Corrosion, rust, oxidation, degeneration. No matter how you say it, one thing is certain, it’s costing you money. Quite possibly even more than you’re aware of. The annual cost of corrosion in the production and manufacturing industry is estimated at a staggering $17.6 billion each year according to the study, “Corrosion Costs and Preventive Strategies in the United States.” That’s just a fraction of the estimated $276 billion lost due to corrosion in the United States. Even more alarming, the estimated indirect costs of corrosion is equal to the direct cost. So, what steps do you need to take to ensure your products are being adequately protected from corrosion?
4 Simple Steps to Stop and Prevent Corrosion
1) Educate Yourself – What Exactly is VCI?
First and foremost, it’s important to understand what VCI are and how they work. The term “VCI” stands for Volatile Corrosion Inhibitors. Volatile Corrosion Inhibitors (VCI) are a type of corrosion inhibitors that are used to protect ferrous and nonferrous metals against corrosion, also known as rust. Corrosion inhibitors compounds vaporize from the paper or film. They are attracted to the charged surface of the metal due to polar orientation.
As seen in the images above, the VCI molecules align on the surface which creates a barrier that prevents oxidation. Simply put, corrosion is stopped. The molecules continue to build up on to the barrier surface until a continuous barrier has formed on the metal surface.
2) So Many Choices…
It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed when you start looking at the different options available to prevent corrosion. Paper, film, bags, and more…Oh, my! Once you understand what choices are available to you, and what benefits each provides, the next step will be a piece of cake. Our vendor partners at Daubert Cromwell, offer a large selection for all your VCI needs.
- VCI Paper: Easy to use, scratch and abrasion resistant, high heat resistance and set up VCI protection quickly. VCI Paper can also easily be converted into sheets, bags, and wraps for individual parts, to name a few.
- VCI Films/Bags: Heat sealable, durable and stretchable, economical, high water resistance, and can be applied automatically and removed quickly. VCI Films and Bags are easily customizable to meet all your needs.
- VCI Liquids: Ideal for use to prevent rust on exposed metals and unpainted metals at all stages of their lifecycle, for lay-up and preservation of engines.
- VCI Devices: Devices give off, or emit VCI compounds and protect recessed areas within a package. They are ideal for hard to reach areas and enhance protection by giving a ‘boost’ of available VCI.
- Rust Remover: Used when it’s necessary to remove rust from metal before packing, storing or shipment. Daubert Cromwell offers a liquid and gel form of rust removers.
3) Selecting the Right VCI
When selecting the right VCI for your application, it’s crucial to know that the VCI protection is a function of what metals are in need of protection, corrosion inhibiting chemicals used, and the ratio of chemicals in the formulation just to name a few. It’s important to note that VCI formulations that work under one set of conditions may not work under another. All aspects of the process, metals composition, packaging, storage and shipping conditions should be considered in order to select the right packaging media and VCI formulation.
With the help of your R.V. Evans Packaging Solutions Specialists, and a Site Needs Analysis, we can assist you with selecting the appropriate VCI product by taking the following into consideration:
- Type of metals in need of protection
- Duration of protection required
- Domestic or export shipping
- Climate conditions
- Size and weight of product
- Value of product
- Current packaging requirements
- Automatic or manual
- Chemical or oil residue on the metal
- Processing and cleaning methods
- Packing station location relative to other processes
4) A Few Final Thoughts
You’ve gone through the motions of learning what VCI are, the types of VCI and how to select it. So, it only seems fitting you know how to properly use it. First and most important: Employees that are packaging your products should ALWAYS wear gloves while handling metal parts.
- Parts should be clean and free of fingerprints before wrapping.
- Package your clean products as quickly as possible.
- The metal part should be no more than 12″ from the VCI product. The closer to the metal, the better the corrosion protection.
- As a general rule, use 1 sq. ft. of VCI for every 1-3 sq. ft. of the metal surface. Use at least 1 sq. ft. of VCI for every cubic foot of void space.
- The duration of protection depends on the VCI paper and packing method used.
- Packages may be opened and resealed without affecting the corrosion protection. (Avoid touching metals during an inspection.)
- Do not inventory more than a six month supply of VCI paper or film.
Whether you’re new to the world of corrosion prevention or looking to add to your current corrosion prevention application, you’re now one step closer to stopping and preventing corrosion. Are you still uncertain about what VCI application best suits your needs? R.V. Evans company can assist you in determining and implementing the best solution for your requirements.
If you’re interested in learning more about VCI products or any of our other Packaging Solutions, please contact us to schedule your Site Needs Analysis with one of our Packaging Solutions Specialists. To learn more about all of our Packaging and Fastening Solutions, visit us online at www.rvevans.com.
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