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Thermoset and thermoplastic molding production lines come in all shapes and sizes, and are an essential process across a number of industries, manufacturers, and for a number of diverse applications: semiconductor, automotive, and electronics, to name a few. Depending on the mold and teh type of plastic you are molding, you have a choice between carnauba wax, silicone , PTFE (Teflon) and others as mold release agents.
One essential, but misunderstood, product can be found across all varieties of plastic molding lines and present across all varieties of their production floors: the Mold Release Spray. It seems odd that this should be the case since no production line engineer or technician actually wants to have to use mold release spray. Being manually applied they require man power, and are for the same reason inconsistent: likely to be sprayed too much or too little.
In an ideal molding production process you don’t need mold release spray. The molded part releases easily, the mold die plate never accumulates a build-up of residues, and the molding machine works smoothly and efficiently time after time.
In reality, however, that is never case. Molded parts are hard to release from the cavity, stains and residues build up and so require cleaning, and sometimes plungers get stuck and require cleaning. Even though we would rather not have these problems, we do: so it’s a simple case of problem-solution. That’s why good Mold Release Spray is an indispensable multi-purpose problem-busting solution.
Mold Release Sprays are an essential accessory in all varieties of thermoplastic and thermoset molding processes, but it’s so undervalued and misunderstood. Mold Release Spray can do more than clean stuck plungers. They are an essential surface treatment before testing any new molding compounds, breaking in new mold tools, and when returning mold plates to service after a clean or maintenance.
Moving beyond solutions to exceptional problems they are an integral part of a regular production procedure. Mold Release Sprays extend the lifespan of the mold and give the demolded parts a beautifully finished surface.
For very thin, flexible, or very sensitive parts, Mold release spray is essential in making sure the parts do not rip or tear in the demolding process. By making demolding and releasing the part from the mold cavity easier and faster they increase productivity. They further increase productivity by reducing scrap and defect rates.
Of all the mold release agents, Carnauba wax is the most used in thermoset and thermoplastic mold production lines. The main reason carnauba wax is so pervasive is because it is so compatible with epoxies and other thermoset plastics.
Not only are epoxies incredibly compatible with epoxy; in many cases, the use of carnauba wax actually enhances main properties of the epoxy itself. In fact, epoxy mold compound formulators rely on carnauba wax as an internal mold release when formulating epoxy molding compounds, using as much as 0.5% or more by weight in its formulation.
As such, it is no wonder that when it comes to choosing a mold release spray for external applications it’s one of the most suitable for thermoset and thermoplastic molding production lines.
MJ Gordon’s green #909C was the industry standard mold release spray for the last 30 years with a 90% share of the mold release spray market.
At the time a revolutionary product, it transformed long lasting carnauba hard wax into an easily sprayable solution by dissolving it in a water-based solvent. This meant it could dry faster, and continue to provide release longer than most other brands.
As such, the MJ Gordon #909C is a solvent-based, non-flammable carnauba wax spray was loved by engineers and line operators alike for more than four decades.
Unfortunately its best property is also its worst property. MJ Gordon's 909C uses a non-flammable propellant which makes it much safer to use in high-temperature industrial settings while still being fast-drying. However, that propellant: n-Propyl Bromide isn’t REACH or RoHS compliant.
This makes it a less attractive option for goods or manufacturers that are molding their products in the EU. Going into the future, REACH and RoHS are predicted to become global industry standards, so it seems MJ Gordon’s is a sinking ship.
Finding a non-flammable mold release spray to replace MJ Gordon’s #909C is the holy grail of production lines that need to be REACH or RoHS compliant. However, it's by no means an easy task. Most alternatives are typically silicone or PTFE (Teflon) based sprays, and so are not compatible with epoxy molding compounds. Because their base chemistry is incompatible they would lead to mold fouling and contamination – causing product delamination and other defects. That’s why manufacturers often look towards semi-permanent mold release agents applied as a mold-conditioning product that eliminates the inconsistencies of manual applications.
CAPLINQ has invested a lot of time and resources to develop alternative mold release sprays. To complement our range of epoxy molding compounds, and as part of our CHEMLINQ product family, CAPLINQ developed two mold release sprays with great properties. Unlike MJ Gordon’s 909C these are REACH and RoHS compliant, and highly compatible with a diverse range of thermosets and thermoplastics.
Our years of R&D to find a REACH and RoHS compliant carnauba wax mold release alternative led us to an industry disrupting break-through: epoxidized silicone mold release spray. This special formulation of epoxy and polyether modified dimethylsiloxane has open-chains, like little fingers, that bond very well with epoxies. This insight became clear to us after we reconized that the Epoxidized Silicone Dow Corning Toray SF-8421-EG Fluid was also an epoxidized silicone. CAPLINQ suppplies this material to epoxy mold compound manufacturers who use this as the internal release agent for their own brands of epoxy molding compounds.
This means that, unlike normal silicones which are chemically incompatible with epoxies and silicones, it has incredibly high compatibility with silicones and epoxies. It’s also cheaper than carnauba wax mold release sprays, coming in at a fraction of MJ Gordon’s 909C’s price.
Our LinqSil™ Mold release spray series, is fully compatible with thermoplastics including epoxy, epoxy mold compounds, polyurethane, polyester resins, EPDM, nitrile, and flexible or rigid integral foam products. Because of its high compatibility, high release performance, and high-temperature resistance (successful in applications running as hot as 200°C), it is fast becoming the industry standard mold release for the semiconductor device industry.
Another keen area of interest for CAPLINQ was finding a carnauba wax based mold release spray that, unlike Gordon’s 909C, is fully compatible with REACH and RoHS. We tried developing many of our own formulations. We worked with lab after lab to develop formulation after formulation but found nothing that could meet our standards for quality.
With REACH and RoHS regulations predicted to become an industrial global standard, our market partner, ASSB, had also come to the same conclusion as us. That, without REACH and RoHS compliance, Gordon’s 909C would soon need to be replaced with a mold release spray that was compliant. ASSB went through 14 unsuccessful formulation attempts before finally formulating ASSB ER-15: a fully REACH and RoHS compliant Carnauba Wax Mold Release Spray.
Just like MJ Gordon’s 909C it’s an aerosolized solution of carnauba wax suspended in a solvent and using a propellant both of which are REACH and RoHS compliant. As a carnauba wax based released agent it has excellent compatibility and great release properties. However, a side effect of using a REACH and RoHS compliant solvent and propellant is that, unlike MJ Gordon’s #909C, it is unfortunately flammable.
Mold Release agents vary greatly in their composition and their application. There are carnauba waxes, silicones, teflon (PTFE) and other materials that can be used. These are available in sprays, bottles and in solid forms..
Mold Release Technical Papers, Mold Release Marketing Brochures, Mold Release Technical Data Sheets, Mold Release MSDS. If these are what you are looking for, then this is where you should be.
Everyday, people just like you have questions about mold release agents. At CAPLINQ, we try to help people just like you by blogging about mold release agents. From mold release agent pricing to harmonization codes to product part numbers and leadtimes. We try to post as much information as we can on our blogs, to help you find more relevant information about mold release agents.