This post is a review of a Concrete Construction Magazine article titled, "Contractors’ guide to form-release agents."
Form-release agents or form oils cost but a small fraction of the cost of the formwork itself, but they have a big influence on the quality and success of the concrete surface.
Though no American Concrete Institute or ASTM standards define these products, common usage suggests that form oils are petroleum compounds originally designed for other applications (such as diesel fuel, heating oil, and lubricating oils), and release agents are materials containing proprietary reactive ingredients specifically formulated for use on concrete forms. ACI 301-96, “Standard Specification for Structural Concrete,” does, however, give performance-based requirements for release agents. Section 188.8.131.52 says to use “commercially manufactured form-release agents that will prevent formwork absorption of moisture, prevent bond with concrete, and not stain concrete surfaces.”
Today, contractors can choose from among hundreds of form-release products, and new ones are still being developed. Many changes have been introduced as manufacturers have scrambled to meet federal and state environmental regulations, particularly concerning volatile organic compounds (VOCs). With the myriad form-release products available, how do you select the best one for a particular application? Here are a few of the fundamental questions you should ask:
- On what form surfaces can it be used?
- Will it provide clean, easy release without damage to either the concrete or the form?
- Will it produce a stain- and blemish-free concrete surface?
- Is it compatible with admixtures in the fresh concrete and with surface coatings that may be applied later to the hardened concrete?
- Is it ready for use without site mixing, and is it easy to apply at anticipated job site temperatures?
- Is it user-friendly and compliant with environmental regulations?
Concrete release agent comparison chart section of Hill and Griffith Products
To read the entire article go here.
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