log­i­cal­ly safe as well as both REACH and RoHS compliant.

Chem­linq MRE-C909 is a non-sil­i­cone mold release agent devel­oped specif­i­cal­ly for both trans­fer mold­ing and com­pres­sion mold­ing where ther­moset plas­tics such as epox­ies, phe­no­lics, and melamines are used. MRE-C909 is suit­able for epoxy mold com­pound appli­ca­tions which require only a thin, uni­form lay­er of mold release for best results. Due to its dry­ness, MRE-C909 pro­vides the per­fect bal­ance of release and rust­proof­ing for the mold with­out leav­ing a greasy lay­er on the mold­ed part after molding.

CHEMLINQ MRE C909 has since been qual­i­fied and used by many elec­tron­ics device man­u­fac­tur­ers around the world. Semi­con­duc­tors pack­ages, Sen­sors and oth­er trans­fer and com­pres­sion-mold­ed devices are using this car­nau­ba wax mold release spray with great results.

We’d be hap­py to help you out with any clean­ing and con­di­tion­ing requests that you might have. Do you need a quo­ta­tion or a prod­uct rec­om­men­da­tion? Con­tact us and your region­al sales rep­re­sen­ta­tive will get back to you as soon as possible.

About George Kountardas

George is a Jack of all trades with an unappeasable inquiring mind. Obsessed with new products and technologies, he is always pushing forward for better, faster and more efficient applications. Always learning something new.

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