CAPLINQ has been fielding questions about what exactly the right time is to use carnauba wax aerosol spray. To get better insight into this question, it may be best to start with the opposite question, and work our way back.
Even before we address this, let me start by saying that carnauba wax, in its solid form is used by most epoxy mold compound formulators as one of the waxes used to prevent mold sticking in the first place, and that carnauba wax itself is then obviously compatible with epoxy mold compounds themselves. Now let’s get back to the question.
In an ideal production environment, the product mix would be low, the volume would be high, and there would be no mold-chase changes, stuck plungers, cleaning or maintenance repair. There would be a single epoxy-mold compound used with the perfect balance of adhesion promoters to stick to the substrate (leadframe or laminate) with the right level of waxes to perfectly release from the mold and not cause any plunger sticking. In a case like this, not only would carnauba wax aerosol spray be unnecessary, mold release products across the board would no longer be needed.
In a flexible, high-mix production environment, sprays will always have a place
Taking it a step toward reality, we’ll throw in that regular cleaning and maintenance are a given and every now and then a plunger may get stuck. Still, the product mix is low and volume is high. In cases like this, the ideal solution would use a transfer moldable mold conditioner after cleaning which is less operator dependent than an aerosol spray. Still, in this case, the carnauba wax aerosol spray would be used to clean the plunger should it stick.
Looking at an even more realistic situation, the production environment has a higher mix-volume, multiple products are made in the same mold and multiple mold compounds are used in the manufacture of the semiconductor devices. Furthermore, mold compound trials to evaluate new products and new designs are tested. In this case, carnauba wax aerosol spray has multiple uses. As before, the product is used to clean stuck plungers, but it should also be used prior to testing of any new products and after each time the mold is cleaned. It is also used to break in new mold tools and return other ones to service after maintenance.
In summary, most production environments would prefer not to use a spray, but the reality is that every production floor DOES use a spray. The sprays used are typically silicone or PTFE (Teflon) based products that are NOT compatible with epoxy molding products. These products then DO contaminate the mold, may cause product delamination and often are very operator sensitive — which is a major reason why manufacturers do look to go to a mold-conditioner type products instead of aerosol sprays.
In these cases, carnauba wax aerosol spray is a much superior (albeit more expensive) product for the following reasons:
- Unlike silicone and PTFE (Teflon) sprays, Carnauba wax aerosol spray is compatible with epoxies and engineering plastics and can also be used for a wide-variety of epoxy types instead of carefully selected mold-conditioner
- Carnauba wax aerosol sprays are flexible because of the compatibility with a wide range of epoxy molding compounds
- The “Green” #909C Carnauba Wax Aerosol Spray uses a “non-flammable” solvent making it safe but rapid-drying
In short, high-volume, single-product molding lines may benefit from moving to a less operator-dependent aerosol spray application; but in a flexible, high-mix production environment, sprays will always have a place, and carnauba wax aerosol sprays are by far the preferred choice in terms of compatibility and performance for both epoxies and other engineering plastics.
CAPLINQ is a specialty chemicals, plastics, and products company that offers a variety of epoxy mold release agents including Chemlinq MRE-C909, MJ Gordon Permasil #909C, and LinqSil S-100 mold release spray. Please contact us if you have any other questions about Carnauba Wax.