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Nitrites & Amines – Why It’s Better To Use BioCor!

The very first set of VCI’s used dating back to the 1900’s were nitrites because it was discovered that they could protect metals from corrosion simply by depositing an invisible layer on the metal thereby creating a barrier between the metal to be protected and the atmosphere. Some anti-corrosion companies are still using this technology to date despite the major problems posed by the use of these substances (nitrites) which are known to cause health and environmental problems.


In more recent times, a lot of chemical substances have been tested and investigated for their anti-corrosion capabilities and the most common inhibitors were amines and alkanolamines because they retard the anodic and cathodic reactions and when mixed with carboxylate groups, they form an organic layer, also invisible on the entire surface of the metal similar to nitrites but they are more effective because of their higher vapor pressure. This type of packaging generally consists of a polyethylene film impregnated with these additives with each formulation unique to its manufacturer. The good thing about this type of packaging is that when the VCI packaging is later removed, all vapor corrosion-inhibiting molecules rapidly evaporate. This leaves the metal parts clean and ready for immediate use and eliminates the use of oils which would need to be removed prior to assembly or use.


Secondary amines were extensively researched in the 1970’s and found to be carcinogenic. These researches showed that secondary amines readily convert into carcinogenic N-nitrosamines in the presence of “nitrosating” agents such as sodium nitrite and dicyclohexylamine nitrite, which was used in so many formulations then. Advanced research work later proved that using secondary amines without nitrites was still not safe. Carcinogenic and genotoxic N-nitrosoamines are most likely to form when secondary amines combined with nitrogen oxides. Nitrogen oxides are a fundamental component of the air we breathe and it is more concentrated in the air of cities and industrial environments. 


All the research work led to increased call for the ban of secondary amines based on  health and safety concerns worldwide, the most recent being German Technical Regulation TRGS-615, which went into effect in late 2003. TRGS-615 is specifically written to protect factory workers from exposure to carcinogenic and possibly genotoxic N-nitrosamines. It seeks to accomplish this by prohibiting all metalworking products, including VCI, that contain secondary amines or hidden secondary amines.


Here at MetPro, with the development of BioCor, consumers will not have to worry about the health and safety implications from using this product because it has many advantages over conventional films in that:

  • It is amine and nitrite free
  • It is approved for direct contact with food
  • It is made from naturally occurring ingredients so it is user-friendly
  • Passes recognized corrosion tests common to the automotive industry
  • Offers vapor and contact phase protection for ferrous and non-ferrous metals

MetPro’s BioCor is the safest choice in VCI Technology; it will protect the metal and also protect the user as it is both user and environmentally friendly.





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