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Concrete Casting News from the Hill and Griffith Company

NPCA QC Manual: What’s New? Not much for concrete form release agents!

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Dec 16, 2016 4:22:34 PM

(This weeks post is a review of a NPCA Staff Report about changes in the NPCA Quality Control Manual. You can read the article here.)

Clarification on changes to the NPCA Quality Control Manual for 2017.

Each year, the NPCA Quality Assurance Committee looks to both members and specifiers to determine ways to improve the NPCA Plant Certification Program. The 12th Edition of the NPCA Quality Control Manual for program year 2017 includes a number of changes, additions and several updates, along with editorial changes that reflect this effort.

Almost every precaster has had a double tee or an architectural precast panel crack as it was being removed from a form. In some cases, an ineffective or improperly applied release agent may have been the culprit. At other times, the wrong type of release agent may have been used.



The following sections of the manual have been changed:

  • 4.5 Concrete Curing – Completely rewritten and commentary expanded
  • Absorption Testing – Now a critical requirement under “Round Manhole Requirements”
  • 6.4.1 Absorption Testing – Now a critical requirement under “Box Culvert Requirements”
  • 6.5 Septic Tank Requirements
  • 6.6 Grease Interceptor Requirements – New section
  • Plant Terms and Conditions – New section added under

These changes ensure the highest quality manufacturing processes from NPCA certified plants and provide assurance to customers regarding quality.

“The NPCA certified plant program is constantly evolving while maintaining a direct focus on continuous improvement for our industry as a whole,” said Frank Bowen, plant manager of Piedmont Precast and chair of the NPCA Quality Assurance Committee. “Now ANSI certified, our program has made significant improvements that promote NPCA certified plants to a greater spectrum of clients with special interest to regional specifiers and state DOTs. We want to make the audit process simple, yet conclusive.

“Any new policy introduced or any improvements made to the Quality Control Manual are crafted or edited with efficiency and accountability in mind for the plants and clients who take advantage of our certified program.”

One of the many benefits of a strong and continuously improving program is the involvement of specifiers and the resulting reliance on the program, which includes 41 state DOTs and many other entities that require NPCA certification.

“The willingness to evolve and continue making necessary changes defines NPCA as a first-class organization,” said Jason Tucker, P.E., TxDOT, and a member of the NPCA Quality Assurance Committee. “The hard-working and dedicated committee, which is responsible for many of the changes to the ever-evolving NPCA Quality Control Manual, is a testament to this. Anyone who wants to help make a difference, I encourage you to join one of the many NPCA committees.”

For a complete list of changes or to download the most up-to-date NPCA Quality Control Manual for Precast Concrete Plants, visit precast.org/qcmanual.

If you have questions, contact Phil Cutler, NPCA’s director of quality assurance programs, at pcutler@preast.org or (317) 571-9500.


Here is the unchanged part about concrete form release agents on page 49.


4.3.1 Cleaning of Forms - Standard

Forms shall be cleaned after each use. Concrete, tape, polystyrene, and other materials adhering to the forms shall be removed.


It is generally easiest to clean forms immediately after products are stripped. Waiting too long allows the concrete to bond more tenaciously to the forms.

4.3.2 Application of Form Release Agent

Form release agent shall be applied after the forms are cleaned and, if necessary, the seams sealed. Reinforcement and other items to be embedded in concrete shall be free of form release agent. Care shall be taken to avoid over-application of form release agent, which may lead to puddling. If puddling does occur, the puddle shall be removed prior to casting.


Form release agents prevent concrete from bonding or adhering to forms.  Reinforcement, inserts and other embedment items on which form release agents have been inadvertently applied may fail to bond to the concrete and may be ineffective in performing their intended functions.  It is recommended that form release agents be applied in a thin coat and there should be no puddles. 

Download the entire standard here.

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