Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Keywords: Corrosion resistance, Coatings, Aircraft industry
Mondi Packaging, a UK corrugated packaging supplier, working alongside Omega Intercept UK, claims to have developed the first corrugated carton with built-in corrosion protection using technology developed from the restoration process techniques used to restore the Statue of Liberty.
Gases such as sulphur, chlorine, hydrogen sulphide, hydrogen chloride, nitrogen oxides and ozone, which are always present in the atmosphere, slowly corrode all materials including plastics and metals and cost industry e-millions every year. The aviation and defence industries spend huge sums of money on protective coatings, including oils and greases, for component parts and finished products – coatings which take time and money to apply and remove and can sometimes even damage surfaces themselves.
The new boxes are coated on the inside with an ink bonded with a patented highly reactive copper matrix which is said to neutralise corrosive gases, reportedly leaving the contents protected for over 5 years with no need for any other corrosion protection. This same highly reactive copper matrix was originally used to rapidly age copper sheets to repair and renovate the statue of liberty. The boxes are tailor-made and are claimed to be environmentally friendly and easy to recycle at the end of their life as regular corrugated cardboard. They offer anti-static protection too as the boxes are also available with Intercept Max.
Mark McCleery, Innovation Manager for Mondi Packaging, said: “Our new box, although more expensive than a standard corrugated carton, is a cost effective alternative to the other anti- corrosion products on the market. It is simple and safe to use and offers excellent protection throughout its life”.
“Alternatives include charcoal and Volatile Corrosion Inhibitors (VCIs), both of which have limitations. Charcoal usually only proves successful for short periods of time and this protection can be reversed by either a change in temperature or humidity. VCIs coat the product with VCI oils, and again have temperature range limitations and shelf life issues. Independent testing has shown that Intercept outperforms either system”.
It is believed that the new box will be particularly important for manufacturers, protecting component parts in transport and storage. All manufacturers have to do is place their products in the intercept box and seal it up, the inside remains free from corrosive gases until the box is opened or the properties of the copper are exhausted.
All corrosive gases are preferential – drawn to the most reactive substances that are present – the Mondi intercept box is said to work because the internal coating is always the most highly reactive and easily corroded surface present, therefore, attracting and neutralising gases before they attack the box's contents. This highly reactive property enabled fresh copper panels to be placed, unnoticed, alongside originals on the statue of liberty. The same patina green colour, that occurs when copper is exposed to the atmosphere over long periods of time, is achieved in a matter of weeks.
Mark added: “Intercept is a product unique to Omega in Europe and strictly guarded by its Patent Owners, Lucent Technologies; Mondi is the only corrugated cardboard manufacturer able to offer this technology in the current market. Intercept is providing our sheet plants with a highly innovative and desirable new product and we expect to be receiving significant orders by the end of this year”.
Details available from: Mondi Packaging (UK) Ltd. Tel: +44 (0)1352 750655; Fax:+44 (0)1352 750677.