Urethane Release Agents and Coatings
October 03, 2013
If you're an injection molder, you probably know how sticky urethane can be and how difficult it is to remove from the steel cavities and cores of molds in the injection molding machine you're working with. Using a release agent on the steel surfaces will loosen the urethane in order to remove it. A surface treatment that works well for this is Nano Mould Release Coating. This is actually a line of products that advocates using nanotechnology in their "mesh-like" microstructure of the solution to absorb and removed any remnants of surface debris, including urethane.
Another method for surface upkeep and treatments is to dry blast it using a sandblaster. This can remove most of the stickiness off the steel surfaces, however may miss small amounts within some crevices and grooves of a mold. Using a spray release agent is another route to go, but may not be appropriate in some cases, such as in environments with minimal air ventilation. Diamond polishing is a method highly recommended by Bales Mold Service, Inc. for it's attention to detail in surface treating. With the process of liquid honing, ultra fine media cleans intricate parts without compromising dimension or part detail. The liquid honing process directs an air-ejected liquid abrasive chemical emulsion against the surface for treatment. An additional method is vapor degreasing, which is a cleaning process that uses solvents and chemicals to clean and degrease parts through vapor immersion, which in turn lowers labor and handling costs. Electrolytic Cleaning is a different process which utilizes a caustic-based cleaning solution to eliminate surface grease, RDM oil, cutting fluids, rust inhibitors and organics, working well on organically shaped molds. Lastly, pickling uses acid based chemicals to remove scale, rust and discoloration from your mold, tool or component and is often used for surface preparation prior to dry blasting, plating or coating.
Surface treating for your mold can be done in a variety of ways, so it just depends on cost of time and materials and which method you're most comfortable with. The integrity of the surface of the mold is very important to maintain in order to ensure longevity of your mold, so it's imperative that any method you use to be carried out thoroughly.