A concrete release agent is a liquid or powder used for cleaning or preserving formwork. When selecting a release agent, be sure to choose a product that will not stain or contaminate the concrete or the internal hardware of the form.
Commercial forms releases are specially formulated and will not contaminate or discolor concrete. They will also help prevent the concrete from sticking to the form. In addition, these products protect the formwork from moisture and keep the edges crisp as stamps are pulled out.
For wood forms, a non-corrosive, water-based concrete release agent is recommended. For metal forms, you may want to use an oil-based product. Choosing the best concrete release agent depends on the type of concrete you plan to use and the surface treatment of your concrete.
Form release agents can also be used to make it easier to remove physical forms. They can be sprayed on the environment or applied with a sprayer. They work by creating a thin chemical membrane. This prevents concrete from entering the pores of the wood.
There are many types of release agents. Some are water-based, while others are oil-based. Both contain ingredients that help distribute the release agent to the forming surface. Some also contain pigment to tint the form. If you plan to add color to your concrete, consider using a pigmented release agent.
Some states have specific regulations for the level of VOCs in concrete form release agents. The federal government has set a maximum allowable VOC level of 450 grams per liter.