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CEO’s Quote from Experience
Water-Based Release Agents’ era is come.

Chemically active form release agents have been the standard in forming concrete for years. Usually, a petroleum-based substance (such as kerosene or mineral spirits) serves as a carrier for the active ingredients. However, rising oil costs and increased environmental concerns are two reasons you should consider switching to water-based varieties.

The switch has been slow in coming, largely because of preconceived notions about water-based release agents: They don't mix well and they freeze in cold weather. However, contractors will find the same benefits of petroleum-based release agents from water-based varieties as well as several new benefits, says Yong Jin Park, president of J.ONE, a manufacturer of both oil- and water-based release agents.

Petroleum-based release agents are highly effective at keeping concrete from sticking to formwork. With water-based products, you can expect the same performance, Park says. Introducing the numerous trials and errors exerted along with abundant experience obtained through 30 over years, the property of mold release agent, whether it is vegetable or mineral or animal, is not that much important as the property of agent itself is simply an element influencing to the environment.

There are many different elements affecting to the mold releasing process. Among them, the most important element is the condition of mortar, i.e., using of admixtures (Strength Reinforcing Agent, Workability Enhancing Agent, Retardant Agent, AE Product & etc.) greatly affects the process. With that, the selection of release agent compatible with the admixtures is also critical. Next, the curing condition (temperature, time, humidity & etc.), process water used (acidity, hardness, extent of mineral containment), release agent coating method (spray, brush, cloth & etc.) and curing time lapsed after coating of release agent also affect the process performance. For example, the curing time differences, such as the cases of pouring concrete to mold form, pouring over concrete after 2-3 days lapsed, or pouring within 1~2 hours like those concrete cast product manufacturers, affect the process greatly as well.

The advantages of Water Soluble Concrete Mold Release Agent are the sustaining of workers’ safety curing the coating works, leaving no air bubbles or traces on the products and saving cost, which will also inflict less harmful influence to human health in the event of fire accident, inhaling into respiratory organ & etc. in comparison with the oily agent.

◀ A better understanding of the differences between water-based and petroleum-based release agents can help you make a more informed decision. Photo: sprayed CORAX on mould

Early versions of the water-based release agents wouldn't stay in suspension very long. This led to a misconception still held by many contractors that these products aren't very reliable. However, better emulsion technologies are keeping the material in suspension for much longer, in some cases up to 3 months or longer without remixing.

The second issue is cold weather. Water-based release agents can freeze when the temperature drops. To combat this, you can use a concentrated release agent and mix it with water on the jobsite. By doing this, the mixture does-n't have time to freeze. However, if conditions are extremely cold, petroleum-based varieties might be your best bet. It isn't uncommon for contractors to use water-based release agents during the warmer months, and then petroleum-based versions during the winter.

Two good reasons
As gasoline prices have climbed, so has the price of petroleum-based release agents. Because water is essentially free, water-based release agents have become a cheaper alternative. When dealing with concentrated varieties, you also save the cost of shipping the water.

The benefits of water-based release agents, though, go beyond performance and price. Water-based products are safer for the environment and safer for workers to handle. Petroleum-based agents contain high amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOC), which pose a health threat to workers. Water-based release agents contain no VOCs.

However, while petroleum prices may fall, the tougher VOC standards are not likely to go away. “Concern for the environment and worker health and safety will only make the need for water-based release agents grow,” Park says.

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