Mold releases were first designed over 70 years ago when sticky parts were the status quo in the plastics processing industry. These release agents became an easy and inexpensive way to prevent molded plastic parts from clinging and sticking to molds during cycles by creating a barrier between the mold surface and plastic substrate. Although mold making materials have improved over the years, releases still play a significant role in improving cycle times and helping to eject parts from machinery.

There are two main types of mold releases: silicone and non-silicone. When used correctly, both formulations can help extend the life of molds by preventing the need for maintenance and repairs. However, many molders have issues when trying to determine which kind of release to use. A good first step when choosing is to think about the molded part and its individual needs.  Does the part require post-molding decoration (painting, hot stamping, ultra-sonic welding, or any other operation that will need adhesion)?

We decided to help simplify this decision with a pros and cons list comparing the two mold release families. 

Silicone release agents are very good lubricants that work best when dealing with parts that have a primary operation and do not require any secondary decorating. 

Pros
  • Slippery and durable
  • Long lasting without the need to re-apply
  • Provide more cycles per application
  • Can often be used in food-related molding

Cons
  • Not paintable
  • Doesn’t work well with parts that will have secondary operations such as:
    • Pad printing
    • Hot stamping
    • Ultrasonic welding
  • Not compatible with electrical components (silicone is a resister)


Non-Silicone release agents can offer either oil-based spray options or non-oily coatings such as wax or PTFE. 

Pros
  • Molded parts are able to be painted
  • Recommended for parts that have secondary operations
  • Can be used with electrical components
  • Some formulas can be used for food-related molding

Cons
  • May not work as well as a silicone-based release agent
  • Not as durable as silicone
  • May need to be re-applied more often (less cycles per spray)

With years of experience, Slide Products is always here to help you increase your molding efficiencies and profitability. Come to us with questions about a specific molding application and we will be happy to offer technical expertise and guidance in selecting the formulation that will give you the best solution.

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