Corrosion is far more than just a cosmetic issue. It is a challenge faced by many industries, from manufacturing to automotive. Rust can weaken metal parts or components causing safety issues and corroded metal parts can require reworking or replacement, which can be a costly drain on time and resources.
Consumers and manufacturers alike have a new awareness surrounding environmental sustainability – with this, has come an increased demand for more eco-friendly methods to prevent rust. The age-old, traditional methods of using hazardous oils, grease, or other protective coatings that cause harm to the environment must be eliminated. Sustainable rust prevention isn’t just about safeguarding metal surfaces; it’s about preserving our planet’s resources and protecting the environment.
That is why Armor Protective Packaging® continues to focus on sustainable rust prevention using our proprietary formula of vapor corrosion inhibitor (VCI) Nanotechnology™. We combine VCI with paper, or poly film, to create packaging materials that prevent rust. When metal parts are wrapped or enclosed in VCI packaging, the VCI releases special vapors that form a protective shield on the surface of the metal to keep it clean and corrosion-free. ARMOR VCI rust prevention products are clean, safe, easy to use, and easy on the environment.
The Environmental Benefits of Rust Prevention
Effective rust prevention offers many advantages beyond the obvious. While it keeps metal parts clean and corrosion-free, reducing the expense of rework and repair, the greater advantage is in prolonging the life of metal parts and eliminating the need for replacement.
Extending the life cycle of metal parts through rust prevention not only saves money and conserves the resources required to manufacture replacements, but it also plays an important role in promoting sustainability. Manufacturing new metal parts requires substantial natural resources and a large expenditure of energy. It requires the extraction of raw materials like iron and steel, which depletes finite resources and contributes to increased greenhouse gases and the carbon footprint. In addition, the energy expenditure involved in metal part production is huge — it takes roughly 6,950 kilowatt-hours of energy to produce 1 ton of iron from iron ore and that is equivalent to the electricity used by an average American household for nearly 8 months.
From Grease-to-Green Rust Prevention
Historically, rust prevention involved the messy and labor-intensive application of a layer of grease or oil to the surfaces of metal to serve as a physical barrier of protection. Vapor corrosion inhibitors (VCI), on the other hand, are a class of chemical compounds that emit corrosion-inhibiting molecules into an enclosed air space. The VCI vapors form a clean, dry molecular barrier that blocks moisture, oxygen, and its resulting rust. While hazardous grease and oil require cleaning and degreasing for removal, VCI dissipates once the metal is removed, leaving metal parts ready for immediate use. Better yet, VCI products save users and the environment from the immediate and long-term dangers of exposure to harmful chemicals.
When it comes to green and sustainable rust prevention, VCI packaging offers dual benefits — not only is it effective in protecting metal parts from the damage of corrosion, but it’s also eco-friendly. VCI is often combined with supplies such as Kraft paper or polyethylene film, to create packaging materials that also prevent rust. These materials can be manufactured using recycled content, which means they contain recycled material, lessening the environmental footprint of the VCI packaging. Many VCI packaging materials are also recyclable, allowing them to be reused to manufacture new products, and contributing to resource conservation.
ARMOR VCI Provides a Safe, Sustainable Solution to Corrosion
Rust-prevention paper, such as ARMOR WRAP® is made from a renewable wood resource and offers recyclability and biodegradability (except for wax or poly-coated versions).
ARMOR POLY® VCI Film
ARMOR’s commitment to sustainability extends to its VCI poly films, which contain a “whopping” minimum of 50% post-industrial recycled content in all single-layer ARMOR POLY® VCI Films (with the exclusion of those that contain heat shrink, UV inhibitors and HD).
ARMOR DEFENDER™ VCI Film
ARMOR DEFENDER™ VCI Film is uniquely constructed of three layers of film and contains a minimum of 30% post-industrial recycled content. Co-extrusion “sandwiches” the three layers of film together and positions ARMOR’s rust preventing VCI exclusively on the inside layer, closest to metal parts where it is needed most. This strategic placement allows DEFENDER VCI Film to be downgauged by 25%, saving 25-30% in raw materials and resources without compromising performance.
In a world that is increasingly conscious of preserving resources and protecting the environment, VCI packaging is a prime example of green rust prevention – it is Mother Nature-approved, easy to use, and aligns with the growing demand to eliminate the use of hazardous greases, oils, and other harmful protective coatings for rust prevention.