Eurocorr Recap: Traditional vs. Bio-based Rust Preventative

Eurocorr 2017 recap:

Experimental testing of biobased and petroleum-based rust preventatives

The European Corrosion Congress (EUROCORR) recently held a presentation in front of six hundred delegates on the benefit of bio-based corrosion protection of metal components and surfaces during shipment, storage, and/or in between manufacturing processes. 

Eurocorr is the premier conference for corrosion experts.

When choosing a temporary rust preventative product, multiple considerations must be made. Rust preventatives are vital in many industries, for example, when storing automotive components, which may require temporary corrosion protection for a few days, weeks, or months. A high-quality rust preventative should possess the following traits:

  1. Provide little to no interference with the function of the metal part or surface.
  2. Be safe and friendly to the environment and the workers using it.
  3. Be able to be removed with relative ease

Different approaches can be used to create an environmentally friendly rust preventative systemTraditionally, oil- and solvent-based products have been used for the preservation of metals during shipment, storage, or between processes. While these products may offer sufficient corrosion protection, they often contain hazardous ingredients and are not readily biodegradable. As environmental and disposal regulations become more and more stringent, the desire for “green” corrosion inhibitors is increasing.

Biobased Rust Preventatives Perform Better for Less

The use of biobased rust preventative products was a major topic of discussion at Eurcorr.  Derived from vegetable oils and their esters, bio-based RP's are found to offer equal or better corrosion protection properties when compared to their petroleum-derived counterparts, while simultaneously offering cost savings.

What makes an Effective Rust Preventative?

There are three main requirements of effective temporary rust preventative:

  1. The substance must bind itself to the metal surface.
  2. The rust preventative should provide a barrier against moisture.
  3. The rust preventative should effectively and evenly cover the metal surface.

Traditional temporary rust preventatives utilize oils which contain organic compounds such as fatty acids. Fatty acid molecules have a long, water-repelling hydrocarbon tail and a head that has a strong affinity for the metal surface. These compounds form a physical barrier between the metal substrate and the corrosive environment, but over time, moisture will diffuse through the oil layer to the metal surface.

In contrast, more recent formulations of rust preventatives will form a layer and prolong the rust protection period. The most common method is to replace solvent- or oil-based carriers in formulations with water-based technology. The second option is to replace petroleum-based carriers with solvents manufactured from environmentally friendly renewable resources. This has been accomplished by combining VCIs with soy-derived and canola oils, creating anticorrosion product formulations for many different applications. The last method is to utilize biodegradable VpCI chemistry building blocks in conventional solvent carriers.

Key Findings from the EuroCorr Presentation

When compared to traditional oil-based anti-corrosion methods, biobased not only performed as well, it offered significant cost savings and a boon to the environment as completely biodegradable and VOC-free RP option.

Three of the five rust preventatives passed 600 hours of high humidity testing. This included the biobased product, along with two of the solvent based products. The remaining two solvent based products failed during the test period. 10 ‐ Higher thickness of rust preventative didn’t provide better corrosion protection. Further, this increased thickness had a negative influence on cleanability. ‐ In addition to being more environmentally friendly, biobased rust preventatives offer optimal corrosion protection, with no increase in protection cost, compared to petroleum-based and hazardous rust preventatives.

Bio-based Rust Preventatives at Solvent Recycling Systems

For the utmost product rust protection during storage and domestic and overseas shipments, Solvent Recycling Systems uses certified biodegradable corrosion inhibiting film using Cortec's Eco-Corr®, which contains VpCI technology. As the first and only certified biodegradable anti-corrosion film on the market, Cortec’s proprietary VpCI technology provides excellent contact, barrier and vapor-phase corrosion protection for ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Various formulations containing up to 40% bio-based content are available and can be designed to fit required properties ranging from highly elastic to semi-rigid structures.

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