Using VCI Corrosion Inhibitors for Aircraft Storage Preservation

VCI corrosion inhibitor in Aircraft Storage Preservation

Corrosion is a natural process that occurs when metal is exposed to oxygen and moisture. Over time, this exposure can lead to rust forming, which can weaken the metal and make it more susceptible to breakage.

Corrosion inhibitors are substances that can help to slow down or prevent this process. VCI corrosion inhibitors are a type of corrosion inhibitor that uses vapours to form a protective barrier around metal surfaces. When VCI molecules meet metal, they attach themselves to the surface and create a thin film that helps to protect the metal from corrosion.

In addition, VCI molecules can also help to dissolve rust and other corrosion products, making it easier to clean metal surfaces. As  result, VCI corrosion inhitors can be an effective way to protect the metal from corrosion.

VCI products are widely used in the aircraft industry, as they can protect equipment from multiple types of environments. VCIs are effective at protecting metals from both indoor and outdoor environments, and they can be used on a variety of different metals.

aircraft storage preservation

The benefits of using a VCI corrosion inhibitor for aircraft storage preservation
VCIs have many benefits over other methods of corrosion prevention. They are safe to use, VOC compliant, and environmentally friendly. They can be used on all metals, including aluminium, and alloys. VCIs are also effective in preventing corrosion which is caused by two dissimilar metals being in contact with each other in an electrolyte solution. 

VCI’s coat both metals and prevent them from meeting each other, thus preventing corrosion.

VCI’s are also very effective in preventing moisture-induced corrosion. Moisture-induced corrosion is caused by water vapor molecules binding to metal and forming an electrolyte solution. VCI’s coat the metal and prevent the water vapor from binding to the metal, thus preventing corrosion. VCI’s are an essential part of any aircraft storage preservation program.

Preventing corrosion diagram

How to properly apply a VCI corrosion inhibitor to an aircraft
VCI corrosion inhibitor liquids and VCI films are the two most common types of VCI products used to protect metals during storage and shipment. VCI liquids can be painted, dipped, sprayed, or fogged onto surfaces, while VCI films are generally applied as wrappers or bags.

Both VCI liquids and VCI films work by creating a VCI “cloud” that surrounds the metal and prevents corrosion-causing agents, such as moisture and oxygen, from meeting the metal surface.

When applying a VCI corrosion inhibitor to an aircraft, it is important to first clean the aircraft surface to remove any dirt, grease, or other contaminants. Once the surface is clean, the VCI product can be applied according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In most cases, it is best to apply a VCI corrosion inhibitor before shipping or storing the aircraft as this will help to ensure that the aircraft is protected from corrosion during transport.

The importance of inspections & maintenance when using a VCI corrosion inhibitor
Aircraft are subject to extreme conditions that can cause corrosion and other deterioration. To ensure the safety of passengers and crew, it is essential to regularly inspect and maintain aircraft. One way to help prevent corrosion is to use a VCI corrosion inhibitor. VCIs form a protective barrier around metal surfaces, preventing moisture and other corrosive agents from meeting the metal. Additionally, VCIs help to dissipate static charges, which can attract dust and other particles that can contribute to corrosion.

Regular inspections and maintenance are essential to keep aircraft in safe flying condition. By using a VCI corrosion inhibitor, you can help to extend the life of your aircraft and keep it looking like new.

Protecting the Aircraft Industry from Corrosion
Defending aircraft against corrosion is a critical part of maintaining airworthiness. The amount of metal in an aircraft, combined with the harsh outdoor conditions it is subjected to, makes corrosion a very real threat. VCI bags and films are one way to protect aircraft from corrosion. VCI films are made of a special material that releases vapours that inhibit the formation of corrosion on metal surfaces. VCI films can be applied to all exposed metal surfaces on an aircraft, providing a physical barrier against corrosion. VCI films are an important part of protecting the aircraft industry from the damaging effects of corrosion.

This treatment can be applied to both new and used parts, and it is an effective way to help extend the life of aircraft components.

Causes of Corrosion in Aircraft
Corrosion is a major problem for aircraft storage. It can cause structural damage and reduce the lifespan of an aircraft. Corrosion can be caused by a variety of factors, including moisture, chemicals, and wear and tear. Moisture is one of the most common causes of corrosion. It can seep into cracks and crevices, causing the metal to oxidize. Chemicals can also cause corrosion, for example, de-icing fluids contain chemicals that can eat away at metal. Wear and tear can also lead to corrosion.

Parts that are constantly exposed to friction are more likely to corrode over time. Corrosion is a complex issue, but understanding its causes is essential for preventing it from occurring.

Heat can cause corrosion when it causes metal to expand and contract. Corrosion can be prevented by keeping aircraft clean and dry, using corrosion-resistant materials (such as VpCI products), and using coatings and sealants. Corrosion should be repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

Corrosion Protection Methods in the Aviation Sector
Fortunately, there are several ways to protect aircraft against corrosion. One common method is to coat the metal with a layer of paint or sealant. This creates a barrier between the metal and the atmosphere, preventing corrosive particles from meeting the metal surface. Another method is to use metals such as stainless steel or aluminium as these metals are less susceptible to corrosion than traditional materials such as carbon steel. It is also important to regularly inspect aircraft for signs of corrosion and take action to repair or replace damaged parts. The best practice for controlling corrosion in aircraft is to deal with it before it appears.

Corrosion is the leading cause of aircraft failure and keeping your vehicle clean with corrosion-inhibiting washes can help protect it from attack during regular use. Sometimes rust removal needs to happen first before applying additional rust treatments like VpCI® primers or coatings; this way you’ll get the maximum benefit out of those products! With Cortec Vapor Phase Corrode Inhibitors (VPCIs) there are multiple angles at slowing down these destructive processes on planes, so they don’t accelerate too quickly.

Airline Approved Products:

  • Boeing – VpCI®-415 (conforms to Boeing D6-17487, Rev P)
  • Safran – VpCI®-126
  • Airbus – VpCI®-126
  • GE Aerospace, Turkey – CorShield® VpCI®-368 & CorShield® VpCI®-369
  • GE Aviation, Cheltenham, UK – VpCI®-308
  • August Westland, Italy – VpCI®-126
  • Magellan Aerospace, UK – VpCI®-126
  • Airbus Helicopters, France – Emitters, Cor-Pak® Tablets, VpCI®-126
  • Airbus Space & Defense – VpCI®-329 (Z20304), VpCI®-126 Blue (Z241CS-CML15-A16), VpCI®-125 (Z241CS-CML15-P11)
  • Safran – VpCI® foam

The Different Types of Corrosion

Surface Corrosion
While there are many types of corrosion, surface corrosion is the most common. It occurs when a material reacts with its environment, causing it to break down. This can be caused by exposure to water, oxygen, or chemicals. Over time, surface corrosion can cause problems such as rusting, pitting, and flaking. In some cases, it can even lead to structural failure. As a result, it is important to take steps to prevent surface corrosion from occurring. This can be done by using corrosion resistant materials, coatings, and treatments, such as VpCI Bags and Films for long term asset preservation. Additionally, regular maintenance and inspections can help to identify problems early on so that they can be addressed before they cause significant damage.

Dissimilar Metal Corrosion
Dissimilar metal corrosion (DMC) is corrosion that occurs when two dissimilar metals contact each other in the presence of an electrolyte, such as water. DMC can occur under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions and can lead to the formation of galvanic cells. This type of corrosion can be very difficult to control and can cause significant damage to metal surfaces. To prevent DMC, it is important to use materials that are compatible with each other and to maintain adequate levels of humidity and moisture.

DMC can be controlled by using VpCI products both before and during the corrosion process.

Intergranular Corrosion
Intergranular corrosion (IGC) is a localised corrosion that is apparent at the grain boundaries of metals. It can occur in both ferrous and non-ferrous metals but is more common in stainless steel and aluminium alloys. IGC is typically caused by the presence of impurities in the metal, such as sulphur or phosphorus. These impurities can cause the formation of corrosive products, which can then attack the metal at the boundaries. IGC can also be caused by stress, which can weaken the metal and make it more susceptible to corrosion. In some cases, IGC can be prevented by using heat treatments or corrosion-resistant alloys. However, once IGC has started, it can be difficult to stop.

Stress Corrosion
Stress corrosion, also known as Corrosive Fatigue, is a type of corrosion that is accelerated by the presence of stress. Stress can be either tensile (stretching) or compressive (squeezing). The most common form of stress corrosion is caused by a combination of tensile stress and a corrosive environment. This type of corrosion is commonly seen in metals that are subjected to light or intermittent loads, such as bridges or pipelines.

Corrosive fatigue can also occur in metals that are not normally considered to be susceptible to corrosion, such as stainless steel. Stress corrosion is often hard to detect because it can occur gradually over time. For this reason, it is important to regularly inspect materials that may be susceptible to this type of corrosion.

There are several ways to prevent or reduce the effects of stress corrosion. One way is to choose a more corrosion-resistant material for the application. Another way is to reduce the amount of stress on the material by using thicker components or providing additional support. In some cases, it may be possible to change the environment so that it is less corrosive. For example, installing a cathodic protection system can help to reduce the corrosivity of an environment. The best option for combating stress corrosion is to use a VCI corrosion inhibitor to reduce the impact of environmental factors and avoid corrosion emergence in the first place.

Fretting Corrosion
Fretting corrosion is a type of damage that can occur when two surfaces are in contact with each other and are subject to relative motion. This motion can cause particles to become embedded in one another, resulting in the formation of an oxide layer. Over time, this oxide layer can grow thicker and cause the two surfaces to become stuck together. Fretting corrosion is often seen in bolts and other fasteners that are subject to vibration. The damage caused by fretting corrosion can ultimately lead to the failure of the affected parts. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the potential for this type of damage and take steps to prevent it.


Case Studies – Aviation Industry – Air Conditioning Unit Protection at Air Force Base

Air Conditioning Unit
The Air Force Corrosion Prevention Control Office discovered that their air conditioner units

were prone to corrosion due to certain environmental factors like water immersion and high humidity. A project was created to investigate solutions to avoiding corrosion.

Two units were supplied by the Air National Guard Unit at Travis Field in Savannah, GA, where these air conditioning units were unable to be stored internally due to a lack of available space. Both units were in a clean condition and had no corrosion.

The two units being tested needed an effective anti-corrosive treatment system and this is where MilCorr’s VpCI Shrink Film would be used. Each unit was wrapped in the film and taken out of service.

With the installation of air vents on opposite sides, this project prevented water from collecting inside or condensing onto equipment. The duration was one year for this project from start to finish.

When the year had passed it was clear that the two units remained in their original condition from the start of the project with neither unit showing any signs that corrosion had occurred. Travis Field expressed an interest in using the VpCI film to protect their other units.


Case Studies – Aviation Industry – Naval Aircraft Engine Preservation

The Indian Navy’s old method of preserving their aircraft engines was time-consuming, laborious, and expensive. The process involved several steps with the use of materials like moisture barrier bags to protect against water damage during storage; paraffin papers that needed frequent washing because they got dirty quickly due in part to engine oils leaking out onto them, silica gel packs used as an energy source for keeping chemicals stable until needed again later and other items. This time-consuming process would preserve their aircraft engines and parts for two years.

The products used are toxic and cause lead poisoning. The moisture barrier bag would need to be replaced every three months, and the silica gel needs to be regenerated by heating for it not to affect ventilation during the regeneration process.

The protection system that they had in place took up one and a half days of labour to renew every three months, but the engines still showed signs of corrosion.

The Navy decided to approach Cortec to find a long-term solution that could help them avoid corrosion in this instance. Cortec implemented the following application process:

An engine was completely cleaned on all its accessible areas with VpCI®-416 (1:6 solution) and these surfaces were wiped with Cortec® VpCI®-377 (1:9 solution). Following this process VpCI®-132 Foam Pads, seven per engine were inserted into gaps and cavities on the engine, and some external surfaces as needed. The last step required a full wrap of both the engine and equipment. The engine was wrapped in VpCI®-146 Paper and completely sealed, whilst the equipment was covered in VpCI®-126 Film.

Cortec® was selected to protect the engines rather than other companies as their protection system was the cleanest and most convenient. The products used would not need to be reapplied for two years and can be applied in around two hours in total. The removal of the VpCI products takes just fifteen minutes. The time saved by the client by switching to Cortec’s products and processes saved the customer 70% against their normal corrosion protection costs.

The Aviation part of the Navy and the Air Force itself has a lot of engines to protect against corrosion and as such the overall savings now available for the Indian Defence Organisation are huge with Cortec’s products.


Case Studies – Aviation Industry – U.S. Air Force Generator Protection

Lockhead Martin

The machine was rusting severely due to the fact it was stored in a very salty environment and needed to be protected from the elements or it would eventually fail!

To prevent further damage, the solutions had to be applied quickly and thoroughly. Primers like Cortec’s VpCI-374 which will stop any future rust from happening in these areas as well as VpCI®-132 foam inserts were used.

The generator was fully covered with a custom CorShield® cover that has Velcro closures which means it can be rapidly removed in an emergency. The cover also offered UV protection which was an added benefit.

Lockheed selected Cortec products due to their superior corrosion protection and proven capability of dealing with harsh environments in managing corrosion.

Valdmark is a leading provider of both VCI and VpCI products and can provide rapid solutions to corrosion issues in the aviation industry. We work closely with our partner Cortec to supply the highest quality paper, film, emitters, and VpCI coatings.

VCI Corrosion Inhibitors for Aircraft Storage – An Overview
Corrosion will always be a huge issue for the aviation industry, but there are many ways that VCI products can help eliminate it. VpCI products are the perfect protection against corrosion and the perfect fit for the aviation industry because they can prevent corrosion from happening in the first place.

Protection against all types of climate conditions at land or sea is possible with VCI products and early prevention tactics will allow aviation operations to continue as normal without any fear of corrosion occurring.

VCI specialists can advise aircraft storage and sector leaders on the best processes to undertake from start to finish to ensure that the corrosion protection processes are the best they can be.

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