For this week's educational news article we'll review the contents of an excellent article written by the Aberdeen Group. You can download the full article here.
Much depends on the type of form material
The basic task of a form release agent is to permit clean release of the form from hardened concrete during stripping. Usually, the release agent is also expected to protect the form and contribute to the quality of the concrete surface. Five basic types are described in this article.
- Petroleum oils: Plain oils, Plain oil with wetting agent, and Used oils.
- Emulsions: Water-in-petroleum emulsions, Petroleum-in-water emulsions and Other emulsions.
- Non reactive coatings with volatile solvent
- Chemically active agents containing fatty acids
- Other products
Which release agents can be used on which forms?
- Wood and plywood forms
- Overlaid wood panels
- Metal forms
- Glass fiber reinforced plastic (GFRP) and stiff plastic
- Rubber and elastomeric liners
- Plastic foams
- Concrete forms
- Plaster molds
Questions to ask when selecting a concrete from release agent:
- Will coatings be applied to the finished concrete?
- Are the forms being used for architectural concrete?
- Is a superplasticizer used in the concrete mix?
- Is concrete surface retarder used?
- How long can the release agent stay on the form before concrete is placed?
- Will the form release agent still be effective, if the forms are not stripped for a long time?
- How does the release agent affect the form surface?
- Does the release agent dry out on the forms?
- In what environment will the concrete be placed?
- Does the release agent produce toxic fumes or cause skin rashes? (read this article for more information, "Skin Related Issues in the Precast Concrete Industry.")
- What is the cost per square foot?
- Is the release agent premixed or a concentrate?
(Photo from the National Precast Concrete Association)
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