The Nuts-and-Bolts of VCI Paper Rust Prevention

Rust and corrosion can cause big problems for manufacturing companies. It can damage and weaken metal parts, components, machinery, or equipment causing issues with safety, and performance as well as the expense of time and labor to repair, rework or replace them. Combat rust, corrosion, and its trail of destruction with the rust-prevention “power” of VCI (vapor corrosion inhibitor) paper. With VCI paper you can protect ferrous and non-ferrous metal from rusting at every stage — in process, in storage, or in transport.

You may have questions about VCI paper, how it works, and how long VCI paper can protect metal parts from corroding. This nuts-and-bolts overview of VCI paper explains how you can protect your nuts-and-bolts, and metal parts, using an anti-rust paper that is clean, safe, easy to use, and effective.

What is VCI and How Does it Prevent Rust?

 VCI (Vapor Corrosion Inhibitors) is a class of chemical compounds that emit corrosion-inhibiting molecules into an enclosed air space such as a box or shipping container. The VCI releases special “vapors” that attach to the surface of metal to form an undetectable protective layer that keeps dirt, water, moisture, and corrosion-causing contaminants away from metal.

Unlike oil or grease rust preventatives that cover the surface of metal with a physical barrier, VCI protects metal with a molecular barrier and offers a list of advantages:

  • VCI does not alter the look, weight, or feel of metal parts.
  • VCI does not compromise metal surface coatings or treatments.
  • VCI does not require surface preparation.
  • VCI coverage can access hard-to-reach areas.
  • VCI is “self-adjusting” and replenishes as needed.
  • No need for removal, VCI protection dissipates once the metal part is removed from VCI packaging.
  • VCI is safe – hazard-free, fume-free, and environmentally friendly.
  • Easy to apply – VCI does not require special equipment or training.

How Does VCI Paper Work?

 VCI paper is a type of rust-prevention packaging that is made by combining VCI with Kraft paper to keep both ferrous and non-ferrous metals corrosion free. It is most often sold in rolls or sheets, and it is pliable, durable, and easily adapts to a range of sizes and shapes of metal parts.

The process of applying VCI paper is straightforward, especially if the VCI is coated on both sides of the paper like ARMOR WRAP®. Simply cover or wrap metal parts entirely in VCI paper.  Once they are enclosed, the VCI vapors release to form their clean, dry, rust-preventing shield of protection that can last for years. VCI paper can also be combined with other rust-prevention products such as VCI Poly Film, desiccants, or VCI Emitters when additional protection is needed due to highly corrosive environments.

How Long Does VCI Paper Last?

 The question of how long VCI paper lasts can be answered in two different ways:

#1. The shelf life of VCI paper refers to its maximum storage time prior to use. VCI paper (such as ARMOR WRAP) has a shelf life of two years from the date of manufacture if it is stored properly.

#2. The length of protection of VCI paper refers to the length of time that it will protect metal once it is in use. VCI paper (such as ARMOR WRAP) will effectively prevent corrosion for approximately three years when it is both stored and used properly in normal warehouse conditions.

While shelf life and length of protection are two different and distinct characteristics of VCI paper, they are interrelated because they both depend on the VCI paper’s storage conditions,

How to Store VCI Paper?

VCI paper is hygroscopic, which means it can absorb moisture from the environment.  Excessive moisture absorption can reduce the ability of the VCI within the paper to protect against rust. To ensure optimal performance and longevity of VCI paper, it’s essential to follow these guidelines:

  • Store VCI paper in its original packaging and in an airtight bin or container in a cool, dry, place that is out of direct sunlight.
  • Wrap metal parts immediately after removing VCI paper from its original packaging.
  • Keep VCI paper covered and remove only what is needed and in small quantities. Store unused VCI paper securely covered and inside a container to prevent VCI vapors from dissipating.
  • To maintain the VCI content and effectiveness of the paper, minimize its exposure to air, moisture, or other contaminants.

 Is VCI Paper Safe?

 VCI paper is a clean, safe, and effective rust-prevention packaging option for keeping metal parts corrosion free. The VCI chemical compounds that are combined with Kraft paper to make VCI paper are non-hazardous, non-flammable, and free of the dangers that rust-preventative oils or grease pose to human health and the environment.

VCI paper could be called Mother Nature’s best friend because it is environmentally friendly in so many ways. Not only is VCI paper biodegradable — but it also breaks down over time and is recyclable and repulpable, meaning it can be reused or repurposed instead of being discarded.  In the end, VCI paper helps to reduce waste and preserve metal parts, resulting in less need for their expensive and time-consuming repair or replacement and less wear-and-tear on people and the environment.

Wrap Out Rust with ARMOR WRAP VCI Paper

Rust prevention does not have to be complicated to be effective. VCI paper, like ARMOR WRAP, is a clean, safe, and easy-to-use option to keep metal parts free from corrosion. With VCI paper, you can wrap them in protection and wrap out rust. Take a look at the ARMOR WRAP line of VCI paper which is part of an entire catalog of ARMOR VCI rust prevention products.