Metal at rest will rust. That’s just reality. It’s a problem NACE International once concluded cost the U.S. a stunning $276 billion annually in losses. Everything from bicycle spokes to battleships – nothing is immune. The good news is, we’ve gotten better at keeping it at bay.
VCI corrosion protection technology was first developed in early half of the 20th century, marking an incredible advancement, though initially employed for limited use on only a few specific items (mainly pipes and boiler systems on large ships). However, it wasn’t long before a wide range of other industries began to recognize the potential of VCI and began exploring it, though concerns about toxicity kept it from really taking off for a while.
Today, Zerust’s patented VCI corrosion protection technology is non-toxic, environmentally friendly AND effective in helping to preserve all kinds of metals, including those in firearms, motor vehicles, metal tools, heirloom silver and more.
The Science Behind VCI
VCI is short for “volatile corrosion inhibitor,” used interchangeably with the term “vapor corrosion inhibitor.” As noted by research in the journal Metal Finishing, VCIs are a class of chemical compounds that volatize into the air to inhibit corrosion on metal surfaces. The vapors form a very thin film on metal surfaces, which in turn make those surfaces passive to the corrosion process.
Corrosion is a reaction between metals and oxygen, a result of oxidation, which is a molecular destructive reaction between oxygen and metal surfaces. Oxidation doesn’t actually weaken metal, though a brittle film can form as the surface disintegrates. Rust, however, will weaken metal and it is a major concern – not only because it affects the appearance of certain items, but because it can negatively impact its function.
For example, if your motor vehicle or firearm is rusted, you would be right to be concerned about safety.
The chemical process of corrosion is immediate and continuous – unless there is some way to stop the corrosion cell causing that reaction. Enter VCI corrosion protection.
VCI packaging, like the kind Zerust uses in multipurpose VCI poly bags, Vapor Capsules for ammo and weapons, and Vapor Capsules for boats, allows that corrosion-inhibiting chemical compound to migrate from the packaging into the nearby environment. A thin slight layer of that protection sticks to metal surfaces. This is especially useful with items that have holes or other recessed areas that could be vulnerable to corrosion. Those same nooks and crannies aren’t always accessible if you’re using oil or grease products as a rust inhibitor.
Advantage of VCIs Over Other Corrosion Inhibitors
As an alternative to greases and oils, VCI corrosion protection products have the advantage on several fronts. Not only are VCIs more cost effective, they’re much easier and cleaner. Oils, greases and other kinds of rust prevention liquids on the whole tend to be messy. Customers must apply them and then afterward remove the liquid from the surface. Parts processors and end users may have concerns about not just cleaning oils and grease, but disposal and the environmental impact of chemical exposure. VCI corrosion protection products sold by Zerust, meanwhile, are clean, easy-to-use, inexpensive and completely non-toxic.
Although we have numerous bag sizes to fit certain specific products, the nice thing about the vapor capsules and drawer liners is that they can be used in any enclosed space – regardless of the metal item’s shape – to allow for extended protection.
VCI corrosion protection technology is cleaner, more affordable, very effective, friendly for the environment and one of the best products available for rust prevention of a wide range of metal parts.
Contact Zerust for information on our Multipurpose VCI Poly Bags or any of our VCI corrosion protection products by emailing or calling us (330) 405-1965.
Volatile Corrosion Inhibitors Offer Effective Protection for Processing and Shipment of Metal-Based Products, Sept. 2008, Metal Finishing
More Blog Entries:
Zerust ATV Cover Keeps Quad Rust-Free, June 30, 2018, VCI Poly Bag Blog
An estimated 10.5 million people in the U.S. live in homes wherein one or more resident owns an all-terrain vehicle (ATV). Through the mud, snow, ice or other rough turf, we put our ATVs through a world of punishment – and these machines are tough enough to tackle most all of it. However, one challenge your ATV is unlikely to easily overcome is rust.
Some ATV owners use an ATV cover, but unless the cover specifically has rust prevention technology woven into the fabric, it’s unlikely to prevent rust from forming in either temporary or seasonal storage.
ATV rust can be a real drag, almost always requiring some repair, which is expensive, especially if you don’t catch it right away. It also means between the time the rust is discovered and you can get your quad back from a mechanic, you’re sidelined. The high cost could mean you’re grounded for weeks. If you plan on selling the ATV soon or even just somewhere down the line, that rust is going to be a direct blow to the resale value. If you ignore the rust, you could be risking the safety of you and your riders (particularly children under 16, who account for an estimated 28,000 serious ATV injuries annually). Read More ›
Bike rust should be a concern for all cyclists, whether they bike to work, ride competitively or just occasionally hop on for recreation. A decent bike will run you anywhere from a few hundred bucks up to more than $8,000, with the average being about $1,000, according to Consumer Reports. Keeping rust at bay is essential part of bike maintenance, important not just to keep the bike looking nice but also in safe, working condition. Zerust offers effective, long-lasting rust protection for bicycles in the form of bicycle covers.
All modern bikes are composed of some form of metal, typically some combination of steel, aluminum, titanium and carbon fiber. There are pros and cons to each element, and every bikers needs will be slightly different (i.e., some need a lighter bike, some are looking for a ride with greater bulk).
As noted in the journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry, steel rusts when it comes in contact with water and oxygen – and even faster in or around salty water. Steel is often the most preferable of bike frames because it is so durable (and can even be bent back into shape and re-welded, unlike aluminum frames). Aluminum does not rust, but it can be prone to corrosion.Titanium is one of the most resistant, thanks to its passive oxide film, but it’s not totally immune and can be susceptible to crevice attack and pitting at higher temperatures. Carbon fiber generally won’t rust or corrode, but it also tends to be brittle, meaning if any component breaks, cyclists may be better off tossing it and buying a new bike altogether, as any fixes are likely to be unreliable. Even then, most bikes are made with a mix of materials, so cyclists with all types of bikes must be mindful of bike rust. Read More ›
The motor vehicle industry has made significant strides in shielding new cars from rust ravages. New and improved body design and coatings have slashed the risk of both galvanic and simple corrosion. But don’t toss car rust prevention plans out the window just yet. There is substantial evidence rust hasn’t been entirely erased from the reliability concerns that have long plagued car owners.
Better Design Means Lower Car Rust Risk
In the mid-1990s, rust damage was such a serious and pervasive problem for vehicle owners, it cost $300 billion annually in repairs, according to CarTalk.com. It was around that time vehicle manufacturers started coating steel components with zinc, improving their paints and designing vehicles without body pockets prone to trapping mud and moisture. Steel rocker panels were also replaced with plastic, reducing the potential for trapped moisture.
All of this is good news for car owners, but it hasn’t entirely eliminated the corrosion concerns. Although the bulk of corrosion occurs in the winter, most drivers only begin to notice its effects in springtime. Car rust prevention shouldn’t be overlooked by owners of newer model cars, no matter how fresh-off-the-lot. AAA has reported that road de-icers – specifically salt and chemical solutions – result in $3 billion annually in rust damage (nearly $15. billion over the course of five years).
And of course, owners of older and classic model cars are always going to wrestle with rust threat. People spend tens of thousands of dollars to restore these vehicles – only to leave them in a drafty garage covered by a thin sheet. It should be no surprise when rust sets in again. Some owners battle this problem with regular paint touch-ups, frequent undercarriage washing and steering clear of salt-lined roads or venturing out in rain or humidity. These are smart steps, but best topped off with Zerust car rust prevention tools, such as the car cover. Offering several years of protection, these covers do more than just shield against water, sun and other elements. They also provide the unique benefit of rust prevention with non-toxic, odorless vapors. Read More ›
Boat rust prevention is an essential part of vessel maintenance, whether you have a dinghy or a bow rider.
Many boats are built with a wide range of metallic components, often exposed directly to the elements. When the metal boat parts make contact with the combination of oxygen and moisture – even when the boat is in storage – it’s the textbook recipe for rust. Salt water, high temperatures and excess humidity make a bad situation worse. And it’s not solely the exterior that’s at risk. Corrosion is a threat throughout, posing a hazard to the mast and rigging, the wires, the valves and steering systems.
Too many seafarers have had their boating seasons grounded by the failure to keep rust at bay.
Zerust boat rust prevention is vital to keeping your vessel in top shape. High-performance Vapor Capsules for Boats are a means of effectively controlling the hazard. Rust can be difficult to manage once it’s taken hold of your hull, but these capsules can help halt it from forming in the first place. The vessel structure, propeller, electrical systems and motor are all at risk. Read More ›
Rust on electronics is an increasingly common problem in our modern world. Your PC, home entertainment gear, gaming equipment, electronics in your car or boat – all of it may be vulnerable to rust damage. Because rust on electronics and their components might not be readily detected, consumers often overlook it as a catalyst when there is a device or component failure. In reality, corrosion is becoming a significant factor in the reliability of electric and electronic equipment.
We often don’t think of rust on electronics as being a serious issue because it’s often invisible unless we can see inside. You may not notice a problem initially, but over time, the rust and corrosion can set in, causing the device to stop working.
Replacing these items can be incredibly expensive. One study published in The Open Corrosion Journal posits rusting of electric equipment costs an estimated $5 billion in the U.S. for repairs, downtime and replacements. Read More ›
Rust protection for motorcycles – especially older bikes – is critical to keeping your ride running smoothly for years to come.
Countless sources on the web offer tips on motorcycle rust removal for bikers slapped with surprise oxidation while readying their bike for the first spring ride. Certainly, you’ll need to neutralize rust when you find it – Don’t ignore it! However, the best way to tackle this problem long-term is to prevent rust from developing in the first place.
Zerust motorcycle covers are the way to go for this. There are endless motorcycle cover products on the market, and certainly, you can find a few a bit cheaper. But these traditional covers only go so far. In fact, they may be part of the problem because all they do is keep the dust from collecting. They don’t keep moisture from collecting, and may even trap it in, exacerbating your risk of rust. Read More ›
AAA reports approximately 70 percent of motorists in the U.S. are at risk for expensive, dangerous vehicle rust. Rust protection for cars is critical when you consider the alternative is hundreds of dollars annually in vehicle rust repairs necessitated by exposure to new chemicals now commonly used to de-ice the roads. Communities have shifted from using rock salt to chemical de-icers, finding the chemicals melt ice and snow faster than salt and have a lower freezing point, so they last longer. The trade-off is it’s more damaging to cars.
Last year, a AAA survey revealed that over the last five years, drivers racked up more than $15 billion in rust repairs attributed to roadway de-icing. The vehicle systems most vulnerable to rust include (but aren’t limited to):
- Fuel tanks
- Brake lines
- Exhaust systems
- Frame rails
- Electrical connections
Of course, de-icing is integral to safe winter driving, given that 22 percent of vehicle crashes (about 1.26 million), 19 percent of injuries and 16 percent of fatalities are weather-related, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Snow and ice impact vehicle performance (specifically, traction, stability and maneuverability). However, rust on cars is a real problem, and our rust prevention experts know it goes far beyond simple cosmetics. Read More ›
Garden tool rust prevention is essential for any budding horticulturalist (or weekend warrior).
Gardening can quickly sap your energy, and we’ve all been guilty at some time or another of leaving gardening tools outside or tossing them in a tool box without a proper clean. But rusty tools are potentially hazardous. At minimum, they won’t work as well. Some gardeners shell out hundreds to replace rusted tools every season, while others simply give up. Beyond that, a simple slip of a rusted tool could leave you nursing a nasty cut (and rust in a wound bolsters the risk of infection, possibly with tetanus).
Taking good care of your tools (particularly pruning shears, which gum up easily and rust in short order) need not be a hassle or come at a premium. Zerust toolbox anti-rust technology – which includes toolbox drawer liners, vapor capsules for tool boxes and plastabs – helps keep your trowels, saws, hoes, hori hori knives and loppers in the best possible condition.
There are literally hundreds of thousands of search engine results for “how to get rid of rust on garden tools,” with DIY bloggers offering up a range of approaches, from vinegar mixes to sanding. We can’t vouch for those recommendations. What we CAN say is it’s unquestionably easier to protect tools from rust before it takes hold, as opposed to trying to get rid of it once it’s formed. Read More ›
If you live in a cooler climate, chances are you aren’t giving much thought to your air conditioner right now. You should.
Air conditioner covers can help prevent system failures that require expensive repairs and replacement. Protecting your HVAC unit is important not just for winter, but year-round. While your air conditioner may be equipped to endure rain and snow, it’s probably not built to keep out leaves and other contaminants. These elements contain moisture that can inhibit the system’s built-in drainage components, resulting in corrosion. If you live in a warm, coastal environment, a good air conditioner cover is a must to fight corrosive salt in the air.
CED Engineering reports corrosion is responsible for 40 percent of all equipment failures of industrial HVAC units. It’s worth considering similar damage to residential outdoor air conditioning units. Read More ›