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Plastic bags keep steel tools from rusting


December 2, 2010

Ultimate VCI Protection bags are plastic bags which are said to keep steel tools stored in them from rusting

Ultimate VCI Protection bags are plastic bags which are said to keep steel tools stored in them from rusting

Fishermen, sailors, and other people who take to the sea will know how quickly and easily steel tools begin to rust in a marine environment. One method of dealing with the problem involves spraying the tools with oil before storage, then wiping them off before use. New Jersey-based company Leland Limited, however, is now offering what it describes as a simpler, more eco-friendly alternative: plastic tool-storage bags that prevent rust.

Leland deals mainly in compressed gas products. Its developers came up with the idea for Ultimate VCI Protection bags when they were making steel CO2 cylinders for marine inflatable life jackets. In the production line, the cylinders would begin to rust before they reached the electroplating stage. Instead of putting them in an oil bath, the developers invented the bags, which allowed the cylinders to remain rust-free without the use of oil.

The bags are lined with corrosion inhibitors that release vapors which are attracted to metal surfaces. The inhibitor molecules reportedly align themselves on these surfaces, three to five molecules deep, and even get down into the nooks and crannies. This layer of molecules prevents oxidation, yet doesn’t leave discernible residue on the tools when they’re removed from the bags.

So, just what are the “corrosion inhibitors”? “Much like the Colonel's secret recipe, that is somewhat classified,” Leland’s Lee Stanford told Gizmag. “Our standard quote is: ‘VCI products are completely non-toxic. In fact, most of the VCI chemistry is actually food grade preservatives.’”

Ultimate VCI Protection bags come in packs containing three bags of different sizes, ranging from 6 x 8 to 12 x 18 inches (15 x 20 to 30.5 x 46 cm), with each pack costing US$12.95.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

Hmmm stupid idea. Zip lock sandwhich bags - dry clean parts ans a squirt of Water Displacement spray - or a simple mix of about 1 part fresh motor oil and 9 parts turpentine / kerosene.

Add heavier oil and more of it - for the longer term storage or more severe the conditions.

This may be OK for items that are chemically sensitive to oils etc, but plain ziplock bags and or proper storage containers may be a better bet.

Clean and dry and wiped over with a protective substance - before storage tends to work wonders in the first place.

Mr Stiffy

Love the idea of VPI (Vapour Phase Inhibitors), in small poly pags - perfect for Hong Kong motorcycle toolkits and scuba spares for the dive bag. But there is a down-side: Hate the high cost of nearly USD $13 for just three bags. Even though these are re-useable and sealable, they are going to be damaged internally, when sharp-edged tools are stored within, thus leaking air in and inhibitor vapour out. Worse than that though, is when one goes to this company\'s online order form. As with so many colonial companies, there is no provision for exporting these bags outside the USA - and if you could get an answer back from Leland\'s Mr. Stanford, the sight of a UPS logo at the bottom of their order page bodes badly for the cost of airmailing one or two packs of these to places like Hong Kong. And the americans complain about trade boundaries? They turn business away by being so introverted in their sales software - there are a whole world of buyers out there, if you\'d all just make it easier to purchase from you!


This is a very old idea, just marketed as new.

Industry has used VCI product for decades. Simply wrap the steel part in VCI paper and place in any airtight container, such as a plastic zipper-type bag.

They even make pallet-size bags of VCI material. Google \"VCI paper.\"

Kinda takes the wind out of the sails of the America-bashing, since it\'s used in many countries in manufacturing and storing of metal parts, and universally available, but I suspect that doesn\'t matter.

William Lanteigne
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