Using VpCI Corrosion Inhibitors for Ship Storage and Preservation

One of the main challenges of storing ships long-term is corrosion. Metal surfaces are particularly vulnerable to corrosion when they are exposed to water and oxygen over extended periods.

Ship Corrosion is a major problem as it can lead to structural damage and leaks. Corrosion costs billions of dollars each year in damage.

Metal rust

There are many different types of corrosion, but all of them involve the deterioration of metal due to exposure to various agents. Corrosion can be caused by salt water, chemicals, or even just air and moisture. The most common type of corrosion on ships is called “rust,” which is caused by exposure to oxygen and water. Rust is a major problem because it weakens the metal, making it more susceptible to damage. Corrosion can also cause holes and leaks in ship hulls, which can lead to sinking.

To combat corrosion, shipbuilders use special coatings and materials that are resistant to corrosion. They also regularly inspect ships for signs of corrosion and repair any damage that is found.

Ship Corrosion: Billions of Dollars Damage Caused Annually
According to a study completed by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in 1999-2001, there were high levels of damage and loss caused by corrosion in U.S. waterways, ports, and ships.

There are over 25,000 miles of commercial waterways across the U.S. and corrosion is generally seen on docks, piers, retaining walls, bulkheads, navigational aids, and mooring structures. Despite there not being a structured tracking process of corrosion costs on the waterways the study showed that an annual cost of $0.3 billion was lost to corrosion-impacted structures and equipment, which excluded corrosion damage for both harbour and marine structures.

There are thousands of ships that operate in the U.S. including both recreational and commercial river and sea vessels. The study reported that the cost of corrosion was around $2.7 billion which included impacted costs from maintenance, repairs, and losses due to not being able to operate.

In 2013 corrosion caused a direct cost of just over 3% of the US GDP figure of $15.1 Trillion, which in that year equates to approximately $500 billion. If the indirect impact of corrosion figure is the same, then the cost was $1001 billion annually.

Further studies in more recent years show that the effects of corrosion continue to cost governments and businesses billions of dollars annually.


VpCI Corrosion Inhibitors in the Shipping Industry


High-quality and long-lasting protection against corrosion is not always possible with the use of commonly available materials. In these cases, VpCI corrosion inhibitors provide an economical technical solution that can be applied easily in structures like shipbuilding or offshore industries.

VpCI® Inhibitors are useful for various applications such as the marine industry where access to parts may present some challenges due to their location at depth within modules under water which makes them difficult if not impossible altogether without special equipment to protect them.

VpCI corrosion inhibitors work by forming a barrier on the surface of the metal that protects it from the corrosive environment. The VpCI molecules are attracted to the metal surface and bind to it, creating an invisible film that prevents oxygen and other corrosive molecules from reaching the metal surface. Additionally, VpCI corrosion inhibitors can help to prevent corrosion by inhibiting the electrochemical reactions that lead to corrosion.

As a result, VpCI corrosion inhibitors are an effective way to protect metals from corrosion. Complete protection during storage or shipments is achieved when using these types of inhibitors.

The Use of Vapor Corrosion Inhibitors in the Shipping Industry
Corrosion is a huge problem for ships. This is because the ship is constantly exposed to a very aggressive marine environment. In addition, the ship must submit to large and variable loadings. As a result, parts of the ship’s structure are constantly under stress and made up of lots of different components. Corrosion can cause these parts to weaken and eventually fail.

To protect these various parts VpCI® inhibitors are becoming a common sight in shipbuilding and storage as they allow a full corrosion protection process to be completed in all areas of the ship’s build, which is difficult to achieve with other corrosion solutions.

The VpCI® inhibitors are a popular choice for use in shipbuilding and marine industries due to their specific action, which is what makes them so effective at filling the otherwise vacuum-like space that’s present when water meets metal. This also helps protect hard surfaces from environmental elements like the atmosphere without contacting these substances first; they can even act as an underwater barrier if necessary!

The use of VpCI® inhibitors on marine equipment is highly recommended for protection. The solution can be applied to areas such as the keel, rudder (and inside), rubbing strip, etc., providing an extensive range and high-level efficiency in safeguarding these components from environmental damage or manipulation by external agents like water immersion/drying out conditions which would lead potentially cause more severe issues down the line.

Products approved/used by OEMs:

  • GE Marine Engines– VpCI®-377,
  • GE Gas Turbines – M-531, VpCI®-337 GE, VpCI®-391, VpCI® Super Penetrant, VpCI®-377, VpCI®-386 HT
  • Wartsila – VpCI® film, BioPad®, VpCI®-322, VpCI®-649, VpCI®-645, VpCI® powders, VpCI® cleaners
  • Rolls Royce – VpCI®-126 bags
  • Fincantieri shipyard – VpCI®-609, VpCI®-645

Protection of Voids and Dry Space
The impacts of humidity levels and atmospheric conditions in dry space and voids on ships can be significant. If the humidity levels are too low, the atmosphere can become extremely dry, which can lead to static electricity build-up and electrostatic discharge. This can pose a serious risk to electronic equipment and people on board the ship. If the humidity levels are too high, condensation can occur, which can lead to the corrosion of metal surfaces.

In addition, the atmosphere in dry spaces and voids can become extremely cold, which can damage equipment and cause discomfort for people on board the ship. More traditional protection coatings do not fulfil the requirements needed for a durable solution to protect or reach all areas of metal.

VpCI corrosion inhibitors are the most convenient way to protect dry spaces and voids on ships because they provide long-lasting protection against corrosion on metal surfaces. Corrsorber capsules and their released molecules form a physical barrier on metal surfaces that protects them from exposure to corrosive gases, liquids, and vapours. Additionally, VpCI inhibitors are hydrophobic, meaning they repel water and do not require regular reapplication like other corrosion inhibitors. This makes them ideal for use in hard-to-reach places or areas where regular maintenance is difficult.

The best way of distributing VpCI in small spaces is through a process called fogging. This fog is used to coat the areas of a ship that need to be properly closed. The fogging machine dispenses the fog into the air, and it statically clings to surfaces. The fogging machine contains a tank of VpCI inhibitor solution and a compressed air source this air is used to generate the fog, and the VpCI inhibitor solution is used to coat the surfaces.

The VpCI inhibitor fog provides a corrosion-inhibiting barrier on surfaces, and it also prevents moisture from entering seals and gaskets. Fog machines are typically used in enclosed spaces, such as storage rooms, engine rooms, and cargo holds. Fogging can also be used in open spaces, such as decks and outdoor areas. Fogging is an effective way to protect ship surfaces from corrosion, and it is also an effective way to prevent moisture from entering ship seals and gaskets.

Short-Term Protection of Equipment when Constructing New Ships
Corrosion is always a concern during the construction phase of shipbuilding. VpCI corrosion inhibitors help by providing an invisible barrier against corrosion on all surfaces of the ship, both above and below the waterline.

VpCI molecules adhere to all surfaces, protecting against salt water, fresh water, acidic gases, and UV light. In addition, VpCI corrosion inhibitors help to prevent galvanic corrosion by isolating dissimilar metals from each other. As a result, VpCI corrosion inhibitors provide an essential layer of protection during the construction phase of shipbuilding.

VpCI film is widely used during the construction phase of shipbuilding particularly as it is a time-consuming process and due to a lack of space, many pieces of the equipment waiting to be fitted are left in an external environment. Wrapping these items in Cortec® VpCI films will provide high-quality prevention of corrosion, whereas normal plastic film allows moisture to condense within, and hence corrosion is caused.

Protecting Tanks and Pipeline Systems
VpCI® inhibitors are an excellent choice for the protection of systems such as the heating and cooling, main engine(s), exchangers and auxiliary engines. They can be used in any recirculation system where you want to protect against corrosion without consuming valuable resources that would otherwise go toward maintenance costs!

Hydrostatic testing is one of the most important procedures for evaluating pipeline materials. As water can be very aggressive, VpCI® inhibitors are applied to prevent corrosion during this process so that no damage will occur even if it’s used often in today’s world where we have many fluids being transported through pipes every day with varying substances flowing below ground level all at once!

VpCI® 645 is a perfect solution for protecting ship storage tanks that use seawater as it will be effective against harsh water conditions but is also environmentally friendly which means it will not affect marine life whilst in use.

Using Corrosion Inhibitors in Preparing Metal Surfaces in Ship Building
Cleaning processes such as sandblasting and shot blasting are used to clean surfaces by propelling an abrasive material at high speeds. It is used in the shipping industry to clean ships of rust and corrosion, plus other debris. The process itself is very expensive and is not good for the environment as hazardous dust particles can make their way into water channels and the sea. In addition to this if not done correctly the blasting can damage delicate surfaces.

The water blasting process does unfortunately create more of a risk of corrosion so it is important to use a VpCI inhibitor, which can be applied to the water used, to prevent the appearance of corrosion. The VpCI-infused water is safe to use on steel surfaces and can help to protect both the metal and the environment versus older traditional methods.

Protective coating

VpCI Inhibitors as a Protective coating in shipping
The process of corrosion protection in shipbuilding is vital to the creation of a vessel that will withstand the rigours of sea life. There are many steps involved in this process, but the most important is the selection of materials that are resistant to corrosion. This includes both the choice of metals and the application of coatings that will prevent rust and other forms of damage. The next step is to apply these materials in a way that will create a barrier between the metal and the environment.

Using inhibitors within primer coating prevents the corrosion process and is both efficient and environmentally friendly versus traditional methods of protection. In the past shipyards would use lead pigments in primers that were proven to create environmental risks to both sea life and those using them. Using VpCI inhibitors in the coating process of shipbuilding is a proven way to offer long-term protection to the whole area of the ship including micro-cavities that are impossible to reach with other solutions.

Traditional coatings rely on metals such as zinc or chromates for protection and the large particle size inhibitors within these create gaps that allow corrosion to start and eventually expand until the coating fails due in part to its inability to withstand environmental factors like humidity or oxygen exposure that can cause further damage. Cortec® Nano VpCI® coatings use the patented VpCI® technology to protect with a molecular structure that is tight bonding to eliminate gaps that occur when traditional solutions are used.

VpCI Inhibitor Usage During Ship Storage and Transportation
The use of VpCI® inhibitors is a great way to prevent the deterioration or probable breaking down that can happen when ships, boats, or equipment are not being used, as well as at other times such as during transport.

Several different products should be used to maximise efforts against corrosion in instances of storing unused equipment:

  • VpCI®-423 can be used to remove rust
  • VpCI®-415 to wash surfaces once cleaned of rust
  • VpCI®-395 & VpCI®-384 should be applied as an under and topcoat
  • VpCI® emitters should be added into cabinets, motor junctions, etc: VpCI® pouches used to store smaller items
  • VpCI®-337 to be fogged into interiors of all compressors, pumps, and piping (excluding oil systems)
  • VpCI®-649 can be added to freshwater systems
  • VpCI®-645 added to saltwater systems
  • VpCI®-308 can be fogged into multi-metal spaces
  • VpCI®-707 should be added to fuel storage tanks.

Case Study 1: Protecting Oil Rigs in Long-term Operational Pause

Inhibitors can be used in the protection of offshore structures, such as oil and gas rigs, both in and out of operation. For example, if a rig platform is not going to drill for wells for a couple of years it would need to look to protect all the different equipment that it would normally use for drilling and is stored in a very corrosive environment.

One way of protecting equipment in the above situation is to use VpCI® Emitters for the protection of electrical control devices and VpCI® Additives for the lubrication of mechanical devices including gears, and to be used as a corrosion inhibitor added to water for flushing through pipeline systems before not being used. VpCI film can be used to wrap equipment to protect it from water and gas vapours.

Case Study 2: Diesel Engine Preservation

Corrosion is a serious problem for diesel engines, as it can lead to engine failure. The most effective way to stop corrosion is to use an oil additive that contains corrosion inhibitors. These chemicals react with metal surfaces to form a barrier that prevents oxygen and water from meeting the metal. Corrosion inhibitors are available in many different formulations, so it is important to choose one that is compatible with the oil you are using. Adding a corrosion inhibitor to your oil can help to prolong the life of your engine and prevent costly repairs.

A diesel company in The Emirates realised that their current strategy of managing corrosion amongst their diesel engines was becoming ineffective so they contacted Cortec to find a solution to the issue.

A Cortec VpCI solution was recommended to protect the diesel engines when they were being stored for a temporary period. VpCI-368 was recommended to be applied to all external areas and VpCI-126 film was to be used to wrap around the engines and component parts before going into storage.

The company was very happy with the ease of the process of using Cortec VpCI solutions and could be assured that even with limited inspections their equipment would be protected for the medium to long term.

Case Study 3: Drill Ship Preservation

Corrosion is always a concern on drill ships. The seawater and environment are harsh, and the metal surfaces are constantly exposed to them. Corrosion can cause parts to break down and fail, which can be very expensive to repair or replace. There are a few different ways to stop corrosion on drill ships.

One is to use zinc anodes. Zinc anodes release zinc ions into the water, which helps to stop corrosion. However, the best and most efficient way of dealing with drill ship preservation is to

coat the metal surfaces with a polymer film. This film forms a barrier between the metal and the environment, and it also helps to prevent salt build-up.

A customer needed their ship to be stored hot, which means that they still wanted the engine and other parts to be fully operational, but the main drilling rig area would be out of use, and hence needed to be protected.

Various products were recommended for use by Cortec and these included treating risers with VpCI-337 and sealing the ends with VpCI-126 film. The main tanks onboard and pipes were treated with VpCI-609 S, whilst all exposed pistons and their operating systems were treated with VpCI-369 D. Any rust that was evident and exposed needed to be treated carefully with VpCI-368 D, and rusted metal that could not be cleaned was removed. There were other products suggested and used to create a powerful barrier against any corrosion whilst the drill ship was partially stored.

The Cortec VpCI products allowed for a quick storage solution for the expensive equipment which also was left fully protected against the elements, whilst being easily released when they were ready for redeployment.

Case Study 4: Chemical Tanker Preservation

Corrosion is a major issue for chemical tankers, as the corrosive nature of the chemicals they are transporting can cause extensive damage to the ship’s hull. There are several ways to stop corrosion on chemical tankers, but the most effective method is to coat the ship’s hull with a protective layer. This can be done using a variety of materials, but the best and most efficient one is to use VpCI inhibitors.

A shipyard was looking for assistance with degreasing and cleaning the ballast tanks of their chemical tankers. They also wanted to protect the equipment and its parts.

Cortec advised the tanker company to use VpCI-414 both diluted and sprayed over all clamps and nuts to clean and degrease them. It would then be rinsed away with fresh water. VpCI-369 should then be applied over the parts to offer high-quality protection against the corrosion present in the ballast tanks.

The products that Cortec suggested would not need any government permits and offered an efficient and economical solution to the company’s corrosion issue.

Case Study 5: USS Cole

Corrosion is a major problem for the US Navy, causing billions of dollars in damage every year. One of the most significant corrosion problems occurred in 2000 when the USS Cole was attacked. The explosion caused extensive damage to the hull of the ship, and saltwater seeped into the cracks and crevices. Over the next few years, corrosion began to eat away at the ship’s metal structure, causing it to weaken and eventually fail. To prevent further damage, the Navy implemented a multi-step corrosion prevention program.

The affected parts were metal to metal with corrosion damage evident on the surface, so these were cleaned with the VpCI-426 rust remover and rinsed with VpCI-415 spray. Once the surface of the ship’s affected areas was air dried coatings of VpCI-383, a water-based coating, were applied until there was an appearance of firmness in the coating.

All the products met or exceeded the Military’s expectations.

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