How to Prevent Rust Without Paint, Oil or Grease: Try VCI for Dry Rust Prevention That Works

Rust has plagued manufacturers, distributors, engineers and fabricators for hundreds of years. This pesky substance breaks down all types of iron-based metals, and often seems impossible to prevent. Rust-preventing paints, oils or greases are common methods used to keep metals from rusting, but they’re not the only methods. Let’s take a look at how to prevent rust without the mess and hassle of paint, oil or grease, using a dry rust prevention method called VCI instead.

Corrosion and rusting are two chemical processes that result in the breakdown and disintegration of materials, the most common of which is metal. Both are the result of a metal’s exposure to factors such as water, moisture and air. Corrosion is a term that references the gradual degradation of metal due to a chemical reaction with its environment. While rusting, on the other hand, is defined as a specific type of corrosion – one that occurs with iron-based (or sometimes referred to as ferrous) metals. More important than the semantics of these terms is the damage to metal and metal parts that they can leave behind.

But all is not lost, there are effective ways to keep metal and metal parts rust free. One way to prevent rust on ferrous metals is to cover the surface with a coating such as paint, oil or grease, to prevent moisture and air from making direct contact with the metal. However, coating metal parts is “messy business” – it is labor intensive and time-consuming to apply and to remove, and it isn’t always a feasible way to prevent rust. Sometimes items just can’t be painted. The good news? There is another way to prevent rust. The even better news? It is a clean, safe, easy-to-apply and dry rust preventative – what more could you ask for? The method behind it is VCI, or Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor.

Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor

Vapor Corrosion Inhibitors (sometimes referred to as Volatile Corrosion Inhibitors) or VCI for short, top the list as one of the best dry rust prevention methods. VCI is a class of chemical compounds that emit rust-inhibiting vapors into an enclosed air space. VCI is combined with resources like Kraft paper or polyethylene film to create packaging materials with the added benefit of rust prevention such as VCI WRAP or VCI POLY film.

How does VCI Work?

VCI protects metal in ways that paint, oil and grease can’t – instead of providing a physical barrier, VCI works on a molecular level to prevent rust. To protect metal parts, simply wrap or enclose them in VCI paper or film. VCI vapors will be released from the packaging material and they will form a clean, dry, ultra-thin and ultra-strong layer of protection on the surface of metal that is only a few molecules thick. This VCI shield of protection keeps dirt, water, moisture and corrosion-causing contaminants away from metal.

When VCI is used properly, it provides reliable, high-quality protection against rust without the need for messy paints, oils or grease. In addition, VCI is nearly undetectable; it does not change the look, weight or feel of metal parts; it does not compromise metal surface coatings or treatments; and it leaves metal parts ready for immediate use without cleaning or degreasing.

It is hard to ignore the benefits of dry rust prevention using VCI paper or poly film. It is cost effective; easy to apply; eliminates the mess and labor of paint, oil or grease that is required to apply; does not require removal; and it can provide years of protection. Wash your hands of the mess and work of using paint, oil or grease to prevent rust, VCI rust-prevention products are the clean, safe and dry alternative.