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Volatile corrosion inhibitors (VCIs) are chemicals that can reduce the corrosion rate of metals and alloys. It’s important to note that VCIs are also commonly known as vapor corrosion inhibitors. The two terms mean the same thing, so there is no difference between volatile corrosion inhibitors and vapor corrosion inhibitors.

VCIs work by releasing their chemical compounds into the air, which are then transported as vapor throughout an enclosed space, according to the NACE International Standard TM0208. The vapor eventually condenses onto metal surfaces, where it is absorbed and has a hydrophobic effect that helps inhibit corrosion. VCIs are also referred to as vapor inhibitors, vapor-phase corrosion inhibitors, and vapor-transported corrosion inhibitors.



There are various formulations of VCIs available. VCIs work in different systems and applications. VCIs can be found in films, oils, coatings, and cleaners, and more. There are formulations that provide protection for ferrous, nonferrous, or multimetal applications. The amount of vapor phase compared to contact phase inhibitors can also vary.

One advantage of using VCIs is that they are volatile at ambient temperatures. This means they can penetrate hard-to-reach areas in metallic structures where corrosion might otherwise occur. They are a useful solution for industries that require long-term metal protection, like oil and gas, transportation, and military industries.

ZERUST®/EXCOR® is the leading provider of comprehensive corrosion management solutions. We offer a range of VCI products and services that can help protect your metal assets from corrosion. ZERUST® VCI film, in particular, has proven to be effective and safe for nearly 50 years, and has been used by thousands of customers worldwide.

If you’re unsure which VCI product would be best for your application, it’s always a good idea to check with a ZERUST®/EXCOR® representative. We can help you determine the most effective corrosion management solution for your metal assets.