Manufacturers that produce, store or ship metal products must be careful when packaging them for shipment. Rust and corrosion during transit can damage unprotected metals.
Corrosion is the natural method by which metal reverts to ore, its original, unrefined state. A volatile corrosion inhibitor is a material that protects metals by hindering rust formation. VCI packaging contains a coating of this chemical, which forms a thin film on the metal products inside to keep them safe as they venture through shipping and handling.
In addition to packaging materials like paper and shrink wrap, VCI-containing paints, powders, liquids and adhesives are also available.
There are many advantages to packing your products in VCI bags. We’re here to explain how these protective packaging solutions work and their benefits for your business or shipping needs.
Why Are Metal Parts Prone to Corrosion During Shipping?
Metal products are vulnerable to corrosion during shipping because of the nature of shipping environments. Temperature variations and humidity levels can produce condensation along the inner walls of shipping trucks or cargo ships in a situation known as “container rain.” If metal parts are unprotected, moisture can enter the package and initiate corrosion.
How Do VCI Packaging Products Protect Metal Parts?
VCI compounds vaporize and create a thin coating over the surface of metal components in an enclosed space. The coating prevents the metal from engaging with corrosion-causing environmental elements like oxygen and hydrogen.
Once a safeguarding layer forms on the metal products, VCIs release until there is a stable, balanced environment in the package. This mechanism means VCI chemistry is constantly present in the package.
VCI packaging is helpful when it’s not feasible to apply surface treatments such as anti-corrosive oils or with items that have hard-to-reach crevices.
In addition to protecting against corrosion, VCI packaging safeguards metal components from other mechanical influences that can arise during storage and transportation.
Let’s explore the advantages of VCI packaging.
Benefit 1: VCI Packaging Is Easy to Use
Anti-corrosion bags are quick and convenient to use. To ship products in VCI packaging, place your metal components inside and close the bag tightly. This step is crucial because clean and dry metal items can avoid corrosion for up to five years with a proper seal.
You can seal VCI bags using zip ties, staples or tape. A reliable sealing method is to fold the bag’s opening and either staple or tape it closed. If you use staples, cover the punctures with tape.
VCI packaging materials also have a long shelf and service life. While product life can vary among manufacturers, VCI paper typically lasts three years when stored in its original airtight packaging.
When your products reach their destination and purchasers are ready to access the metal parts, all they’ll need to do is remove them from the packaging. There is no cleaning or degreasing required, so the products are ready for use at this point. It’s that simple!
Benefit 2: VCI Packaging Helps Save You Money
Packages get stored in various locations as they pass through logistics. Unfortunately, these transfers make it possible for moisture to contact the boxes and harm the products inside. The metal components will likely be rusty and corroded upon arrival at their final destination, and your buyers will have damaged goods.
Whether you decide to send replacements or repair the rusted parts, you’ll spend extra money that you could have saved by using protective packaging to ship the products. And because buyers have high expectations and no one likes inconvenience, you risk losing customers and future business.
Luckily, you can avoid these issues by using protective packaging. VCI bags help keep moisture from your metal components and preserve their quality throughout shipment.
VCI packaging materials offer peace of mind that your products will arrive damage-free. They also save valuable time you would otherwise have spent on making things right for your customer.
Benefit 3: VCI Packaging Frees up Your Workers, Time and Space
If you choose not to protect your metal products with VCI packaging, an alternative is to coat them with specialized protective oil. However, these products are expensive and sometimes unreliable. Some metal parts have tiny nooks and crannies that may be hard for workers to access.
The added step of applying oil to protect metals is a laborious task that constrains your workforce and keeps them from attending to other mission-critical work.
With its ease of use, VCI protective packaging allows you and your employees to focus on other high-level tasks.
Furthermore, you can adapt VCI packaging to fit the shapes and sizes of items you need to store, ship or package, saving significant space in your warehouse. Packages that match the profile of the products inside also make for easier handling, which can help streamline workers’ efficiency.
Benefit 4: VCI Packaging Offers Unbeatable Versatility
A VCI’s primary use is to ensure the integrity of metals during transportation and storage, making VCI packaging functional in many industries. Any business or individual looking to ship metal components can benefit from using VCI packaging.
Anti-corrosives protect metals in many settings and applications, such as:
- Water pipelines
- Engine oils
- Auto parts
- Metal stamping and fabrication
Benefit 5: VCI Packaging Poses No Environmental or Workplace Safety Hazards
VCI packaging helps your business remain safe for your workers and the environment. Inhaling, ingesting or touching products with high doses of pure, untreated VCI compounds for extended periods can be harmful. However, VCIs used in packaging materials are applied coatings or compounds, and the concentration level is much lower. So while VCIs are highly toxic in their raw and unprocessed forms, VCI protective packaging poses no health risks to humans who handle it.
Additionally, VCIs don’t contain environmentally hazardous toxins or chemicals. And because VCI packaging is recyclable, you can cut costs and reduce your business’ carbon footprint.
EDCO Is Your Trusted VCI Bag Supplier
EDCO Supply Corporation has been meeting customers’ packaging needs since 1954. We’re a family-owned company with an experienced staff who commits to maintaining the quality standards that have contributed to our success.