In early December the EPA announced the results of a scientific study that concluded greenhouse gases threaten the health and welfare of Americans. While the announcement on its own does not impose any new requirements on the concrete industry, it signals a renewed legislative effort to limit emissions. EPA's endangerment finding covers emissions of six key greenhouse gases—carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride.

As a result, producers can expect even more pressure to use construction materials that do not contain these gases. One commonly used group of materials that will be affected is form release agents. Water-based and organic release agents have become more popular in recent years.

Once spurned as unnecessary, producers and contractors have accepted nonpetroleum-based products as a viable alternative to fuel oil and other products. Along with meeting air quality compliance rules for lowered volatile organic compounds (VOCs), these products are more environmentally friendly in case of an accidental discharge.

Following are some release agents that can help producers meet the appropriate standards while producing high-quality products. World of Concrete booth numbers were correct at time of publication.

Avoid damage to concrete

Increase useful form life while decreasing maintenance and labor costs with StarSeal water-based form release agents. They reduce surface preparation and painting costs without damaging concrete. EF Release is a non-staining agent without oils or waxes that won't crater, bead, run, or sag on vertical applications. EF Bio-Release is made from biodegradable, rapidly renewable materials. It contains no petroleum-based oils, is odor-free, and meets all U.S. VOC standards. Vexcon Chemicals Inc. 888-839-2661. WOC Booth #S11323

High coverage, low cost

Ezkote Green is a biodegradable, zero-VOC, low-odor reactive form release. It provides a quick and clean release of formwork, leaving concrete free of voids and defects. For metal forms, it reduces maintenance by forming a protective, rustproof film. It waterproofs and protects wooden forms, increasing their life span. US Spec, a Div. of US Mix Products. 800-397-9903.

Safe for light-colored concrete

RA-230 release oil is effective on metal, aluminum, fiberglass, urethane, or ABS-based molds. It creates a water-insoluble film that prevents adhesion or sticking, and reduces surface voids and defects in concrete. Use the clear, non-staining oil with white or colored concrete for an architectural-grade finish. RA-230 leaves forms free of buildup for easier cleaning and stripping, and longer life. Specco Industries. 800-441-6646.

Organic form coating

Apply Duogard Citrus to prestressed and precast concrete forms for a better and cleaner cast. It will not stain or discolor concrete. It works with wood, steel, fiberglass, and aluminum forms, as well as fiber tubes. Duogard Citrus allows clean and quick form release and removal, and cuts machine cleanup time by minimizing concrete buildup. It meets the maximum VOC content for form release compounds as required by the EPA. W. R. Meadows Inc. 800-342-5976. WOC Booths #S10407, O30735

Choose your agent

Each form release agent in the Cast-O-Magic line meets a specific need for the type of product produced, form material, and environmental sensitivity. 229 VOC meets the strictest environmental standards. The low-VOC vegetable oil blend sprays easily in a thin film. It is biodegradable, so it reduces stormwater runoff issues. It works well in pipe production operations on header rings and pallets. Rostine Manufacturing and Supply Inc. 800-397-9114.

Three versions

Petroleum-based, water-based, and biodegradable versions of Nox-Crete Form Coating meet all forming requirements, including LEED and green building projects. They can be used on bare and overlaid plywood forms. The chemically active release agents extend the service life of wood forming panels by reducing the absorption of destructive alkaline concrete bleedwater. The coatings eliminate stains on concrete surfaces and minimize voids or bugholes. Nox-Crete Products Group. 800-669-2738. WOC Booth #S11527

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