Volatile Chemical Inhibitors or VCI are strong chemicals that are highly volatile and protect the surface of metals from corrosion. During shipments, metal freight can easily be affected by corrosion making them hazardous to both the environment and the personnel. Therefore, VCI packaging is used to protect metal goods from corrosion. Other conventional methods of anti-corrosion are not only messy but also costly thus, rendering them unviable. VCI packaging releases vapors and gases which have anti-corrosion properties, giving good protection to the metal.
Types of VCI Packaging
With the advent of technology, there is a wide range of VCI packaging options available to shippers and logisticians. Some of them are:
- Fabric made from VCI is flexible and is used to wrap goods to protect them from corrosion and rust.
- VCI cling wrap has cushioning properties that not only protect the goods from corrosion but also inhibit damage to their parts.
- Reinforced scrim VCI is a type of laminate that is robust and sturdy. It is made of paper and protects wrapped goods from both rust and moisture.
VCI Paper Packaging
Craft paper made from VCI is highly mature and gives complete protection from rust, even under the most hazardous conditions. One side of the paper has VCI protection while the other side is made of polyethylene thus, preventing moisture from entering.
- It gives protection for packaging needs that are both ferrous and non-ferrous.
- The VCI chemicals that impregnate one side of the paper are high-tech and engineered specifically to resist corrosion.
- VCI paper is environment-friendly and recyclable.
There are myriad plastic packagings with VCI coatings. Some of them are:
- Plastic bags made of VCI are ideal for packaging goods and cargo to ensure their longevity.
- Films made of VCI give instant protection to metal parts against corrosive elements such as rust, dust, tarnish, oxidation and stains.
- Stretch and cling VCI is an ideal packaging solution for cushioning goods.
- Bubble wrap made of VCI is double impregnated with VCI chemicals thus, giving double protection to fragile items.
- Some materials are free of nitrite and have anti-corrosion properties.
Systems that Release VCI
These are manufactured primarily for giving heavy-duty protection to electrical and mechanical equipment against corrosion and environmental oxidation. The material is usually a dome that has a sticky adhesive containing high-tech VCI. They prevent the equipment from getting damaged.
- These are easy to install and can be quickly made operational.
- Give high protection to goods during transit for a longer duration.
- They are eco-friendly and do not harm electrical and optical surfaces.
Liquids Having VCI
VCI liquids are used to wash down goods having metallic surfaces, especially if they are being stored for a long time during transit. These rinse the ferrous and non-ferrous metal components and parts. Equipment is fit for use after dipping and drying. It is non-toxic and eco-friendly.
Uses of VCI Packaging
For shipping, freight and cargo companies, the use of VCI packaging can help them accrue significant savings. Corrosion, rust and damage can impose hefty damages and severely impact a company’s bottom line. It is mandatory that companies liberally use VCI packaging to reduce costs incurred on damaged goods. By releasing vapors into the air that inhibits corrosion, they protect goods during transit, storage and use.
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Factors That Impact the Efficiency of VCI Packaging
VCI packaging has a service life of 2-5 years. During this time frame, it is anticipated that goods using these are well preserved. However, for any VCI packaging to retain its efficiency, the surface of the item must be clean and devoid of moisture. Further, pollutants such as oil, grease and dust impact the ability of VCI to adequately protect the substrate. Efforts also should be made to minimize air circulation as this can increase the potential for corrosion.
Logisticians and freight movers should optimally use VCI packaging for their goods. The suitability of the packaging must be ascertained depending on the transit conditions. Two or more methods can be combined to give adequate protection to the surfaces of the goods. It should be noted that VCI is not suitable for corroded materials, pre-contaminated surfaces and areas which have been exposed to air.