Release Systems for the Composites Industry
Semi-Permanent Release Systems
Every part of the process is critical to manufacturing success. At Chem-Trend, we leave nothing to chance. Our semi-permanent release systems acome in liquid form and are designed to cross-link with humidity or heat and chemically bond to the mold, thus providing an inert, durable polymeric film that is resistant to wear, chemical and thermal attack. Because of the cross-linking nature of the semi-permanent, it often affords molders multiple molding cycles before the release agent must be reapplied and with minimal transfer to the molded part. Semi-permanent mold releases are versatile and will provide good release-ease for virtually all molding resins used in the composite fabrication process. Semi-permanent technology includes more than just a release agent and are used as a part of system to ensure best performance, typically consisting of a combination of the following components:
- Release agent
Everything needed to keep highly complex processes moving with ease. We also offer Zyvax® Semi-Permanent Release Systems for aerospace application.
Conventional Release Systems
Conventional mold release technology (also known as “sacrificials”), are used where the release task requires more lubrication, and where this parameter outweighs that of other release related aspects. Because of this lubrication, a fair amount of the release coating is “sacrificed” and removed with the part during the de-mold process, and therefore the release agent is typically reapplied after every molding cycle to ensure same performance. These products are deliberately designed to be mobile, and should be expected to transfer to the molded part.Chem-Trend provides conventional products that are suitable for high-gloss or matte finish situations or non-cosmetic applications in either solvent-based or water-based options.
Conventional mold releases used in composites applications have become the exception, rather than the rule and are used for a limited number of applications. However, the result is just as critical. That is why we provide an array of products, taking a case-by-case approach to research, test, and manage. All the way through.
Zyvax® Release Agents have been developed specifically to address the needs of molders of composites materials for the Aerospace industry. A wide variety of choices are available to allow for finding a release agent optimized for your process.
Internal Mold Releases
When situations arise that require new thinking, Chem-Trend thrives. Internal mold releases (IMR) can also be used for composite molding. IMRs are typically comprised of an additive blend in solid or liquid form which is pre-mixed into the resin prior to molding. During the cure process, the IMR becomes immiscible in the resin, phase separates and blooms to the surface, creating an outer lubricating layer at the interface of the curing part and mold substrate. We have developed special internal release agents for the composite molding industry that are utilized for two major purposes:
- Enhance the function of external release agents. Keeping the mold surface clean and free from buildup for an extended period of time. This saves time and labor, and it preserves the integrity of your products.
- Provide internal lubrication to the resin. For certain situations, this provides a game-changing element to the manufacturing process as well as the future use of the resulting product.
Chemlease® and Zyvax® Mold Cleaners are designed to remove wax, buffing compounds, oils, greases and other contaminants from composite molds. They are ideal for preparing composite mold surfaces for the application of mold sealers and release agents, and in select cases, the cleaning of molded parts prior to secondary operations including bonding and painting.
Zyvax® mold cleaners are designed to keep molds and tooling in peak working condition, allowing composites molding facilities to maximize operational efficiency while producing high-quality parts and protecting key assets. Zyvax® mold cleaners are specifically developed for the demanding needs of the aerospace industry.
Thorough cleaning is a vital step in the mold prep process to ensure proper bonding of the semi-permanent release system. At Chem-Trend, we work with customers to ensure cleaning is considered as much as release for continuous exceptional results. This reduces waste and provides predictable consistency.
Primers reduce surface roughness, producing a uniform surface profile and chemical barrier on plugs, masters, prototype and production-grade composite molds and tooling. Mold primers also impart gloss, vacuum integrity and a preferred bonding surface for semi-permanent sealers and release agents.
Sealers are specifically designed to help protect investments in molds and tooling by sealing micro-porosity and conditioning the raw bonding sites found on virtually all mold substrates, including Class A tooling gel coats, fiberglass and carbon fiber composites, as well as metals.
We strive to be the most dependable, trouble-free part of the entire manufacturing process. We don’t see sealers and primers as merely a necessary step — we see them as an opportunity. To keep production running more reliably. And to keep your orders fulfilled and your bottom line moving accordingly.
Whether it’s a primer, a sealer, or an entire system. We’d love to talk.