Insights & Blogs, Packaging expertise
How to understand corrosion issues: 4 questions to Nadine Boullier
25 Mar 2022 —
Can you tell us how corrosion can impact your clients' daily process?
Corrosion can be unpredictable and sudden: the material's properties, such as its metal surface, its colour, solidity, electrical conductivity and elasticity, may be affected within a few minutes. Corrosion can happen at any stage of the process - during production, transport, storage and handling. It can concern any company that handles metal: automotive (cars, trucks…), aircraft, marine, nuclear, oil and gas, electronics, agricultural… Corrosion issues may disrupt operations and parts may require extensive repair and/or replacement. The consequences of this can be heavy: major costs related to reworking/production downtime and a negative image that can have catastrophic impact over the long term.
According to the WCO, the World Corrosion Organization, the annual cost of corrosion worldwide exceeds the cost of all natural disasters - approximately 2.5 trillion US $ per year - which highlights how critical it is to control it.
What kind of solutions are commonly used?
Temporary corrosion protection can be achieved through 3 main methods: protective coating, desiccant and VCI (Volatile Corrosion Inhibitors) techniques. Each of them have proven records of efficiency; it is more a matter of usage and habits, and also of application type and duration of the storage/transport.
- The protective coating method consists of applying (dip, spray, brush) corrosion preventive oil, fluid, wax on the metal surface to isolate it from aggressive elements, such as water/moisture, salts, acids etc. Metal pieces must then be cleaned before use.
- The next option, the so called desiccant method, or climate-controlled or sealed package method, combines desiccant bags with a heat sealed barrier. The desiccants absorb the humidity in the atmosphere of the package provided you have created a fully sealed climate-controlled atmosphere. This method can be used for long lasting protection in extreme conditions, but is labor intensive and can be critical when customs (briefly) open the sealed barrier.
- The VCI method based on Volatile Corrosion Inhibitors provides active protection: the VCI substances influence the corrosion processes, suppressing chemical reactions. When a protective atmosphere has been built up inside the packaging, the VCI substances condense on the surface of the metal, stopping the metal’s protective passive layer from deteriorating and thus preventing corrosion.
What are the advantages to choose VCI?
There are many advantages to VCI:
- VCI products can be used at any stage of the product life cycle, from the start of metal stock production to the use of it in the field. The VCI method is both convenient and user friendly: no pre- or post-operations are needed, nor any extra processing steps for cleaning or degreasing. The parts are ready for further processing immediately after unpacking.
- VCI solutions are suited to all kinds of applications: to protect various and specific metals/alloys, from small and oversized parts and machines, to wrapping (both individual or bulk), interleavings, emitters and container lining. It's also suited to a variety of extreme conditions, such as outdoor storage and sea freight, and transporation to remote destination.
- The VCI method is also a cleaner option: not only does it create less waste than oils/fluids, but VCI papers and films can be recycled. VCI products are not considered as hazardous substances so allowing for easy storage.
- VCI products do not present any danger to health.
Generally it is true to say that VCI solutions can substantially cut time and cost throughout the entire manufacturing and logistic process.
What is the added value that Antalis Packaging can bring to its clients on anti-corrosion?
Given the complexity of the matter, it is vital that our clients receive individualised solutions throughout the selection and processing phases. Our wide-ranging expertise ensures that our solutions are safe, functional and competitive.
To do this, Antalis offers associated services on top of its large range of products/solutions:
- We do on-site audits to identify the processes of our client and the possible risks or causes of corrosion, if any.
- We organise tests in industrial conditions, simulation in climatic enclosures, and provide sharp analysis reports made by either our own laboratory or external agents.
- We supply product data and security sheets, and provide recommendations like do’s and dont’s for the Handling of VCI packaging.
- We organize training sessions for our clients’ staff.
- And finally we provide a one stop shop concept: global packaging concepts, on national & international levels, ensuring on-going harmonisation/rationalisation and cost optimisation (TCOs).