Release Agents & Molding Aids for the Resin Infusion of Composites
The resin infusion process is particularly suited to the molding of components that have a very large surface area, such as wind turbine blades and boat hulls. The huge surface area precludes the use of open-lay, since uncontrolled solvent evaporation on such large pieces can be both dangerous and environmentally unfriendly. Although a closed process solution, such as resin infusion, reduces the environmental and safety aspects mentioned, it does pose significant challenges for the release agent. The resin infusion process takes place in a closed environment, which becomes a very aggressive environment for the release agent as the temperature rises considerably due to chemical reactions taking place. In effect, the release agent must be robust enough to survive and function properly within boiling solvents. Chem-Trend’s expertise in the field of composites has allowed us to develop industry-leading products for molding with the resin infusion process.
Chem-Trend’s Chemlease® Brand of Products
Chem-Trend’s Chemlease® brand of products has been supporting the composite industry with solutions to the most challenging molding situations for over 25 years now. From our long experience working alongside our customers on their shop floors we have been able to develop specially formulated Chemlease® products that can handle the high stresses of an infusion environment. These products are intended to work independently, or together as a complete release system for even stronger results:
- Cleaner – If necessary, the mold should be treated with purpose-specific abrasives to remove resin residues or previously used release agents. The Chemlease® cleaner should then be used to remove all remaining contaminants on the mold surface.
- Primer – Priming the mold surface ensures that ensuing sealer and top coat layers can perform to their true potential. The primer provides the ultimate mold protection from the “ground up” to keep build-up or “scumming” to an absolute minimum.
- Sealer – The sealer performs the role of an interlayer between the primer and the top coat allowing each to bind and properly perform their function for repetitive molding cycles.
Top-coat – Chemlease® semi-permanent top-coats can be selected from a range designed to provide the molder with flexibility in both application technique and release characteristics.
- High or low slip depending upon the shape of the molded part
- Wipe-on, wipe-off application method
- Wipe-on, leave-on application method
- Spray-on, leave-on application method
Once the mold has been cleaned, primed and sealed, the choice of top-coat can be made to address a particular need. These top-coats allow the applicable gel-coat to be applied without fear of fish-eyes occurring. Parts that require a cosmetic finish will reflect the appearance of the treated mold for an extended period of time, with little or no build-up, if timely re-application of the top coat is applied. Correct preparation will ensure that the mold will give the maximum number of releases between re-applications of the top-coat, while ensuring that build-up on the mold surface is minimized.
The Chemlease® release system has been developed to remain undisturbed by the ‘washing action” of the infused resin in applications where no gel-coat is used. It is also highly abrasion resistant – it is possible to walk on the laid-up mold if necessary, without fear of damaging the release system.
We have also developed specialty flange waxes to ensure that vacuum bagging tape adheres to, and seals, mold flanges tightly.
A Lot More than Release Systems
When you purchase Chem-Trend’s Chemlease® products for composites molding you get a lot more than just products. You gain access to a worldwide support network of industry professionals committed to developing the right solutions for your application. Our long history in the industry, combined with our many years of experience on composite shop production floors, means that we can help you optimize your mold release application and cleaning processes to improve your bottom line. Our sales and technical service experts are available locally to support our customers, and their distributors, through a global network of offices. We also support our customers through our technical service and development laboratories located around the globe. It’s all part of our commitment to providing our customers with greater value, performance and dependability.