In the aviation industry, corrosion is a major problem. It can cause expensive damage to aircraft and put lives at risk.
To protect against corrosion, many airlines and aircraft owners use VCI (volatile corrosion inhibitor) products.
Aircraft are stored and used in several different environments from desert climates to icy conditions, so the protection of equipment needs to be one of the highest priorities. In addition to this aircraft being shipped or stored for long-term maintenance are also susceptible to corrosion so VCI products can help to alleviate any damage.
In this article, we look at case studies using VCI corrosion inhibitors for preservation in aircraft storage and the wider aviation industry.
Case Study 1 – Preservation of Naval Aircraft Engines
The navy used to use a method for preserving aircraft engines that were time-consuming and expensive. It required a moisture barrier bag, paraffin paper with silica gel in it to prevent corrosion from occurring on the metal parts of an engine as well as rust preventive oil added into each container that would last about two years before needing replacement or repolarization. These products had a limited life span due to other chemical compositions which made them difficult if not impossible virtually impossible to replace once they were used up, which means they needed to be destroyed.
The introduction of Cortec® VpCI® solutions into the process meant that the preservation preparation process was more convenient than ever. This process involved washing accessible surfaces with VpCI 416, ensuring all dirt and debris were removed, before inserting several large pads around each engine space to ensure that there were no empty spaces for leaks to occur.
Once a full clean had taken place the engine was wrapped in Cor-Shield® VpCI®-146 Paper and sealed, with a final layer of wrapping added to ensure the whole area was completely covered. The whole process of cleaning and wrapping in VCI paper took around two hours which means that the aircraft is fully protected by the VCI corrosion inhibitors for at least two years.
The use of VCI solutions meant that the whole process of preserving naval aircraft took 60-70% less time than normal meaning more production and fewer costs.
Case Study 2 – Protecting Spare Aircraft Parts from Corrosion
A maintenance engineering company at an airport in China wanted to change its processes in how it protects spare aircraft parts from the corrosion process. Previously they had used rust-preventative oil, but this process was messy and expensive.
The company decided to clean and spray small pieces of parts and store them in Cortec VpCI®-126 bags and spray any moving parts with VpCI’s 369 where lubrication was needed. Larger parts were wrapped in CorPak wrap and stored for a year without any damage or corrosion.
The switch to VpCI® packaging was also a game changer for the company. It meant that parts could be used immediately after unpacking, without having first been greased or waxed- resulting in time and labour savings all around!
Case Study 3 – VpCI was Tested in Varying Climate Conditions
VpCI packaging is crucial for protecting aviation equipment in different climate conditions. The packaging is an ideal solution for protecting aviation equipment in diverse climate conditions, as it can prevent corrosion regardless of temperature or humidity levels. VpCI packaging is also moisture-resistant, so it can protect aviation equipment in areas with high humidity or exposure to rain or snow.
For example, VpCI-126 packaging is designed to protect equipment in tropical climates, while VpCI-422 packaging is ideal for use in cold climates. VpCI packaging can be custom-tailored to meet the specific needs of any aviation application, making it an essential tool in the fight against corrosion.
VpCI packaging is also environmentally friendly and does not emit harmful fumes, making it safe for use in all types of climate conditions. Thanks to its many benefits, VpCI packaging is an essential part of protecting aviation equipment in different climate conditions.
Case Study 4 – Aircraft protected in long-term storage using Cortec® VpCI®
Due to the situation of COVID-19, the aviation industry ground to a halt, and most aircraft grounded, forced into long-term storage. The length of time aircraft was grounded was unknown but despite this, there was an urgent need to protect assets to ensure they could be quickly reinstated into operation when allowed and market demand returned.
Cortec® Corp. worked hard to offer its support to industry partners across the world and assist them in both preserving grounded aircraft and materials in inventory.
When the facilities of manufacturers began shutting down due to the non-flying ban for an indefinite period, it was essential to ensure that aircraft could be put back into operation quickly and be corrosion-free.
When equipment is not in use, it can easily become neglected and vulnerable to corrosion. The presence of moist air or salt-laden winds, along with fluctuations in humidity levels, mean that condensation will form on electrical systems which are then at risk for shorting out wires as well as other detrimental effects such as rotating machinery and other parts; this could ultimately lead up a premature failure if left unchecked.
Unnecessary and non-planned repairs or replacements can increase operational costs and also delay reinstating equipment such as aircraft and other vehicles.
It is possible to deal with the potential issues by protecting assets and equipment with VpCI technology during any shutdown or long-term storage situations. Cortec® VpCI® products will protect all types of equipment and components from corrosion with a huge array of different solutions available.
Case Study 5 – Protecting Spare Parts at Airbus
China’s booming aircraft industry has been using more and more expensive methods to prevent corrosion. They were looking for an alternative that would save both time and money that would not affect their production and shipping of parts to European customers.
Airbus China contacted Cortec and used their products to solve the issue they had with corrosion concerns.
VpCI®-132 Pads placed against components and parts of aircraft provided extra protection against corrosion alongside the use of VpCI®-125 film that was wrapped around parts.
The VpCI film and VpCI pads solved all issues for the company in solving their corrosion issues. Airbus reported also that they had seen huge savings in expenditure by adopting the products in their corrosion prevention plans.
See frequently asked VCI questions here on our help page.