What are the main functions of a mold release agent?

Mold release agents provide not only a physical and/or chemical barrier as the means of separation between the material being molded and the mold surface, but also impact process characteristics like the flow rate of the material being molded within the mold cavity, molding cycle time and, of course, release ease. The choice of mold release agents also affects finish characteristics of the released part like gloss level, accurate texture reproduction, post molding operations (e.g. adhesion or coating of the molded part) in addition to influencing the mold service life in between maintenance cycles, and overall productivity.