How to Get Better Results from Your SMC Molding Process
If your composites molding operation already works with sheet molding compound (SMC), it's likely not news to you that these materials have been experiencing something of a renaissance in the marketplace in recent years. SMC's ability to be widely custom-formulated has made it unique and unusual among composites—as well as highly valuable in the automotive industry, which has been driven to innovate on several new fronts throughout the last two decades.
And, as the auto industry keeps pushing the envelope, SMC composites molders are responding in kind. SMC formulators have developed an incredible range of new SMC technologies that are reinventing the material. All of this innovation, however, creates a question of how to improve and optimize operations even as they change.
That's where Stoner Molding Solutions can help. Today's Knowledge Base post shares three of our best mold release products for working with sheet molding compounds. Read on to get the inside story on why the answer to "how can I get better ROI from my SMC molding process?" is to count on Stoner's mold release agents specifically designed with compression molded composites in mind.
Why are Sheet Molding Compounds So Popular Right Now?
It's true that SMC is not a new composite—it was first formulated in the 1960s. Its wide use in the automotive industry is also not new. However, it fell out of favor around the turn of the new millennium due to "paint-pop" and blistering problems on finished body panels and other parts.
The main issue? Unfortunately, the traditional SMC formulas weren't up to performing with the broader range of electrophoretic rust preventative (E-coat) and paint-line temperatures that were coming online at the time. In fact, some automakers abandoned using SMC after about 2003 because of these issues.
More recently—thanks to stricter emissions and fuel economy standards that started phasing in around 2012—auto manufacturers realized that SMC could best meet the need for lightweight composites that would make cars and light trucks compliant. A new race had already been underway to develop next-generation SMCs that wouldn't suffer paint pop issues. After the recession of 2008, SMC molding began roaring back to life for automotive parts manufacturing.
Our Favorite Mold Release Products for SMC Molding
Is your business part of the SMC molding resurgence? Then it's time to see what some of our best composite mold releases can do for your operational efficiency.
If you're looking to eliminate paste or block wax releases from your SMC molding operation, our E455 Thermoset Mold Release is an excellent choice. Stoner E455 Thermoset Mold Release is specially formulated as a release agent and anti-stick lubricant for compression-molded reinforced thermosets, especially SMC and BMC (bulk molding compound). It allows molded thermoset parts to be painted, plated, hot stamped, adhesive-bonded, labeled, or otherwise decorated—all with the convenience of an aerosol application.
Other advantages of E455? It contains no silicones or oils and provides a long-lasting anti-stick film for fast, easy part removal from molds and multiple part releases per application. This solvent, synthetic wax aerosol formulation is also available in bulk packaging.
Like E455, our P313 mold release is specially designed for the compression molding of SMC and BMC. This water-based bulk release can be used straight and is specifically formulated for parts that are post-decorated or painted.
Curious about making the switch to a water-based release from solvent-based products? Check out this article in our Stoner Knowledge Base.
Kantstik LM 35 Concentrate
Kantstik LM 35 is a high solids wax emulsion bulk release concentrate that can be used for SMC molding. High volume users appreciate the low cost per release cycle, and they typically reduce LM 35 Concentrate by adding 2 to 3 parts water to LM 35. It's also non-flammable and non-hazardous.
Some additional advantages of LM 35 include easy application—spray, brush, or wipe this release depending on your needs. LM 35 also evaporates rapidly, and the release solids can withstand high-temperature exposure above 350° F (177°C), without deterioration.
Watch our LM 35 video to see this innovative mold release product in action!
Ready to Optimize Your SMC Molding for Better Results?
No matter how or why your company is compression molding SMC, Stoner Molding Solutions has a mold release product that can help you optimize your operations. Are you working with polyester, vinyl ester, or resin blends? Or maybe with fiberglass or other reinforcement fibers? How about any type of mineral or additive fillers? We can help.
Whether you need water or solvent-based wax, silicone, or non-silicone formulations, Stoner's range of aerosol and bulk sacrificial and semi-permanent, sprayable releases has got you covered.
For more specialized processes, discover our unmatched capabilities in formulating custom release products tailored to meet your production requirements. Simply get in touch with our industry-leading experts, chemists, and engineers today to get started.