Part Protection for Overseas Shipment

How can parts be treated for corrosion protection in preparation for overseas freight?


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Q. We have some cabinets to be shipped by sea from India to Saudi Arabia. Can you share some information on corrosion protection for sea freight?

A. For starters, let’s briefly talk about how you prepare and coat the metal. If your part is fabricated from steel you will probably want to blast its surface to remove any rust or mill scale and create a roughened surface. If it is heavy-gauge steel and you can blast it, you will want to follow that up with a zinc-rich powder primer. Be sure the primer coat is thick enough to provide good coverage over all the high points and edges. Finally, apply a high-quality topcoat at the recommended thickness.

There are alternatives for steel. If the metal gauge is too thin for blasting, you can clean it and then apply a zinc phosphate. Follow that up with a powder primer and topcoat. If the part is aluminum you must use a suitable aluminum conversion coating, chrome or non-chrome, then prime and topcoat. This is the short version of your options. The basic message is, do a good job of providing corrosion protection with your coating process.

Now, assuming you have done a good job of metal preparation and coating, what are your options for protection during shipment? You should look into companies that make polyethylene film and bags with Volatile Corrosion Inhibitors. Companies that specialize in this type of packaging offer different options for specific needs including film, bags and wraps. Another option (most suitable for large assemblies) is a spray-on grease that can be removed at the destination.