There are three types of concrete release agents. They are very different in their cost, use and composition.
Concrete form release agents prevent the adhesion of concrete to the forming surface, usually plywood, steel or aluminum. In this application, there are three types of release agents available: barrier, reactive and water based.
• Barrier oil based release agents develop a physical film between the form and the concrete.
• Reactive release agents are chemically active and work by the process of a chemical reaction between the release agent and the free limes available in concrete. A soapy film is created which prevents adhesion. There is generally little to no residue or unreacted product left on the forming surface or concrete which provides for a cleaner release.
• Water-based release agents are a result of more focus on health, environment and safety issues. This has resulted in the development of new technologies primarily focused on water-based formulations, with the movement being away from petroleum-based products.
Learn more by reading Bob Waterloo's article, "How Safe (and Legal) is Your Concrete Form Release Agent?" Which ran in PRECAST INC Magazine. Bob Waterloo is the distribution manager, the Hill and Griffith Company. For additional information, contact him at bwaterloo (at) hillandgriffith.com.
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