Excellent Performance of VpCI Inhibitors During NASA Research

Cortec's VpCI inhibitors have exhibited excellent performance among a range of corrosion preventive compounds that have been tested in real life by NASA. The real life test namely “The Behavior of Environmentally Friendly Corrosion Preventative Compounds in an Aggressive Coastal Marine Environment“ was conducted by NASA at their atmospheric test station Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

This particular area is known as the most corrosive in the US and is one of the most corrosive in the world especially due to its proximity of the Atlantic ocean, its hot climate and the winds carrying fallout of rocket propellants and salt spray, which are highly corrosive. Figure 1 shows the location of the test site.

Figure 1. Location of the beachside corrosion test site at Kennedy Space Center, Florida along the Atlantic Ocean (left) and panels after initial CPC application and exposed to the marine atmosphere at the test site (right).

NASA Research

The Kennedy Space Center is located within the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge hence eco-friendly alternatives are highly sought after. The shift to use eco-friendly technologies throughout future space-related launch programs prompted a study aimed at replacing current petroleum and solvent-based corrosion preventive compounds with safer alternatives.

This research is based on identifying and studying eco-friendly CPCs to be used in protection of flight hardware and ground support equipment from atmospheric corrosion. Corrosion preventive compounds are required to survive in the aggressive coastal Space Center, Florida.

The aim of the research was to determine if eco-friendly CPCs will offer the right amount of corrosion protection for spaceport structures and related hardware used at NASA’s center considering large number of environmental and safety issues associated with conventional CPC's. It is not practical to use Petroleum-based CPCs at this location especially because of its cumbersome containment procedures needed during application and removal.

Three Cortec products VpCI® 368 , EcoLine® 3690, and EcoLine® HD Grease were tested along with 12 others in this important research project and showed outstanding results. Figure 2 shows the CPC coated carbon steel panel.

Figure 2. CPC-coated Carbon Steel Panel from Initial Exposure through 6 Months, No 10 showing VpCI® 368

On a number of steel and aluminum substrates, the different protection behaviors of 15 different soft film CPCs, both common petroleum- based and newer environmentally friendly types, were evaluated on various steel and aluminum substrates.

The CPC and substrate systems were subjected to atmospheric testing at the test site located in Kennedy Space Center as well as cyclic accelerated corrosion testing. Physical characterization and launch- related compatibility testing were also done by each CPC.

CPC Applications

CPC Applications of Interest include the following:

  • Spaceport
  • Ground support equipment
  • Aircraft applications
  • Marine applications
  • Ground operations applications
  • Launch applications.

Figure 3. Examples of pitting results for long-term atmospheric exposure of CPC-coated UNS A92219: control (left) and Cortec’s VpCI® 368 (right).

Figure 4. Examples of crevice corrosion for atmospheric exposure of CPC-coated stainless steel (left -control and right - Cortec's EcoLine 3690)

Examples of CPC Coatings

Common examples of CPC coatings are:

  • VpCI® 368 is a time-proven coating that provides excellent protection to metal substrates exposed to harsh outdoor conditions.
  • EcoLine® 3690 is a bio-based/bio-degradable ready-to-use temporary coating designed for severe marine and high humidity conditions. The product is non-hazardous, non-toxic, perfect for sensitive areas where environmentally-friendly alternatives are highly sought after. It provides excellent outdoor protection on any metal surface. The film is self-healing and moisture-displacing, providing superior protection against aggressive environments.
  • EcoLine® HD Grease – bio-based/bio-degradable Heavy Duty Grease, formulated with American-grown natural seed oil that surpasses the lubricity of most conventional petroleum based greases. Utilizing the latest biotechnology, It is an environmentally friendly replacement for harmful greases.

Results and Discussion

The summary of present results and analysis done by NASA showed that all the CPC's tested Cortec's inhibitors exhibited the least amount of both crevice and galvanic corrosion and have penetrated successfully under the fastener and also offered good protection considering the long atmospheric exposure time period. VpCI® 368 was the only inhibitor that was tested for corrosion resistance for all the aluminum alloys.

About Cortec Corporation

Through the years, Cortec® Corporation has grown to become the world’s leader in corrosion protection technology, but regardless of how large we become, the vision and commitment we began with in that little garage will always remain: to provide corrosion protection to help you increase profits, improve product quality and reduce waste and pollution.

Through commitment, hard work, and extensive research and development we pioneered the application and distribution of Vapor phase Corrosion Inhibiting (VpCI™) and Migratory Corrosion Inhibiting (MCI®) technologies. First we developed nitrite-free multimetal VpCI™ products. Then we expanded into environmentally acceptable water-based liquids to replace polluting oil and solventbased coatings. Now we are producing a full line of multifunctional products that promise unparalleled benefits to you, our customer.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Cortec Corporation.

For more information on this source, please visit Cortec Corporation.

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