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Concrete molding is a process that involves shaping and forming concrete into various sizes and shapes. The process is widely used in construction applications, such as creating foundation walls, columns, beams, and precast concrete products.
One of the essential factors in concrete molding is the use of release agents. The agents are used to prevent the concrete from sticking to the mold, making it easier to release after it sets. There are different types of release agents, including vegetable oils, petroleum-based oils, and waxes.
In recent years, Ethylene Bis-Stearamide (EBS) has gained popularity as a release agent in concrete molding. This article will explore the benefits of using EBS and why it is an excellent option for concrete molding.
What is Ethylene Bis-Stearamide?
Ethylene Bis-Stearamide (EBS) is a synthetic wax made from ethylene diamine and stearic acid. It is commonly used as an additive in plastics, printing inks, and coatings.
In the concrete industry, EBS has gained popularity as a release agent due to its excellent release properties and ability to improve surface finish quality. EBS is a non-toxic, odorless, and safe option to use in concrete molding. It is also readily available and relatively inexpensive compared to other types of release agents.
Benefits of Using EBS as a Release Agent
1. Better Surface Finish Quality
EBS has excellent release properties that prevent the concrete from sticking to the mold. The result is a high-quality surface finish without any blemishes or defects. The smooth surface finish is essential, especially for decorative concrete finishes and precast concrete products.
2. Reduced Cost
EBS is an affordable option compared to other types of release agents. It is easy to apply, and a little amount goes a long way. The cost-effectiveness of EBS makes it an ideal option for small-scale and large-scale concrete molding projects.
3. Improved Productivity
The use of EBS as a release agent in concrete molding improves productivity by reducing the time needed to release the concrete from the mold. The quick release time allows for faster turnaround times, enabling contractors to take on more projects.
4. Safer Option
Unlike other types of release agents that contain harmful chemicals, EBS is non-toxic and safe to use. It does not produce any harmful fumes or odors, making it a safe option for workers and the environment.
5. Improved Concrete Strength
EBS has been found to improve the strength of concrete by reducing surface defects, such as honeycombing and air pockets. The improved strength is essential, especially for structural concrete applications.
How to Use EBS as a Release Agent
Using EBS as a release agent in concrete molding is relatively easy. Here are the steps:
1. Clean the Mold
Before applying EBS, it is essential to clean the mold thoroughly to remove any dirt, debris, or old release agents.
2. Apply EBS
Apply a thin layer of EBS to the mold, ensuring that every corner and edge is covered. A sprayer or brush can be used to apply the EBS.
3. Allow it to Dry
Allow the EBS to dry for about 30 minutes before adding the concrete to the mold. The drying time may vary, depending on the humidity and temperature conditions in the area.
4. Pour the Concrete
After the EBS is dry, pour the concrete into the mold and compact it properly. Ensure that the concrete completely covers the mold, avoiding any air pockets.
5. Demold the Concrete
After the concrete has set, remove the mold by gently tapping the sides and bottom of the mold. The concrete should come out without sticking to the mold, thanks to the EBS release agent.
Ethylene Bis-Stearamide (EBS) is an excellent option to use as a release agent in concrete molding. The benefits of using EBS, such as improved surface finish quality, reduced cost, improved productivity, safer option, and improved concrete strength, make it a popular choice in the concrete industry.
When using EBS as a release agent, it is essential to follow the correct application procedures to ensure the best results. With its long-lasting effects and affordability, EBS is undoubtedly a worthwhile investment to make in any concrete molding project.
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