Volatile Corrosion Inhibitor (VCI) Packaging is an effective way to prevent corrosion on metals. When packed correctly, VCI packaging can protect clean metals for years in shipping and storage. Typical VCI packaging products are VCI poly sheeting, VCI bags, VCI Kraft paper, and other VCI wraps. These packaging products are used to line containers or create enclosures around metal parts and equipment. They diffuse volatile corrosion inhibitors that settle on metal surfaces and form an invisible protective layer from rust and corrosion. They also protect from exterior contaminants such as moisture and dirt.
Sometimes, a VCI protective package design benefits from the addition of VCI diffusers and emitters. VCI diffusers come in many forms, such as capsules, pouches, or foam, and emit VCI chemistry outward into enclosures. They generally come in a range of sizes for different-sized applications. They are designed to be able to drop in or adhere to the inside of the walls of enclosures for targeted protection. It is beneficial to use VCI diffusers in addition to packaging in these situations:
- When a VCI-lined container is very large, and there isn’t sufficient VCI packaging on the interior
- In challenging corrosion situations such as overseas shipping or longer-term storage
- If there are dividers in a container and the VCI molecules are blocked from reaching the metals
- To reach sealed interior spaces of goods such as electronics cabinets or other housings
- If a fast-acting VCI diffuser such as the ActivPak® could be needed in addition to VCI packaging
- As an option for VCI protection in plain packaging
One way to determine if additional VCI protection is needed is by asking the question, “Does the VCI packaging or emitter have line-of-site?” Meaning can the metal surface be “seen” by the VCI? If not, additional VCI could be needed to effectively reach the surfaces. Even though VCI is a vapor and will travel and fill the void spaces in an enclosure, it can be difficult for the chemistry to travel long distances and effectively protect divided areas.
The right amount of protection and best combination and placement of VCI products can be determined with the help of your ZERUST® Account Manager. Samples and testing are available to verify the correct packaging design to protect your metal parts.