Panels with a 4-mil-thick, hard polymeric resin coating applied to exterior-grade plywood require no release agent. These are 4x8-foot panels bonded by waterproof glue and sealed at the edges to prevent moisture penetration.
The proprietary resin coating gives the plywood durability and resistance to abrasion and moisture, according to the manufacturer, as well as the ability to let go of the concrete without a release agent.
The manufacturer guarantees 22 to 25 reuses of the no-release-agent panels on vertical surfaces, with reasonable care and cleaning of the panels. For horizontal work, 15 uses are guaranteed.
Though prices vary regionally, one contractor reported a 30% initial cost advantage for the new product, compared with the imported birch plywood that he would normally have used. Another, comparing with HDO plywood, said he reached a break-even cost after 6 uses of the panel.