Release Agents: Release agents perform the key task of preventing bonding of material to mold. They also perform additional functions during the molding process such as reducing production time, facilitating cleanup and extending the life of the mold.
Concrete Release Agents: Release agents are needed during concrete production to prevent concrete from sticking to the formwork and to ensure easy removal of formwork without surface damage. It also enhances the appearance of precast by minimizing the inconsistencies, such as blow/bug holes on the surface.
Concrete release agents consist of a base fluid in which the required additives are dissolved. The base fluid can be mineral oil or water. Petroleum oil has traditionally served as a base fluid for the active ingredients in solvent-based release agents. However, uncertain oil prices and increasing environmental concerns are the reasons why manufacturers are transitioning towards water based release agents.
Same performance can be expected with water-based release agent since it employs the same chemistry as solvent-based release agent. However, water does not absorb the active ingredients readily into the solution and thus an emulsifying agent is employed to create emulsion.
Below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of Solvent-based & Water-based release agents.