electronics corrosion prevention

Shipping Electronics Overseas? Plastabs, Vapor Capsules Offer Electronics Corrosion Prevention

Electronics are incredibly useful, often fragile and frequently expensive. Protecting electronic equipment from damage during shipping and storage is top priority for manufacturers, shippers, warehouses and third-party logistics firms (3PLs). Knowing the best electronics corrosion prevention methods and products to ensure items arrive in the best condition is critical.

Electronics are vulnerable to corrosion and sometimes rust during shipping for a couple reasons.

One is that some electronics are crafted with parts made of ferrous metal components.. This is metal with an appreciable amount of iron. When iron is exposed to oxygen and moisture, the chemical reaction is a form of corrosion known as rust.

The second is the risk of galvanic corrosion, also known as dissimilar metal corrosion. It occurs when two different metals are located together in electrical contact while also exposed to a corrosive electrolyte (like water/moisture).

Metal parts shipped overseas are sometimes oiled, but the process can be messy (not ideal for electronics) and it’s not always effective. There is an easier, less expensive means of ensuring electronics corrosion prevention during overseas shipping so products arrive in good condition: Vapor corrosion inhibitors, or VCIs.

Assume Rust, Corrosion Catalysts are Present During Overseas Shipping

Rust and corrosion aren’t 100 percent predictable, but you can bet where moisture, oxygen and metal are present, they are a serious risk. Causes and contributing factors to electronics corrosion during overseas shipping and storage include:

  • Water and air. It’s fairly common for moisture to infiltrate the air inside electronics packaging – especially if the bag isn’t air-tight, the parts aren’t cooled before they’re packaged or the packages aren’t stored in a cool, dry place. If water droplets start forming inside, it can significantly damage the parts before they reach their destination.
  • Dirt, dust and debris. If electronic components aren’t carefully cleaned before packaging, those contaminants can attract moisture to the metal surface. Packaging materials like wood or cardboard can also accelerate corrosion.

Keeping all factors at bay at every leg of an overseas journey and during product storage can be difficult. VCI products are often the best way to ensure your electronics are not damaged by corrosion.

How VCI Products Offer Electronics Corrosion Prevention

Zerust VCI products like vapor capsules and plastabs work by releasing non-toxic, colorless, odorless vapor into the air within the packaging surrounding the electronics item. These molecules coat the exposed surfaces in a thin, protective layer that can’t be seen with the naked eye. This shield blocks the electrochemical reactions that contribute to corrosion.

Neither the mechanical nor electrical properties of the product is impacted.

We offer a variety of electronics corrosion prevention products, though most frequently for electronics recommend vapor capsules or plastabs.

Vapor capsules are one way to protect electronics. These are rectangular cuboid capsules that can be easily attached to various surfaces to offer protection of a 1-6-feet of an enclosed box or other storage container for between one and two years, depending on the size.

Plastabs, meanwhile, are thin, lightweight squares and made of polyethylene that is infused with the VCI formula. This method is ideal for protecting important surfaces in narrow or difficult-to-reach areas, including compact spaces containing electrical components. These are frequently used by companies that store and ship electronics, and they provide up to two years of electronics corrosion protection.

If you have questions about which VCI products are the best for protecting your products and shipments, we can help.

Contact Zerust for information on VCI products to help with electronics corrosion prevention by emailing us or calling (330) 405-1965.

Additional Resources:

What is Corrosion? June 25, 2019, By Terence Bell, TheBalance.com 

More Blog Entries:

Electric Panel Box Rust Prevention: Zerust Vapor Capsules Offer Protection, Aug. 18, 2019, Zerust Electronic Corrosion Prevention Blog