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VCI Packaging You Dont Have to Be a Chemist to Know How it Works

David Marinac

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When it comes to chemistry, not everyone paid attention in high school. But for makers of metal, electrical, electronic or any other product made with metal ingredients, a basic understanding of chemical reactions is a complete necessity in order to make sure the quality of the product is maintained at all times. Because oxidation is such a huge factor for anything made with metal parts, manufacturers must consider ways to protect their products from this corrosion.

Corrosion begins when an element like water or oxygen is present on the surface of a metal. When this occurs, electrons begin to flow back and forth from the high-energy areas of the metal to low-energy areas. This flow results in oxidation, which corrodes and destroys metal materials. VCI, Vapor Corrosion Inhibitors, prevent oxidation by inhibiting the electrochemical reactions that cause oxidation.

VCI packaging and VCI film more specifically work by emitting molecules into its surrounding area. Since much VCI film is used in the construction of bags, this means that the protective molecules emitted by the film are typically contained within the confines of the bag. These molecules are completely odor-free, invisible and safe. The film will continue to emit these vapors until the area is saturated.

Once the VCI molecules come into contact with the air within the bag, an ionic reaction takes place between the VCI molecules and the water molecules contained within the air.

When the enclosed area is saturated, the VCI molecules are hydrolyzed into VCI ions. Hydrolysis is the process by which a chemical compound decomposes by reacting with water molecules. Once the VCI ions are created, they attach themselves to the metal surface and form a barrier that protects the metal from being attacked by outside elements that could be potentially harmful.

After an item is placed into a VCI bag, it takes around 24 hours for the VCI ions to be completely absorbed onto the metal surface. If handled properly, i. e. , with gloves to reduce the presence of potential contaminants, the VCI bags can protect your product for several years.

In closing, VCI packaging, in particular VCI bags, can be counted on to protect metal surfaces. Knowing how the process works should be beneficial as well. As always count on your packaging professional for guidance and direction as far as size and thickness.

David Marinac

ABC Packaging Direct is the only company that custom designs specialty packaging via the Internet without having to meet with a customer face-to-face. This allows them to respond faster than any other company at the total lowest cost.


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