That's a trick question because you can use something as nasty and harmful to the environment as diesel oil (and against the law in some jurisdictions) or you can choose a modern concrete form release that is easy to use, biodegradable, has superior performance with fewer bugholes and less staining.
Bad concrete form releases include diesel oil, heating oils, used motor oil, etc.
Good, chemically active, soapy types of concrete form release agents are derived from soybeans, flaxseed, trees, hogs, cattle, fish, etc. and produce fewer bug-holes, stains and surface irregularities than bad types.
Sure, good concrete form releases will cost more than waste motor oil from your truck, but you will use a lot less, it will last longer on the forms and won't be harmful to the environment.
Here's a YouTube video that illustrates how the selection of concrete form release affects the production of concrete bug holes.
From Paolo Redaelli, "Effects of two releasing agents on the surface of a properly vibrated concrete. Please note the one on the left having a perfect surface after very few seconds while the one on the right keeps forming bubbles of air."
February 22-24, 2018 – Denver, CO
Colorado Convention Center
Hill and Griffith Company Booth 1527
Thursday, Feb. 22 – 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 23 – 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 24 – 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
The Precast Show is the largest precast-specific trade show in North America and the one place where you can find the industry’s most important suppliers and foremost equipment experts under one roof.
The Precast Show is sponsored by the National Precast Concrete Association and the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute with additional collaboration from the Canadian Precast Prestressed Concrete Institute and the Cast Stone Institute.
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Hill and Griffith Customer Service
We're known for our hands-on approach. Let us visit your plant and recommend concrete release agents, packerhead concrete form releases, concrete form seasoning, potable water and non-petroleum concrete form release, biodegradable releases, rust inhibitors and concrete dissolver products that suit your needs.
We are pleased to provide samples in quantities large enough to allow you to "try before you buy."
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Technical Services & Support
On-site casting defect investigations, product testing, machine start-ups and much more. Also, lab facilities are available to provide testing upon request.
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