Paper or Plastic?
That’s a question that you most often hear when shopping at your local grocery store. But it also is a question you can ask regarding VCI products.
From strictly a corrosion inhibitor standpoint, paper has been a better inhibitor of rust due to the way that the VCI is topically coated onto the paper, and is very quickly released into the air and onto the metal product. VCI Papers have been in existence for over 50 years, first adopted by the United States Military. VCI paper, because of paper characteristics and the immediate availability of the VCI, is able to protect a part quicker coming off of a paper, than it is off of polyethylene. This is not to say that VCI Poly is not an excellent product or that it does not have its place. However, from a pure rust inhibitor issue, paper has proven to be slightly more effective especially in terms of quick protection for metal parts. This is particularly important for metal parts that are porous or are susceptible to flash rust or quick corrosion.
VCI poly film has several advantages over VCI paper as a corrosion inhibiting packaging medium. The biggest advantage of VCI poly is that it provides a moisture barrier in addition to corrosion inhibiting properties. VCI poly bags also offer ease of usage by simply placing a metal product into a treated VCI poly bag. VCI poly bags provide long-term protection against rust and corrosion, 5 years or longer. VCI poly bags are also transparent, so products can be easily identified, inspected, inventoried, etc., without removing them from the VCI. This is something that cannot be done with VCI paper.
So the questions still is, which is better, paper or plastic, and the answer is..…it depends! It depends on your specific application, your needs, your priorities, and your preferences.