Advances In Corrosion Inhibitor Technology
Prepared for the Mega Rust 2006
Definition of the DoD Corrosion Problem
The DoD corrosion problem is
quite complex. Scientists and engineers incorporate
corrosion control into the design process, construction, and
maintenance procedures from project conception to ultimate
In spite of these efforts,
corrosion is a very serious problem. The photograph below
illustrates a heavily corroded piece of DoD equipment. This
piece of equipment is almost new.
Another photograph of the
same piece of equipment is presented on the following page.
This piece of equipment had been designed, constructed, and
maintained according to DoD specifications, yet it is still
This piece of equipment is very
difficult to maintain. Most of the fasteners are frozen.
This means that simple maintenance or repair procedure may
take hours as the mechanics wait for non-ICC penetrants to
take effect, or even worse, deal with broken fasteners and
Because the corrosion problem is
permanent, the corrosion control solution should also be
permanent. This means that an effective corrosion control
procedure must be implemented for the entire lifetime of the
For this reason, it is necessary to
have a permanent corrosion control procedure in place that
requires little to no surface preparation, that uses
inexpensive materials, that requires a minimal amount of
time and effort to apply, and has no adverse effect upon the
reliability, lifetime, or operation of the treated
The scale of the DoD losses to
corrosion is enormous. 20 billion dollars a year.
According to the Federal Highway
Administration study the
indirect losses to corrosion are similar to the direct
losses. This means that an estimated 40 billion dollars a
year are lost to corrosion. This is almost ten percent of
the entire DoD budget. The same funds could be more
effectively allocated to personnel and procurement.
This cost does not take into account
the morale issues associated with corrosion, nor does it
take into account the injuries and deaths associated with
equipment and weapons failures caused by corrosion.
Paths to Reducing Corrosion Losses
are three primary paths to reducing corrosion losses:
• Improved materials –The
design and evaluation process may take years. The cost of
the replacement materials may be much higher than the
original item. This approach does not have a significant
positive impact on equipment in the field.
• Improved coatings – The
verification of the improved efficacy of the improved
coating may take years. The cost of the new coating may be
much higher than the coating it replaced. The application of
the new coating requires significant surface preparation and
equipment downtime. The new coating will only improve the
efficacy of the newly coated equipment.
• Improved corrosion
inhibitors – immediate results, low cost, and universal
applicability Corrosion inhibitors have the benefits of the
ability to generate immediate results, the lack of a need
for surface preparation, low cost, and the ability to deal
with corrosion on all types of equipment.
Historical Drawbacks of Corrosion Inhibitors
Corrosion inhibitors have a
major problem: in most situations they are not effective
based upon the following problems:
• Short film life –
Corrosion inhibitors often evaporate within days or weeks of
application. This phenomenon applies to most multi-purpose
corrosion inhibitors, i.e. corrosion inhibitors that also
function as penetrants and lubricants. Side-by-side testing
has indicated that in many cases there is a negligible
difference between the performance of a multi-purpose
corrosion inhibitor and an untreated surface.
An example of a corrosion
inhibitor failure based upon evaporation is presented below.
Example of Evaporating Example of
Coupon Exposed to the
Corrosion Inhibitor Failure Same Environment that was Treated
• Wax films – this type of
corrosion inhibitor is effective for long-term storage, but
it is not effective for operational equipment other than the
treatment of voids. The wax film builds up and interferes
with the operation of articulated mechanisms. In many cases
it is necessary to use a hazardous solvent to remove the wax
film prior to operating the equipment. Wax film corrosion
inhibitors have a negligible penetrating capability. The wax
film corrosion inhibitor is mobile for a few minutes after
application, but once the carrier solvent evaporates the wax
film will not penetrate into cracks and crevices.
Side-by-side testing has
indicated that corrosion can occur underneath an intact wax
film, as presented below.
Example of a Wax Based Corrosion
Example of a Coupon Exposed to the
Corrosion Inhibitor Failure with Same
Environment that was Treated
Many corrosion inhibitors have severe
compatibility issues. The corrosion inhibitor causes
elastomers to shrink or expand, either of which can lead to
component failure. Some corrosion inhibitors actually cause
plastic to melt on contact.
Compatibility testing tends
to focus on the effects of short-term immersion in a
corrosion inhibitor rather than the long-term effects
associated with an elastomer being coated with a corrosion
inhibitor. ICC has used an approach to evaluating
compatibility that focuses on long-term effects of an
elastomer being coated with a corrosion inhibitor, since
this approach is more representative of real world
The compatibly of corrosion
inhibitors has decreased as manufacturers have incorporated
non-volatile solvents such as Isopar L, M, and J into their
formulations in order to comply with restrictions on the
volatile organic constituent content of their product
imposed by regulatory agencies. These solvents have serious
long-term compatibility issues.
Some corrosion inhibitor
manufacturers do not provide test data to support their
product claims. This is a serious drawback that his limited
the use of corrosion inhibitors in the field. Many customers
are not satisfied with the performance of corrosion
inhibitors because in some cases the manufacturer has failed
to quantify the performance of their corrosion inhibitor in
None of these issues affect the ICC
Industries, LLC (ICC) product line.
of ICC Corrosion Inhibitors
corrosion inhibitor will have the following characteristics:
• Minimal surface
preparation required – no special effort should be required
to clean the item to be protected other than, if necessary,
to wash down the item to remove heavy deposits of dirt or
• Long film life – the
corrosion inhibiting film should last long enough to
encourage end users to utilize the product. If the product
fails in a short amount of time end-users will avoid the
• Non-hardening – the
corrosion inhibitor should not generate a wax film that
interferes with the operation of articulated mechanisms or
is difficult to remove.
• Waterproof – the
corrosion inhibitor should be impervious to water, even if
the item to be protected is completely submerged for
extended periods of time
• Resistant to salt – the
corrosion inhibitor should not be affected by salt. This
characteristic becomes more important as a salt-water
droplet evaporates and the salinity approaches 100%. This is
the most common source of corrosion inhibitor failure.
• Resistant to sunlight –
the corrosion inhibitor should be resistant to sunlight for
a month or more.
• Strong penetrating
effect – the corrosion inhibitor should be able to penetrate
into fastener threads, cracks, and crevices over the entire
lifetime of the film. Ideally the corrosion inhibitor will
break the bond between corrosion particles and the
underlying metal, thereby un-freezing the fastener or part.
• Excellent lubricating
qualities – the corrosion inhibitor should provide long-term
lubrication. Ideally the corrosion inhibitor will be able to
resist high rotational speeds and high loads.
• Eliminate galvanic
action – the corrosion inhibitor should stop galvanic action
between dissimilar metals for the lifetime of the film, even
if the item is inundated..
• Self-healing – if the
corrosion inhibitor film is displaced by abrasion, the film
should be self-healing.
• Easy to remove – it
should be possible to remove the corrosion inhibitor with an
environmentally friendly cleaner.
• Complete compatibility
with all types of rubber, paint, and plastic – the corrosion
inhibitor should not adversely affect any rubber, paint, or
plastic used in the construction of the item to be
• Low cost – the cost of
the corrosion inhibitor should be low enough to allow for a
high cost benefit ratio.
• Minimal environmental impact – the
corrosion inhibitor should comply with all existing and
proposed environmental regulations.
The Advanced ICC Corrosion Inhibitors
meet all of these criteria.
Optimal Applications for
1. Equipment shipped as
deck cargo – equipment shipped as deck cargo should arrive
at its final destination in the same condition that it was
in when it left its point of origin. This seems obvious, but
it is very difficult to implement.
2. Weapons – weapons
should not corrode in the field. Cosmoline is a highly
effective product for long-term storage, but in many cases
once a weapon is put into operation corrosion is a serious
issue. Weapons should be completely corrosion free, even if
they have been submerged. The corrosion inhibitor should
have no effect on the materials and coatings on the weapon.
systems – equipment should maintain the same level of
functionality and appearance for the entire lifetime of the
item, even if the equipment is used and stored in a harsh
Equipment Shipped as Deck Cargo
TC-11 has five years experience in
delivering deck cargo that is in exactly the same condition
when it arrives at its final destination that it was at the
point of origin. This is in spite of the fact that the
equipment is shipped as deck cargo on an open barge in the
roughest conditions in the World: the North Pacific Ocean in
the middle of winter when wave heights of 40 feet are not
uncommon. The waves break over the bow of the barge and
generate a salt mist that penetrates every item on the
barge. The conditions are so corrosive that a paint film
will fail in a matter of days.
The vast majority of the Caterpillar,
International, Case, John Deere, Volvo, Komatsu and other
heavy equipment shipped from the West Coast to destinations
throughout the Pacific have been treated with TC-11
Corrosion Inhibitor since July of 2001. The entire piece of
equipment is treated with TC-11 for a cost of
less than $15 per lineal foot. During this time there has
not been a single incident of incompatibility with any of
the rubber, paint, or plastic on any of the pieces of
A typical deck cargo is presented below.
The conditions on this particular voyage were so rough that
the tug failed and the normal 16-day voyage was extended to
The blue paver on the left was one of the
few pieces of equipment that was not treated with TC-11
The photograph below demonstrates that
the conditions were so corrosive that the paint film on the
untreated paver failed.
The condition of a piece of equipment
that was treated with TC-11 Corrosion Inhibitor
is presented below.
The condition of an untreated engine is
The condition of a treated engine is
The condition of an untreated component
is presented below. Once again the paint film has failed
during a relatively short exposure to highly corrosive
The condition of a treated component is
ICC Management feels very strongly that
the DoD can immediately utilize TC-11 Corrosion
Inhibitor for the protection of deck cargo based upon five
years of successful experience with equipment that is
similar in construction and value to DoD equipment.
ICC has developed a product that is
specifically designed for the protection and lubrication of
all types of cables – TC-11 Cable Coat©.
The TC-11 Corrosion Inhibitor
formula was modified to eliminate the possibility of a sheen
and to increase the lifetime of the film in a submerged
A photograph of a steel panel treated
with Cable Coat after ninety two days of immersion is presented
below. The condition of a panel treated with a competing
product and immersed for the same amount of time is
presented for comparative purposes. This test is still
underway with no signs of TC-11 Cable Coat film
The unique characteristic
of TC-11 is that it removes residue and corrosion as
effectively or better than any competing product without
affecting bluing, wood, paint, rubber or plastic parts. The
importance of this characteristic cannot be overemphasized.
Many gun-cleaning solvents have specific directions to avoid
contact between the solvent and any portion of the weapon
other than the area being cleaned. TC-11
has no effect on any material or coating used in
the construction of a weapon.
A photograph of a gun
cleaning patch treated with TC-11 after wiping a barrel
cleaned with a leading competitor showing a large amount of
residue removed and demonstrating the superior efficacy of
TC-11 is presented below.
A photograph of a cleaning
patch soaked with competing product used to wipe down barrel
cleaned with TC-11 showing no residue removed from a gun
barrel cleaned with TC-11.
TC-11 has minimal health and safety issues and as well
as a high cost benefit ratio.
TC-11 Ultimate Gun Protection
weapons in the field to an unprecedented degree and it
incorporates the following features.
• TC-11 is easy to apply – there is no need for special
surface preparation. TC-11 can also be used to
clean and lubricate weapons.
completely penetrates intricate mechanisms – this means that
weapons are completely protected. TC-11 displaces any moisture that may be present.
• TC-11 protects weapons in the field to an unprecedented
degree, even if the weapon is submerged. The micro-spaces in
the threads and fittings will be filled with TC-11, so if the weapon is immersed the water will never
come into contact with the weapon. TC-11 is even effective in salt water.
• TC-11 provides long-term corrosion protection and
lubrication. TC-11 does not evaporate and it does not harden into a
• TC-11 is completely compatible with all materials of
construction and coating.
• TC-11 has minimal safety and health issues as well as a
high cost benefit ratio.
Corrosion Inhibitor is an optimized product for the
preservation of electromechanical systems with a minimum of
cost and effort.
The film life of TC-11
is long enough to motivate end users to maintain a thin coat
to prevent corrosion damage to electrical and mechanical
Corrosion Inhibitor prevents the corrosion of metallic
parts, even if the equipment is used and stored in a salt
Corrosion Inhibitor Makes electrical connectors and
components waterproof. An engine treated with TC-11
will continue to run until water is ingested into the intake
Corrosion Inhibitor penetrates into intricate mechanisms.
This means that throttle linkages continue to operate
smoothly for the lifetime of the equipment and that
components can be disassembled and re-assembled with a
minimum of time and effort.
Corrosion Inhibitor lubricates articulated mechanisms.
Corrosion Inhibitor does not affect rubber, paint, and
Corrosion Inhibitor has a minimal environmental impact and a
high cost benefit ratio.
A photograph of a new
electromechanical component treated with TC-11
Corrosion Inhibitor is presented below.
The glossiness of the rubber and plastic
parts is an indication that a heavy coat of TC-11
Corrosion inhibitor was applied to the parts in order to
study the compatibility of the part with long-term exposure
to TC-11 Corrosion Inhibitor.
A photograph of the same component after
five years of operation and storage in a salt laden
environment is presented below.
All of the metal parts are completely
corrosion free. All of the moving parts are unaffected by
five years of operation. All of the rubber and plastic parts
are unaffected by five years of exposure to heat and ozone.
The appearance and the functionality of the component is
An added benefit is that the components
are completely waterproof. If the engine compartment is
inundated by operations or cleaning the electrical systems
It is interesting to compare the
condition of this treated unpainted component with the
condition of a painted component that was not treated with
TC-11 Corrosion Inhibitor. The environmental
exposure for the two items was virtually identical, the only
difference being that one item was treated with TC-11
Corrosion Inhibitor and the other item wasn’t.
The salient feature of TC-11
Corrosion Inhibitor is that the cost of protecting the
entire piece of equipment requires less than $100 worth of
material and labor a year. It seems reasonable that the
difference in the functionality and appearance of a treated
and an untreated piece of equipment is worth significantly
more than $100 per year.
ICC Management firmly believes that the
DoD can save millions of dollars a year with a minimum of
cost and effort by incorporating this well proven corrosion
control concept into DoD maintenance and repair procedures.
TC-11 has invested significant time and
effort in generating test results to substantiate product
claims. These test programs include:
Side-by-Side Corrosion Testing
Side-by-Side Compatibility Testing
Side-by Side Penetration Testing
of the Side-by-Side Corrosion testing was to provide
comprehensive qualitative test data that compared the
corrosion control performance of TC-11® Corrosion Inhibitor
to all other corrosion control products on the market and to
generate estimates of the TC-11
Corrosion Inhibitor film life in various environments.
Side-by-Side Corrosion Test procedure is presented below.
Factory sealed ground finish steel
Q-panels are removed from their package and are wiped down
with acetone to remove the corrosion inhibitor applied by
The Q-panel is treated once with a
The Q-panel is mounted on a rack
with all of the other Q-panels.
The Q-panel is exposed to full
sunlight, rainfall, and a condensation cycle.
The Q panel is photographed at
12-hour intervals with a high-resolution digital camera.
The lab color histogram function
of Adobe Photoshop® 7 is used to count the number of rust
colored pixels on each panel.
The pixel counts are converted to
the percentage of the Q-panel surface area covered with
The product is graded according to
the average percentage of the Q-panel covered with corrosion
during the 60-day test period.
Side-by-Side Corrosion Test setup is presented below.
Direct comparisons of product performance are possible
because the test coupons are identical, the product
application procedure is identical, and the environmental
exposure is identical.
of test coupons at the beginning of the test is presented
of test coupons during the test is presented below.
control performance as a function of time for each product
tested is presented below.
A summary of the TC-11 Corrosion
Inhibitor film life is presented below:
Direct Sunlight 30 Days
7 to 12 Months
No Sunlight 1 to 2 Years
In order for a
corrosion inhibitor to perform effectively it must be
completely compatible with rubber, paint, and plastic. If
the product is not compatible, it can have an overall
negative effect on the reliability of the treated equipment,
particularly the electrical system.
more sensitive to compatibility issues than rigid plastics
or paint. Natural rubber, or Latex, is one type of
either expand or contract when they are exposed to solvents.
Any type of dimensional change indicates compatibility
problems. An ideal corrosion inhibitor would cause zero
dimensional change in an elastomer, even after decades of
Compatibility Test was conducted using the following
One inch diameter test coupons
were punched out of 12” x 12” sheets of the following
½” natural rubber
½” expanded cell silicone
The thickness of the coupon was
measured with a micrometer.
The coupon was exposed to one of
the competing products.
The coupon was placed on an indoor
counter with all of the other coupons.
The thickness of the coupon was
measured and recorded on a daily basis for two weeks.
The thickness of an untreated
coupon of each type of elastomer was measured and recorded
on a daily basis for two weeks.
The measurements were converted to
The measurements were used to
determine the difference in thickness between a treated
coupon and an untreated coupon exposed to exactly the same
The absolute differences in
thickness were summarized.
The products were graded according
to the total amount of dimensional change over the two-week
The Side-by-Side Compatibility Test setup
is presented below.
The compatibility test results are
The significance of these test results
cannot be overemphasized. TC-11 Corrosion
Inhibitor and the related ICC Advanced Corrosion Inhibitor
products perform their functions better than any competing
product and they have the least impact on elastomers.
These test results correlate with real
world experience, i.e. not one of the thousands of TC-11
Corrosion Inhibitor customers has ever indicated that TC-11
Corrosion Inhibitor or a related Advanced Corrosion
Inhibitor product was incompatible with any type of rubber,
paint, or plastic.
testing is a particularly challenging effort. It is a time
consuming process, because it is necessary to fabricate
bolted assemblies and to let them weather naturally for a
period of time that is sufficient to generate a frozen
fastener that reflects real world conditions.
procedure was used to perform the penetration test:
1. A 3/8-16 un-plated steel nut was
bolted to an un-plated steel bolt with 35-foot pounds of
2. The bolted assembly was allowed to
weather for eight months.
3. A randomly selected bolted
assembly was placed in a rigid socket.
4. The bolted coupon was pre-loaded
with 35 foot-pounds of torque using a digital electronic
5. A penetrating oils was applied to
the frozen fastener:
6. The amount of time required for
the penetrant to un-freeze the fastener was measured with a
stopwatch. Un-freezing was indicated by a drop in the torque
7. This process was repeated three
times for all five products.
test coupon is presented below.
test weathering setup is presented below.
Side-by-Side Penetration Test results are presented below.
Inhibitor demonstrated the best penetration performance.
This correlates to field results.
The photographs presented
below provide an excellent summary:
Or No Corrosion?
The difference between the
two components is a cost of approximately $100 per vehicle per
year to apply an effective corrosion inhibitor. This is a
small price to pay for improved reliability, an increased
operational lifetime, reduced maintenance costs, and reduced
TC-11 offers the following features:
firstname.lastname@example.org if you
need any additional information.