Evaluating mold release sprays

Evaluating and developing Mold release sprays

Mold release sprays are semiconductor mold maintenance products that are used in between transfer or compression molding shots to make sure that molded devices will “pop-off”” easily after cure. They are a crucial part of the cleaning and conditioning cycle of the molding process.

Options such as wax conditioning sheets or wax conditioning pellets are also possible but mold release sprays are a very easy and flexible method for mold conditioning. These methods need to be applied after the cleaning cycle with melamine pellets and rubber cleaning sheets and be effective but not too waxy so that the part pops out without any wax residues.

Conditioning is not an either/or situation. You should use either wax conditioning sheets/pellets or a mold release spray. Under normal conditions, you should not compound them. For example, in the following cycle, you could either use

You only get to pick one.

In the following image you can see a classic cleaning and conditioning cycle. This is not set in stone but it is a starting point that you can adjust for your own needs. Ideally you should apply a layer of carnauba wax/mold release spray within the EMC production step(every 50 shots) that can extend your production cycle well beyond its normal capacity and up to 1000-1200 shots.

Typical application of mold release is to spray quickly at 1foot distance from the mold and then go at the back and do the same from the same distance. Two spray applications in total. Some companies tend to be scared of Auto ignition (~237°C) or other such issues but experience has showed that there are not many (if any) issues in mass molding production environments. Especially if you are keeping proper distance and safety measures.

After conditioning, Dummy shots are required and after 2 shots you should be able to get the OK from QA that you are good to go. This is done to avoid shiny surfaces that can interfere with the laser mak visibility of the vision system later on. That’s why we want a balanced surface that is consistent, not shiny and properly laser markable. And then the cycle continues..

In a production environment, it’s not easy to nitpick and monitor the exact amount of shots. That’s why you want to develop a habit to clean and condition every X hours or every morning or night depending on your personnel and process habits. This will keep the process consistent, the line properly conditioned and the packages clean and (not too) shiny.

If you are reading this you are probably already aware of the MJ Gordon situation where multiple companies were completely cut off the supply chain after MJ went dark, leaving processes without a reliable mold release spray alternative. That’s when we, as CaplinQ, realized we should find an immediate solution and after an intense research period, we started developing what proved to be a direct alternative. CHEMLINQ MRE C909.

In the meantime, we already started looking for other alternatives, so other Non-silicone products were found to be evaluated. We used some leftover MJ Gordon, the newly developed MREC909 and 3 other competitive Non Silicone candidates. Here’s what we did:

Evaluation of mold release products

Five (5) “non-silicone” candidates were evaluated alongside the benchmark MJ Gordon #909C

Hysol’s GR15F-MOD2C Semiconductor Grade Epoxy Molding Compound was molded with 5 different “non-silicone” based release agents. Two test coupons were made out ot each:

  1. “Non-silicone” candidate 1
  2. “Non-silicone” candidate 2
  3. “Non-silicone” candidate 3
  4. MJGordon’s #909C mold release available
  5. CAPLINQ Chemlinq™ MRE-C909

Results with the first three candidates

Many mold release types are INCOMPATIBLE with Epoxy Molding Compound (EMC)

Results with other mold release agents:

  • Did not dry during the molding cycle
  • Caused increased sticking in the mold
  • Poor molded part quality
  • Visual defects in molded bars were observed
  • Offensive to the operator; burning eyes, irritation

These bars were molded after treating the molds with other non-silicone candidates

Results with CAPLINQ MRE-C909 & MJ Gordon Permasil #909C

These bars were molded after treating the molds with MRE-C909 and Gordon’s Carnauba spray release.

Mold results with MRE-C909 were identical as those with MJ Gordon #909C

Results with CAPLINQ Chemlinq™ MRE-C909

  • Processed equally well as MJ Gordon #909C
  • No sticking
  • No irritation to the operator
  • Very good release properties

Not all “Non-Silicone” carnauba mold release products are the same

Of all the carnauba wax candidates tested, only the MRE-C909 gave the same excellent results as the MJ Gordon #909C

There was a clear difference between other “non-silicone” carnauba wax epoxy mold compound release products and the MRE-C909. Only the MRE-C909 worked like a true alternative to the MJ Gordon Permasil #909C

Carnauba wax is the same natural mold release wax used in the manufacture of semiconductor epoxy molding compounds

There is no silicone, Teflon or oil in the MRE-C909 formulation. While Teflon and silicone may be well-suited for the release of rubber molds or to coat anti-stick surfaces, they rarely have a place when working with liquid epoxy, epoxy molding compounds (EMC) and other thermoset plastic types. They are simply not compatible.

Chemlinq MRE-C909 does not contain any chlorofluorocarbon and ozone-depleting substances. It also does not contain trichloroethane CAS No: 71-55-6 or dichloromethane CAS No: 75-09-2, making the solvent and propellant used physiologically safe as well as both REACH and RoHS compliant.

Chemlinq MRE-C909 is a non-silicone mold release agent developed specifically for both transfer molding and compression molding where thermoset plastics such as epoxies, phenolics, and melamines are used. MRE-C909 is suitable for epoxy mold compound applications which require only a thin, uniform layer of mold release for best results. Due to its dryness, MRE-C909 provides the perfect balance of release and rustproofing for the mold without leaving a greasy layer on the molded part after molding.

CHEMLINQ MRE C909 has since been qualified and used by many electronics device manufacturers around the world. Semiconductors packages, Sensors and other transfer and compression-molded devices are using this carnauba wax mold release spray with great results.

We’d be happy to help you out with any cleaning and conditioning requests that you might have. Do you need a quotation or a product recommendation? Contact us and your regional sales representative will get back to you as soon as possible.

About George Kountardas

George is a Jack of all trades with an unappeasable inquiring mind. Obsessed with new products and technologies, he is always pushing forward for better, faster and more efficient applications. Always learning something new.

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