With over 75 years of experience in the chemical sector, Concentrol has shown that it has a strong commitment to the quality of the products it offers, in addition to an awareness of responsibility towards the environment and the safety of workers. Our long experience in the field of release agents allows us to have a broad perspective on the trends, the present, and opportunities in the sector, which we then analyse in detail, aware of the importance of these products for the preservation of the natural environment and the company's corporate responsibility in this sector.

In this sector, an increase in the demand for co-solvent release agents, 50:50 mix and water-based release agents has been detected. Water-based release agents lead production, as there has been strong pressure to eliminate VOC emissions due to health effects they can have on people. Water-based release agents are mainly being used in the manufacture of automotive and footwear parts. Yet, there are some applications and processes where water-based release agents have some technical aspects to improve that are being worked on, and for this reason, new products have been developed that offer technological improvements with the same quality and finish as solvent-based products, but with a reduction of emissions of around 50%. It can be asserted that the 50:50 blend co-solvent release agents are a step forward towards the total implementation of water-based release agents applied throughout the market.

Additionally, we have detected a growing sophistication of manufacturing processes and market demands regarding shoe sole release agents. Companies are increasingly demanding in terms of quality and finish, which requires constant improvement in R & D.

Keeping up to date, Concentrol is following the market trend towards water-based release agents, hand in hand with our company values regarding improvement and a continuous search for the preservation of the natural environment, sustainability, hygiene, research and safety. Concentrol is a pioneer offering products that respect the environment and human beings, being the release agent sector key in this aspect.

Environmental impact

One of the critical points in the demolding sector is undoubtedly its environmental impact. The trend of 50:50 co-solvents partially solves the problem by reducing emissions by 50%, while continuing to work to achieve virtually zero emissions in water-based release agents with guarantees in all applications.

The fact that the technical goal of a water-based product with the same benefits as solvent-based ones has not been achieved, has favoured the appearance of hybrid products, which consist of water-base and solvent-base in equal or similar proportions. With these products drying similar to that of Class 3 solvent-based release agents (flash point higher than 55ºC) is achieved and the VOC emission is reduced by approx 50%. The finish of parts with co-solvents is similar to that of solvent-based products and demolding is similar. The reduction of concentration of solvents in the work environment is another highly regarded advantage, as well as allowing superficial gluing and / or adhesion ​​of safety elements on the demolded foam.

The sector is working very actively to achieve a 100% water based product that succeeds in adapting to all market needs, with the advantages of its most valued properties, such as its ease of molding, its wide range of hardness or its foam format.

It has also been noticed that the main elements that customers take more into account when choosing a solvent are: levels of volatile emissions (VOC and FOG), toxicity indicators such as TLV and DNEL, flammability and emissions in work environment. These are the sector's most critical points and production has to face these demands with improvement towards the reduction of direct emissions of VOC; Total elimination of TLV and DNEL values ​​related to solvents and reduction of flammability. Concentrated products, electrostatic products and water-based products are the solution.