Corrosion Protection & Rust Prevention FAQs
Q1. What is VCI?
Answer: VCI is an acronym for Volatile Corrosion Inhibitor. VCI chemicals are a class of corrosion inhibiting compounds, which have sufficient vapour pressure to release molecules from the compound into the air. Technology Packaging's TechCorro™ VCI products are produced in the UK and Europe and contain proprietary ARMOR® VCI chemicals directly in the packaging. Our packaging products include papers, films, foams, nettings, chipboards, plastics and many other packaging components, which safely prevent corrosion on protected metals without the need for messy grease, oils, protective coatings or other ineffective methods.
Q2. How long does VCI protect a product?
Answer: When using TechCorro™ VCI products properly, protection will last for years. Technology Packaging offers a range of VCI products to protect a variety of metals for specific packaging requirements. Typical protection periods of a normal 1010 steel panel wrapped properly in TechCorro™[P] papers using ARMOR VCI can remain protected for over two years and much longer depending on packaging system.
Q3. Which is a better rust inhibitor, VCI Paper or VCI Poly?
Answer: From strictly a corrosion inhibitor standpoint, paper has been a better inhibitor of rust due to the way that the VCI is impregnated into the paper, and is released into the air and onto the product. VCI Papers have been in existence for over 50 years, first adopted by the United States Military. VCI, because of paper characteristics, is able to protect a part quicker than polyethylene VCI. This is not to say that VCI Poly is not an excellent product or that it does not have its place. However, from a pure rust inhibitor issue, paper has proven over the long haul to be slightly more effective.
Q4. What advantages / disadvantages does VCI Poly have over traditional VCI methods?
Answer: VCI Poly has several advantages as a corrosion inhibiting packaging medium. The
three main advantages are:
1) Provides moisture barrier in addition to a corrosion inhibitor
2) Offers ease of usage by simply placing a product into a treated
TechCorro™[F] VCI bag
3) Often a customer is already using a poly bag for moisture, dust and containment
reasons and a TechCorro™[F] VCI bag can give them these same benefits with
the addition of corrosion inhibiting protection.
Disadvantages of VCI poly are that from a purely corrosion inhibiting standpoint, paper has a slight edge in overall protection. However, this is slight and usually the advantages will weigh more favourably over the disadvantages.
Q5. How does VCI compare to desiccants in preventing corrosion?
Answer: VCI products and desiccants work in a completely different way. TechCorro™ VCI products prevent corrosion by an electro-chemical process that forms a thin molecular layer of protection on a metal surface. This layer of protection is microscopic and does not alter the metal in any way, nor require removal of the VCI after being removed from the package. A desiccant is simply a moisture absorber. Desiccants absorb moisture but do not satisfactorily protect a metal surface from other electrolytes that cause corrosion such as oxygen. In fact, if a desiccant packet absorbs moisture as it should, it can actually cause rust wherever a metal part touches the desiccant packet. Our recommendation is that in most applications, if a customer uses a desiccant packet, that it be placed in an area that will not touch the parts.
Q6. How does corrugated cardboard affect corrosion?
Answer: Corrugated is generally acidic by nature and acts as a sponge absorbing moisture due
to its characteristics. Corrugated absorbs water/moisture even within a normal
distribution environment. When metal or metal parts are placed directly on or near
corrugated moisture and/or acidity transfer occurs, which will directly cause corrosion
on a metal surface. It is important to place TechCorro™ VCI Packaging between
metals and acidic and hygroscopic materials such as corrugated and wood to prevent
corrosion at contact points. These materials include boxes, trays, sheets and pallets.
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Q7. Can only one type of VCI work on all metals?
Diverse needs call for diverse solutions. That is why Technology Packaging offers many types of VCI Paper for your specific VCI needs. However, Armor have now developed a new VCI blend which protects a very wide range of ferrous and non-ferrous metals extremely well.
Q8. Why does Technology Packaging offer so many VCI formulations and products?
Metals are composed of many different elements. Due to the vast differences in metal composition, one cannot attempt to protect varying metals with one formulation without a sacrifice in performance, or worse yet, failure. That is why Technology Packaging offers many types of VCI paper for your specific metal needs.
Q9. What are the advantages of TechCorro™?
• Cost Effective Protection
• VCI Vapours replenish inside contained package
• Easy to apply
• No grease, messy oils, surface preparation
• No need to remove VCI protection before using or welding product
• Vapours penetrate recessed, inaccessible areas
• Provides up to 2 years of corrosion protection (and more depending on type of packaging)
Q10. Why is it important for workers to wear gloves when handling metal parts?
It is extremely important that all workers wear gloves to protect not only their hands but also to eliminate acidity and moisture from transferring onto the part. This is a very real and legitimate problem in many manufacturing facilities. A person’s hands have moisture and acidity that is directly transferred onto metal. This transfer of moisture and acidity will lead to corrosion at some point. In conditions of more severe temperature and/or humidity the problem arises much quicker. In situations where a metal part is more susceptible to rust due to machined surfaces, metal composition or the like, the problem is exponentially greater.
Q11. Does Technology Packaging offer accelerated corrosion testing?
Answer: Technology Packaging offers full-service, in-house, accelerated corrosion testing at
NO CHARGE to its customers. We have two distinct methods to subject parts to
accelerated conditions including a 100% humidity chamber and the traditional method
of ovens with humidity features.
Q12. What are the three most important factors within a manufacturing process that will influence corrosion?
Answer: Your parts should be clean and free from corrosion before packaging
• Package clean parts as soon as possible after processing, manufacturing or
• Use gloves when handling parts to eliminate corrosion caused by fingerprints.
• Please see our Literature Fulfilment Area for more information.
Q13. How can I purchase Technology Packaging VCI products?
Please contact Technology Packaging either by calling our sales team on +44 (0) 203 598 19 19, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via our contact us page.
Q14. What causes corrosion?
Corrosion is the natural mechanism by which metal returns to its original state of ore. Corrosion of metal is an electro-chemical process. The flow of electrons from high energy areas of metal to low energy areas through a solution on the surface of the metal, capable of supporting corrosion. Corrosion will not take place without a conducting solution. The solution is called an electrolyte, caused by water, rain, moisture, and humidity. As little as 65% relative humidity will form an electrolyte, which can cause corrosion.
Q15. What are nitrites, how are they used in VCI and are they hazardous in VCI Packaging?
Nitrites are used in VCI in the form of sodium nitrite. Sodium nitrite has been used as a food preservative for over 100 years. It is found in the bacon you eat for breakfast and the salami you eat for lunch. It has been approved as a food additive for over two thirds of a century. In fact, over 85% of the sodium nitrite present in our body is produced by our own body. In order to consume the MSDS reported hazardous dosage of sodium nitrite, for a normal VCI at 10.8 g/sq. m. a person would have to EAT all of the sodium nitrite present in 2.9 sq.m. of VCI treated paper. Not only does a person not ingest VCI paper, but rarely comes into contact with it, given the fact that workers should wear gloves to avoid the acidity that our fingerprints give off on the metal surfaces.
Similar to most ordinary household chemicals, sodium nitrite is not without risk. It simply must be handled in the same judicious fashion as such ordinary chemicals as household bleach, windscreen washer fluid, floor wax, and several others. None of these components would be considered as “hazardous” within normal usage; however, sodium nitrite is often singled out as if it is. While sodium nitrite in VCI Paper should not be construed in the same light as a food preservative, it is not the lethal enemy that some make it out to be. It is used in the VCI industry because it is an excellent inhibitor of rust, especially for steel products. Technology Packaging manufactures several different VCI products, with and without sodium nitrite. Please contact a Technology Packaging representative for information and help in specifying the correct product(s) for your application.
Q16. Why is it important to know how much VCI is in a product?
Answer: Technology Packaging can tell you exactly how much VCI is contained in our
products to give your products the added insurance they need to remain corrosion
free. For example, our papers contain a specified and measured amount of VCI
additive, as measured in g/sq. m. This ability to monitor and control the amount is a
testament to our quality and continued improvement. If a company cannot specify
and consistently meet a given coating weight of VCI on a substrate, one runs the risk
of having too little VCI to get the job done.
Q17. Does VCI effect plastics, rubbers, wood or other non-metallic surfaces?
Answer: Technology Packaging has never been contacted regarding an issue with VCI
compatibility to non-metallic surfaces such as plastics, rubbers or wood. However,
since there are so many possible combinations of ingredients, processes and types of
these substrates it is impossible to guarantee anything regarding their suitability
with VCI. Other rust prevention methods such as oils, greases and other
liquid RPs (rust preventatives) pose a much higher likelihood of reacting with
plastics, rubbers and wood. However, it is important for each customer to
check VCI compatibility themselves with these substances due to the complexity
and number of plastics, rubber materials and woods in the marketplace.
Q18. Does Technology Packaging offer any stock products for immediate purchase?
Answer: Technology Packaging offers a variety of stock TechCorro™[P] Papers which are
normally available for next day shipment. In addition a range of TechCorro™[F] Film
products are available. Please see our literature.
Q19. Does Technology Packaging have military approvals for VCI Papers?
Answer: ARMOR VCI Paper is approved on the Qualified Products List for Military
specification MIL-P-3420. This is a legitimately approved product and is not simply
a “conforming” product, as some manufacturer’s may mislead you to believe is the
Q20. Is airtight packaging required?
Answer: Airtight packaging is not required for a VCI product to work, however the VCI
vapours must be enclosed in some fashion. For example, parts which are placed
onto an interleaving sheet can be protected with TechCorro™[P] Paper that is
interleaved between the parts. Parts should be completely wrapped or enclosed
and airtight packaging would be most effective for best results and the longest
Q21. Why is a compatibility test recommended?
Answer: Due to the abundance of metals available, as well as the numerous coolants, washes,
rust preventative oils and other substances used within a manufacturing process, it is
important to check VCI compatibility with these substances TechCorro™ VCI
products rarely react with any of these elements, occasionally there may be factors
that either react adversely with a particular VCI formula or react to diminish the VCI
Q22. What are ferrous and non-ferrous metals?
Answer: Ferrous metals are all metals which contain iron. Steel would be an example of a
ferrous metal. Metals which contain other elements such as zinc, magnesium, copper,
etc. are classified as non-ferrous.
Q23. How does VCI work?
Answer: Corrosion begins when an electrolyte (water, oxygen, humidity) is present on the
surface of a metal. When this happens, electrons then flow from high-energy areas of
the metal to low energy areas in a loop, through the electrolyte. The corrosion process
results in the formation of oxidation on the metal surface. ARMOR® Volatile Corrosion
Inhibiting Technology from Technology Packaging retards this reaction by passivating
the surface and inhibiting or depressing the electro-chemical mechanism that triggers
oxidation, i.e. the current flow from anode to cathode. Electrical current attempts to
flow from the anode through the electrolyte into the cathode but cannot, because of
the VCI’s presence. VCI molecules attach themselves to a metal surface to form an
invisible, thin film, possibly only a few molecules or even one molecule thick, to
protect metal from attack. TechCorro™ VCI products can work for several years
to prevent corrosion from occurring on the metal surface.
Q24. What is corrosion
Answer: A silent predator is stalking companies all over the world. Triggered by humidity, oxygen and other elements in the atmosphere, it's called corrosion and each year it costs hundreds of millions of pounds in corporate profits. Corrosion is a natural process in which refined metals attempt to return to their natural state. The more energy used to refine the ore into metal, the faster the metal will corrode.