How Do VCI Packaging Materials Work?

Volatile corrosion inhibitors (VCI) are commonly used in packaging materials to protect metal products from corrosion and more, but how exactly do they work? Thankfully, you don’t have to be a scientific genius to understand just how these helpful tools keep your delicate goods safe from harm. Take a look at the information below for an easy guide on what VCI products can do for you. 

How Do Volatile Corrosion Inhibitors Work? 

Generally used for primary packaging, Volatile Corrosion Inhibitors operate relatively simply. At first, they are corrosion-resistant molecules in a material’s surface. When these molecules are placed next to a metal object, they then become a corrosion inhibiting vapor that is attracted to the metallic surface. At this point, the vapor creates a barrier across the metal surface that is approximately three to five molecules thick. Even though this layer may not seem like much, it safeguards the metal components against corrosion by preventing oxidation and stopping the flow of electrons into the surface itself, which neutralizes the metal’s natural polarization. Along with protection against harmful elements like salt or dirt, this effectively stops corrosion.  

VCI Packaging Guidelines to Keep in Mind 

While VCI products are a great way to protect many metal surfaces, it’s important to recognize the harm they can cause if used incorrectly. Here’s a handy guide on how to use VCI packaging materials: 

  • All products containing ferrous or non-ferrous metal should be packed at the time of production and should be free of moisture, dirt, dust, and rust.  
  • If corrosion is already present on the item, VCI packaging cannot repair it.  
  • VCI packaging should be used within six months of purchase. It should be stored in a cool, dry location that is free of moisture and excess heat.  
  • VCI materials are intended for industrial use only. 
  • When stretch wrapping steel objects, at least 70% VCI stretch film should be used. 

Need More? 

We hope this helped you understand how VCI packaging works to protect your products. For even more information, we’re offering a free guide on the uses of VCI packaging materials. Simply enter your name, email address, and other contact details in this form and we’ll send it right to you. As always, feel free to reach out to us if you have any other questions.