Automotive VCI Film
The 1, 2, 3 approach to corrosion protection not only protects your products, but also improves time efficiencies and reduces your costs.
If you’re considering a new type of transportation or short-term storage solution for your products, there are many important factors to consider. Whenever you deal with raw metals that have a tendency to corrode, you must also consider the potentially corrosive environment your products will be exposed to during transportation or storage.
It is equally important that the protection solution you choose must be simple not only in its application, but should be easy to remove and dispose of once it reaches its final destination. Time is money and if too much time needs to be spent removing protective solutions, precious time is lost.
There are 3 basic corrosion prevention types:
- Oil or wax coating
- Barrier films with desiccants
Oil is not only difficult to coat and remove, but it also time consuming and is difficult to dispose of after use. There is also the possibility of contamination of other packaging materials with these oil residues. The barrier films are also an option, but there are labor costs to factor in during application.
While both options are still widely used, more and more materials and products are now being shipped in VCI packaging, which can be applied both as polyethylene film, giving the added advantage of external protection, or VCI kraft paper used as interleaves or for the individual wrapping of parts.
The MetPro Approach to Automotive VCI Film
Because you cannot control the temperature and humidity inside the packaging or limit water condensation, it is critical to fulfil several important conditions while you’re deciding what you’re going to pack your products in as well as when you’re going to pack it.
The Design Stage
It is critical that no organic material is touching the metal surface; if possible it is better to avoid organic materials inside of the closed VCI packaging completely. If that is not possible, then some form of an inert separator must be used.
The VCI packaging does not require hermetical sealing, (unlike barrier packaging), however it is recommended to keep the packaging sealed as tightly as possible. In the packaging of automotive parts, several methods are commonly used to seal the pack; from the use of adhesive tape to a very simply folding over method.
The pallet or box should always be prepared with insulation from the bottom. Most pallets are wooden, and during the transportation of the parts, water can migrate to the outer surface of the plastic packing through capillary action and will then increase relative humidity. This moisture can often contain contaminated residue and even with the strongest VCI packaging, can migrate through the plastic. This is why proper preparation and insulation of your box or container is a critical part of the process.
The Automotive Packaging Process
It is also important to ensure cleanliness of the material you pack. VCI is a chemical action on the surface of a metal part and it needs a clean surface to offer maximum corrosion protection. For best results, your parts should be clean and free of all residues.
If you’re applying oil or using barrier packaging, they may sometimes be more forgiving if the parts are not clean, however, the nature in which VCI works to offer high quality corrosion protection, it is critical that parts are washed and dried just before they are packed. This is a key point in ensuring your parts arrive at their destination corrosion free.
Another important point that is often forgotten, the use of gloves is one of the basic rules when working with metals. It is necessary to avoid any direct contact with human skin as fingerprints are highly corrosive. Workers should be trained in the handling of metal parts and understand their vital role in the whole packaging process.
When you’ve packed the parts in VCI there is now a VCI environment created inside the packaging material and the VCIs begin condensing and forming a monomolecular layer on the metal surface. So it’s critical after packaging that the parts are not immediately subjected to any major shift in temperature and humidity which could cause condensation to occur on the parts. It is critical that the VCI is given time (a number of hours at minimum) to fully form the protective layer on the metal surface to offer the maximum corrosion protection. It is also necessary that the box, VCI packaging (whether it’s film, papers, interleaves or plastic holders) are all given time to acclimatize to their environment.
MetPro Automotive VCI Film with a Difference
At MetPro we recognize the complexity and challenges that customers face every day in the packaging and transportation of their products and parts. It is an expensive and timely business. It is also true there is no one size fits all. While there are a wide range of products available for many situations, tailored solutions are often needed for those outsized or unique situations. But what is common to all is the need to properly plan and design the process, ensure the environment is right and that workers are properly trained. You can benefit from significant savings of time and money when the right VCI packaging materials and processes are used and when parts arrive at their destination ready to use immediately! It’s why VCI protection is the number 1 choice in the automotive metal parts transportation today.
MetPro offers a wide variety of automotive VCI film products and can tailor solutions to your specific needs. Visit www.metprogroup.com for more information or call us and one of our technical team will be happy to talk to you!