Come and discover all the new products from ACOBAL at the Global Industrie exhibition in Lyon Eurexpo from 7 to 10 March. The whole team is in full preparation of the event. Some surprises on the program for the most greedy...reserve your date and do not hesitate to contact us if you wish an invitation to access the event.



01 - Patrick Lynch interview (President and CEO of Northern Technologies International Corporation)

1. Would you briefly introduce ZERUST®/EXCOR®?

In 1980, Northern Technologies International Corporation (NASDAQ: NTIC) filed a patent on an invention that would transform the way modern manufacturing companies protect their bare metal products as they are shipped all over the world.  For NTIC had just discovered how to extrude chemical compounds that are scientifically classified as either volatile corrosion inhibitors or vapor phase corrosion inhibitors (“VCI’s”) into conventional polyethylene, thereby creating plastic packaging that actively protects any metals packed in it against rust and corrosion. Over the past four decades, the ZERUST®/EXCOR® VCI packaging brands have proven their value, over and over, to virtually every major metal products manufacturer around the world.

Forty years ago, the automotive industry still considered shipments with “zero rust” as an aspirational quality goal, but today that’s precisely what PPAP documents routinely specify and our customers achieve. Since the Bronze Age, thousands of years ago, people had relied on coating metal surfaces with viscous greases and oils, in order to prevent them from rusting and corroding. Today, however, it’s become rare to find expensive, messy, and hazardous “dipping lines” that cover products in oily rust preventative (“RP”) coatings still in use inside manufacturing plants to. It’s become equally rare to find the expensive, messy, and hazardous washing lines that were used to wash RP coatings off when parts arrived. ZERUST®/EXCOR® VCI packaging made it possible to ship metal parts clean, dry and corrosion-free.

2. Would you talk about the ZERUST®/EXCOR® groups global R&D infrastructure?

Innovation requires seeing things in novel and different ways. Therefore, we are continuously recruiting exceptional technical thought leaders to join our global R&D team.

For example, in 1994, our German joint venture company, EXCOR Korrosionsschutz Technologien und Produkte GmbH, established our first international R&D facility in Dresden, Germany under the direction of Prof. Georg Reinhard, the former head of corrosion research for East Germany. Similarly, in 2000, we established a third R&D center in Beachwood, Ohio under the direction of Prof. Efim Y. Lyublinski, the former head of corrosion research for the Soviet Union. By the beginning of 2020, the ZERUST®/EXCOR® groups technology development and applications engineering efforts had expanded even further to include Shanghai, China, Chennai, India and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

3. How did ZERUST®/EXCOR® enter the market?

After inventing VCI film, we originally introduced the technology to prospective users in the United States. Our very first customer was Caterpillar, followed by Cummins, Ford and GM. However, getting anyone to use our packaging was far from easy.  At the time, NTIC was a tiny start-up based in a northern suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. No one had ever heard of us and, obviously, no one had ever heard of VCI plastic packaging before.  Furthermore, from the customer’s perspective, we were selling something akin to the “Emperor’s new clothes” from the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale.

Heavy greases and oils had, literally, been the standard method for protecting metal from rust and corrosion for millennia. Yet here we were, trying to convince some very conservative engineers that our translucent plastic packaging film did, in fact, contain a chemical additive that was emitting a harmless gas that they couldn’t see or smell and that when they wrapped metal parts in it – nothing would happen (in other words, nothing rusted). It took two (2) years to prove the efficacy of the product with repeated field trials before getting our first order. Today, ZERUST®/EXCOR® products are sold in over 65 countries through our network of joint venture companies.

4. How do you provide global, on-site, technical service?

Metal products must reach their destination not only just-in-time but must also conform to the specified quality criteria – including “no rust” requirements. Any failure to deliver according to the agreed upon schedule and/or quality can create a parts shortage that, subsequently, may cause entire production lines to shut down, which often cost the component supplier responsible significant financial penalties. Consequently, when rust failures arise, they need to be resolved as quickly as possible.

ZERUST®/EXCOR® products are sophisticated chemistry that have been compared to “anti-rust medication”. When a doctor is confronted with a sick patient, she’ll first perform an examination to determine all of the symptoms and run tests to confirm her diagnosis. Then she’ll confirm all the other medications the patient is currently taking as well as any allergies they may have. Only then can the doctor prescribe a specific treatment plan. Solving rust problems properly requires following essentially the same methodology. Therefore, when our technical service engineers are invited into a customer’s plant, they’ll first perform a comprehensive root cause analysis, as well as collect samples of all the other chemistries currently used to test both their condition and compatibility before recommending specific corrective actions and solutions.

Our global ZERUST®/EXCOR® technical service engineers are located in virtually every country in which we do business and, on average, have more than a decade of training and hands-on experience, with about one-third also having advanced technical degrees.  In turn, their efforts are supported by 12 regional technical service labs, where the ones in the USA, German and China also have fully equipped analytical labs to help address very complex cases.

04 - Dr Frank Fassbender interview - part 3 ( Europe R&D Lab Manager )

11. So VCI is a technology that protects metallic assets from corrosion with the creation of a protective VCI barrier... Is there any limit to VCI protection?

The counteracting effects of corrosion protection are time, surface contamination, and obvious damage to outer packaging. The longer the VCI protection is to be given, the more effort is required. Contamination of the surface by corrosive substances can only be minimized at the customer's site. We are happy to provide support there and the demand for this service is high. Damage to the packaging can never be completely excluded, but by using suitably strong and robust materials and an adapted design of the packaging, this risk can also be counteracted to a certain extent.

12. In practical terms, in what ways can VCIs concretely help our readers?

The use of VCI corrosion protection systems saves process steps and resources. The necessary quality of the preliminary processes does not differ between the use of VCI or corrosion protection oils. Under oil layers, corrosive contaminants trigger corrosion just as much as in VCI-based concepts. Contamination is also a risk in the complex desiccant method, with minor damage or improper application and implementation being additional risks. The savings to an oil-based corrosion protection concept are obvious. The process sequence for the use of oils is: Production of the component => cleaning => application of oil => packaging => shipping => unpacking => removal of oil; cleaning => disposal of oil and auxiliary media such as cleaners for a fee => further processing or use or sale.

When using VCI, three of the processes required for oil are eliminated: Applying oil, removing oil, disposing of oil. The costs are reduced.

The VCI packaging can be disposed of in the same way as the VCI-free outer packaging of the oiled parts, which does not involve any additional expense. If the outer packaging has been contaminated with oil, it often has to be disposed of as hazardous or dangerous waste at high cost.

The VCIs organize themselves on the entire metal surface including drill holes or undercut areas. Depending on the application of the oil, there may be oil-free surface areas, or the oil may run off when the temperature rises, and these areas are then unprotected. This cannot happen with VCI.

Desiccant packages are difficult to handle, especially with larger packages, due to their requirement for an extremely tight cover made of a barrier film, which can result in leaking and therefore unsuitable packaging.

Components or machines etc. can be processed or used immediately after removal of the ZERUST EXCOR VCI protective packaging. Subsequent sensitive processes such as gluing, soldering or varnishing can be carried out without restrictions.

The greatest advantage of the VCI method is of course the prevention of corrosion damage.

13. Many specialists often sound the alarm with the - sometimes disastrous - consequences of corrosion. The annual cost of corrosion worldwide is estimated to be around US$ 2.5 trillion. This is substantial. Do companies and governments take the consequences of not having a well-defined corrosion strategy?

Yes, these figures are mentioned again and again. It should not be forgotten that all corrosion events on infrastructure such as bridges, roads and buildings or pipelines in the public sector, corrosion in industry and in the private sector are summed up here. Shipping and storage are a small part of it. Nevertheless, corrosion damage during shipping plays an important role for the export nations France and Germany and all others.

It is often assumed that corrosion protection packaging is dispensable, as it does not create any value. However, it maintains these values and avoids wasting resources through new production or refurbishment. Compared to the known figures, all corrosion protection measures are a bargain.

In addition to preventing corrosion damage, VCI packaging also helps in the implementation of the just-in-time supply chain and avoids possible downtimes in closely timed industrial processing when unsuitable, corroded components have been delivered.

The consequences of inadequate corrosion protection are borne by manufacturers, their insurers and their customers. Corrosion leads to new procurement or production of necessary components, delays in production, and thus to higher costs that must be passed on to the customer. This results in a disadvantage compared to competitors, who may invest money in corrosion protection measures and thus may have higher planned costs, but do not have to compensate for unplanned higher costs and delays.

Not to mention the worst-case scenario that a corroded component is used unnoticed by the customer and leads to a catastrophic failure in an application or machine.

VCI can also be used where corrosive environments, e.g. in off-shore areas, determine maintenance and replacement intervals of critical parts. The correct application of VCI protection concepts can significantly extend the intervals and save costs.

14. You are an expert in VCI technology for corrosion protection and you are, with your team, in contact with many major companies and industry groups that use metal assets in their production. I am thinking of the automotive, shipbuilding, metallurgy, energy, oil and gas sectors... Are the issues, the contexts and your support the same in these very different sectors?

When it comes to the production and shipping or storage of metal assets: yes. The differences are in the details, e.g. in the metals used and the combination of metals. The aviation sector, for safety reasons, places even higher demands on the qualification of temporary corrosion protection measures than the automotive sector already does. In the oil & gas sector, the conditions of use and storage, especially off-shore, are much more demanding than for overseas shipping of spare parts.

But the basic requirements are the same and our concept for support also applies in these areas.

15. Our experts often talk about corrosion strategy, what is your definition of a successful and efficient corrosion strategy?

It is important to be aware of the maximum possible load to be expected, which one wants or needs to cushion when planning the temporary corrosion protection for a shipping package. The requirements are defined by the shipping route, the sensitivity of the cargo and the customer's demands. The shipping route determines the climatic stress to be expected. The duration of transport naturally depends on the route and the means of transport. The basic packaging concept resulting from the type of freight determines the type of VCI application. Bulk goods have to be packed differently than railway axles.

These parameters result in the necessary expenditure for corrosion protection and unnecessary costs are avoided. Planning prevents damage and overcompensation.

Planning is the key to success.

16th Last question, our readers have issues to present to you and, I think, answers to find, how do they do it?

I always recommend that you first contact the responsible Key Account Manager of ZERUST EXCOR in your local country. Many things can already be clarified directly and without delay at this level. Our field experts establish direct contact with us if it is necessary or desired. They know our possibilities and resources. They understand the customer and clarify with us how we can help.

Every success!

03 - Dr Frank Fassbender interview - part 2 ( Europe R&D Lab Manager )

5. Going back to basics, what are your definition and your expert approach to corrosion?

 The best thing to do against corrosion is to avoid it. This also applies to the shipping and storage of corrosion-sensitive goods. Not only in this area but also when designing parts or equipment, corrosion risks should be considered and planned for from the very beginning. Corrosion protection measures must be considered in the corresponding packaging budget. Unfortunately, one still experiences the case that a shipping packaging has been completely designed, and only then it is noticed that the corrosion protection has not been considered sufficiently. The implementation of a corrosion protection concept in an existing packaging design is particularly ugly if the planned budget has already been used up.

Point 1: Corrosion protection must be part of the packaging design. You want as much corrosion protection as necessary and no more. The packaging planner must plan for the maximum expected corrosive load and duration and design the concept accordingly. We can support the user with experience and knowledge. Standardized stress tests in our climate chambers help to find the optimum concept in the tension ratio of costs against the protective effect. Some of our customers take this very much heed and have new packaging concepts and sometimes also the packaged goods approved by us before the final use. Our services are then part of the packaging qualification. If corrosion occurs despite clean preparation and a good packaging concept, the cause must be identified.

Point 2: What was the cause of corrosion? Does the cause lie in the packaging design? Was there damage? What are the effects of established pre-processes or changes to them, for example when new media are used for cleaning or changes are made in the production process? Can such corrosive contaminations have come onto the surface, which then triggered the corrosion damage? Corrosion always results from the interaction of material and properties of the workpiece surface with its environment. Separate consideration of the individual parameters is useless. Our team can help to find the cause and make recommendations for improvement.

And then we reach point 3: Measures to improve the corrosion protection effect.

How can packaging and corrosion protection measures be improved? What really helps? Is there an equivalent or better approach that can be implemented more cost-effectively? We want to help on the basis of facts, not assumptions or half-knowledge. Therefore, we work together with the customer and on the basis of facts to solve problems that arise. We can also verify improvements by stress testing packaging with standardized climates.

6. It is a very special and rare institute in Europe. Can you tell us the story of this project and its development?

There are several institutes and companies that deal with corrosion. Other service providers take care of the mechanical and physical aspects of packaging. We are indeed quite unique in our special segment from VCI research and production to packaging design and testing of the packaging under corrosive conditions and after-sales service for customers in case of problems.

When EXCOR in Germany, as part of the ZERUST EXCOR joint venture, started with corrosion protection according to the VCI method in 1991, the knowledge of this method was low among customers and also among sales staff. Especially the interaction of production influences, shipping route, and packaging was often only insufficiently considered. Obviously, it was not possible to simply sell what the customer needed, as the customer did not even know what he needed.

Our managing director Gerhard Hahn quickly realized that VCI products needed more professional advice than other products of the KnĂĽppel Group and sought and found support in the person of Prof. Georg Reinhard. The professor of chemistry was a chair of physical chemistry at the Technical University of Dresden and could be won as a consultant. In 1996, EXCOR Korrosionsforschung was founded from his part-time work as a consultant, with himself to its head. Only 1 year after the foundation, the first own products were available on the market. Three employees quickly grew into more and the scope of tasks increased and continues to increase. In 2010 I took over as head of EXCOR Korrosionsforschung and we are continuing along this path.

The success proves ZERUST EXCOR right. Only with the necessary technical background can users be supported with regard to corrosion protection. This is why ZERUST EXCOR "afford" EXCOR Korrosionsforschung.

7. In terms of innovation, what can be expected in the future?

Difficult question...some things are still top secret, others shortly before the sales launch. Perhaps so much: ZERUST EXCOR will shortly be presenting a new VCI dispenser. In 2022 - as already mentioned at the beginning - there will be an "intelligent ZERUST EXCOR film" on the market. Internally we are working on better corrosion protection tests for ferrous and non-ferrous metals. One of ZERUST EXCOR's fundamental goals is the reduction of plastic components in corrosion protection packaging and the responsible use of resources, which puts a "reuse" idea at the center of attention wherever possible. We are also working diligently on these points.

There are other projects that I cannot talk about here.  Although I would like to do so.

8. The other particularity of this institute is in its operational and methodological approach. With on-site sampling, laboratory inspection, and worldwide application via the Zerust Excor group. How do these 3 supports fit together and work together?

As already noted, one of the difficulties of corrosion, including shipping, is the interaction between material, cleanliness, environmental conditions, and protective measures. The protective measures against corrosion are at the end of the entire manufacturing chain. Errors that were made before can only be counteracted there to a limited extent and sometimes with greater effort. And sometimes not at all. We, therefore, offer our customers to check the preconditions for corrosion protection in their process chain on-site and to implement improvements, thus minimizing the following corrosion risks.

Of course, not only the customer but also ZERUST EXCOR must do its homework and master and control its own processes which are necessary for the supply of reliably functioning VCI protection against corrosion. We, therefore, check every intermediate step and every VCI end product for its quality in accordance with the defined specifications and thus ensure that VCI products that do not meet ZERUST EXCOR's requirements are not delivered but blocked. For this purpose, samples are taken during each production campaign, sent to us, and tested at our premises. For a VCI film up to 15 specified parameters are tested individually. If a single one of these specifications is not achieved, the film is blocked. No delivery to the customer will be made without approval from the laboratory.

9. What work and research are you focusing on? Only on VCI?

Research and development on new VCI approaches and formulations and applications are certainly the main R&D fields. But we also work on better and new corrosion protection tests, analytical laboratory procedures and the optimization of established ZERUST EXCOR VCI applications. We also observe the competition.

10. Do you think corrosion is inevitable, no matter what you do?

In perfect VCI packaging, the corrosion protection for sufficiently clean surfaces would last forever. The packaging would have to be hermetically sealed forever against VCI loss and the entry of moist, VCI-free air from the environment. Unfortunately, real packaging cannot do this. If it is necessary and where one does not shy away from the greater expense, ZERUST EXCOR can introduce VCI packaging together with the customer for the end-of-life stocking of parts for a period of up to 30 years.

But in principle, no one can prevent corrosion on utility metals or glass or even plastic in the broader sense "forever". Only the speed of the corrosion can be influenced.

You cannot prevent corrosion, only the corrosion damage.

02 - Dr Frank Fassbender interview - part 1 ( Europe R&D Lab Manager )

1. You lead the European research center of Zerust-Excor in Dresden, Germany. This center is operating since 1996, what is the purpose of this institute?

The company "EXCOR Korrosionsforschung" has 4 main tasks:

- Production

- Quality control from incoming raw material to the finished product. We check all product parameters specified by us or our customers. These are, for example, the composition and concentration of ZERUST EXCOR VCI in all ZERUST EXCOR products and intermediate products and physical parameters.

- Support of the customers through consultation, surface examinations of customer parts, load tests in climate chambers or cabinets and corrosion protection tests in general

- research and development

In short: we support the customers and users of the EXCOR ZERUST joint venture, ensure ZERUST EXCOR quality, develop and research and manufacture VCI products.

2. This institute that you lead is a reference in the field of VCI research… Can you introduce us to VCI, how they work and what is their scope of application?

The term "catalyst" will be more familiar to most readers than the term "inhibitor".

A catalyst is a substance that provides an alternative and faster path for a chemical reaction. Corrosion is - in our context - an electrochemical reaction which takes place, among other reasons, because the corrosion products = " rust " represent the transition to a lower energy compound for the reactants. It is a universal endeavour of all substances to achieve a more stable state. Among other things, stability results from energy loss: ash is more stable than coal or a diamond. Try to reignite ashes once.

Translated into corrosion this means: the elements oxygen and iron lose energy through the formation of the more stable iron oxide. Therefore the reaction of the two elements runs in this direction.

Can this process be prevented forever? Unfortunately it is not possible. However, it is possible to work on the speed at which this state will be reached. A catalyst would accelerate the corrosion, the inhibitor slows down the corrosion rate.

EXCOR uses inhibitors which support each other synergistically and reduce the corrosion rate through various mechanisms. For this purpose the inhibitor must adsorb on the surface of the metals. One inhibitor intervenes, for example, directly in the autocatalytic corrosion process of the iron, another VCI occupies active sites on the surface and prevents the corrosive attack of other substances there, a third inhibitor reacts with existing corrosion products in micro-damages of the surface and prevents further growth of the pre-damaged sites. "Preventing", as already mentioned, does not refer to eternity, but to the necessary period of corrosion protection.

3. How is the center organized, can you give us a virtual tour of the site?

The employees of EXCOR Korrosionsforschung are organised in smaller working groups which reflect the task profile of the company.

One group consists of specialists in analytical chemistry, another group implements the results from R&D in production, and a third group tests the corrosion protection properties of the products. All groups pursue R&D topics and support each other and of course ZERUST EXCOR customers.

We are well equipped for our tasks. We can solve many analytical tasks using a wide range of chromatographic and other analytical methods. With climate stress tests and corrosion protection tests developed in-house, which have been adopted by many customers in the automotive sector, we test the effectiveness of ZERUST EXCOR corrosion protection. In the largest climatic chamber, up to six pallets of packaged goods can be subjected to climatic stress simultaneously on one level. Stress tests are also carried out in other climatic cabinets and chambers. Other measuring methods are of a physical nature. In principle, the laboratory equipment is based on the maxim: if a parameter is specified, then we have the measuring method for it.  We can therefore measure and determine each of the specified parameters.

Corrosion rates depend decisively on the cleanliness of the metallic surfaces. Our laboratory can detect and measure the critical contaminations. Together with the customer, we can use this information to derive suggestions for improvements to customer processes that can dramatically reduce the risk of corrosion. The reject rate due to corrosion is reduced and the customer saves real money - and nerves. The packaging must of course meet the requirements. Cleanliness alone is not enough.

4. How many people and what are the profiles in your team?

At "EXCOR Korrosionsforschung" chemists, physicists, materials scientists and engineers work together with a team of assistants for the chemical and physical laboratory. Currently more than 20 colleagues work at EXCOR KorFo. The knowledge of the ZERUST EXCOR employees in the laboratory covers all necessary scientific fields and methods. Where methods are missing, we develop them ourselves or obtain external support.

05 - Corrosion Protection for Pipe Casings using Zerust Oil & Gas VCI Technology ( Dr Sujay Math Senior Technical Lead)

In this blog post we interviewed Sujay Math, Ph.D, the Senior Technical Lead at Zerust Oil & Gas, on various corrosion protection techniques for pipe casings and Zerust Oil & Gas approach to providing unique solutions with VCI technology. 

 Please share with us a little bit about your work experience?

I have an MBA degree, a NACE CP-3 certification, and received a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Clemson University where I specialized in reinforced concrete structures. I began my industry career with work in corrosion protection of reinforced concrete structures by using CP technology. I extended my knowledge in CP and research experience in corrosion inhibitors into oil and gas pipelines and petroleum storage tanks.

At Zerust Oil & Gas, I focus on evaluating the compatibility between CP technology and corrosion inhibitors for effective corrosion protection of oil and gas infrastructure assets.

What are some of the common problems with pipe casings from a corrosion standpoint? 

In the Oil & Gas corrosion industry, corrosion on the cased section of the carrier pipe is evaluated based on these scenarios and two main risk categories: Electrolytic Couple and Metallic Short. 

Electrolytic Couple 

The end seals are not always perfect and they fail over time. As a result, rain water along with a mixture of rain and mud gets into the casing annulus space and corrosion risk is initiated at coating anomalies. This kind of scenario is referred to as an Electrolytic Couple. 

The Cathodic Protection current may enter through the electrolyte and reach the cased section of the carrier pipe. The amount of current that enters the casing depends on the Electrolyte Resistivity. In most cases polarization levels are not exude for this reason. 

Metallic Short

The other issue with casings is when the earth settles or moves, the casing may come in contact with the pipeline and physically touching each other. This is commonly known as Metallic Short. Now, this is a high-risk scenario because the Cathodic Protection current is shielded by the casing and the presence of rain and mud water inside of the casing will cause corrosion on the carrier pipe. 


Sujay MATH PH.D. ZERUST Corrosion Expert


What are some techniques the oil and gas industry has used to address corrosion on cased pipelines? 

High Dielectric Wax Fill 

Traditionally, a High Dielectric Wax Fill is used in the casing annulus space. However, with recent experiences several owners have reported that the corrosion risks still exist in the wax filled casings. When the inline inspection is done the corrosion growth is still absorbed on the cased section of the carrier pipe. 

Some of the industry recognized issues are as follows. 

Zerust Oil & Gas VCI Technology

Most owners are moving from using wax into the casing and have started using the new VCI technology into the casing. VCI Gel technology is a Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor (VCI) that is used to mitigate corrosion on the cased pipeline. 

Some of the advantages of using VCI are: 

Current guidelines by NACE (National Association of Corrosion Engineers), SP0200-2014 offers the option of using Vapor Corrosion Inhibitors (VCIs) as a corrosion mitigation technique.

How does Zerust Oil & Gas work with pipe owners to provide corrosion mitigation solutions for their casings? 

Our experienced team of engineers, chemists, field contractors, and project managers will work with the client’s team to discuss the asset(s) or equipment type(s) requiring corrosion protection. Specifications, environmental factors, corrosion risk factors, recent corrosion scan data, as-built schematics, API regulations, budget, etc. will be discussed as required.  This information will allow Zerust’s team to put together a Corrosion Mitigation plan custom tailored for that client and their asset(s) or equipment type(s) using Zerust’s corrosion solutions and products. Upon submittal of an initial proposal, the discussed corrosion mitigation solution can then be tailored to further meet the client’s requirements, asset needs, etc.

To view how the Zerust Oil & Gas process works from start to finish, click here.

What types of applications does Zerust Oil & Gas offer for casing protection using VCIs?

There are three different types of product applications for pipe casing protection offered by Zerust Oil & Gas.

High Viscosity Gel Application

For pipelines with a metallic short (i.e. casing in contact with the carrier pipe) or pipelines where a static fill anti-corrosion solution is needed. This also meets PHMSA requirements for a protection system that remains in place.

Powder Application

​For pipelines without a metallic short, but for which providing internal corrosion protection is a good operating procedure, Zerust recommends the use of its dry powder inhibitor. As long as there is minimal water ingress (i.e. end seal integrity is maintained) the system will protect the carrier pipe from corrosion.

Slurry Application

For long lengths of pipe with varying elevations, bends and other geometric/dimensional parameters where a powder or gel is not feasible.

For additional information about our applications and pipe casing solutions, please click here.

Where should pipe owners and operators go for more information about Zerust Oil & Gas Pipe Casing Corrosion Solutions?

For more information, they can visit our website at www.zerust-oilgas.com. They can also contact us and our team will be happy to help.

Related Content

Watch Sujay Math Video interview to view a video interview with Sujay Math, Cathodic Protection and VCI Gel Filled Pipe-Casings for Corrosion Protection, where he will discuss corrosion protection options for carrier pipelines in cased crossing scenarios. 

09 - Zerust Oil & Gas R&D Capabilities for Developing Corrosion Protection (By Terry Natale, Product Development Engineer)

Zerust Oil & Gas R&D Capabilities for Developing Corrosion Protection Chemistries for use in the Oil & Gas Industry


Can you please give us a quick overview of your professional experience and your role within Zerust Oil & Gas?

I have over forty years of experience in the corrosion field and wear many hats for the Oil and Gas Group:

As a result of the above work I have been able to coauthor many papers and patents.   


Where is the Zerust Oil & Gas R&D headquarters located?

Zerust Oil and Gas, a division of Northern Technologies International Corporation (NTIC), supports Oil and Gas clients worldwide from its Research and Development facility headquartered in Beachwood, Ohio, USA. 

However, Zerust also conducts product development and testing across several partner research and development facilities around the world. 


What is the main use for Zerust’s R&D facility?

The Beachwood Laboratory works on New Product Development, Product Support and Field Trials. Our laboratory leverages specialized equipment to conduct accelerated testing in various corrosive environments relevant to the Oil & Gas industry, including those containing Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S), Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) as to continuously test our corrosion protection solutions.


What R&D equipment is available to Zerust for product development and testing?

The Zerust Minnesota Laboratory has the more typical chemical analytical equipment such as: FTIR, IC, TGA, DSC, GC-MS and LC-MS.  The Beachwood Lab equipment is primarily targeted for corrosion and corrosion inhibitor testing. A good overview of some of the typical testing that we run can be found in: “Corrosion Inhibitors for Long-Term Protection of Enclosures” Lyublinski, Natale, 2013 NACE Corrosion Conference Orlando, FL,    


Below is a table with principal corrosion testing equipment and their role in our testing. 

NTIC corrosion testing equipement


Can you share with us a current project that the Zerust’s R&D team is working on?

Trunnion Corrosion

For the first, an operator of offshore platforms approached us in regards to a corrosion problem they were having with trunnion supports on their platforms.  Trunnion supports are one of the most often used pipe supports in the piping process industry.  Inspections of the offshore platform trunnions have shown corrosion issues within the trunnion interiors.  The primary cause of the corrosion is from saltwater ingress.  Trunnions are constructed from various metals, carbon steel, 316 stainless steel and duplex stainless steel and operate across a wide range of temperature, from 10°C up to 170°C.

As there were no standard corrosion tests for this application our first step was to develop a suitable accelerated test method as to mimic the above problem.  Once we were able to recreate the problem, create a test wherein the samples failed similar to what as seen on the platforms, we were able to then develop the corrosion protection solution.  Three separate corrosion inhibitor solutions were eventually required as to be able to handle the wide temperature range for the application.

Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI)

For the second project, we are working with a large multinational provider of technical industrial services where one of their areas of expertise is insulation such as piping insulation for the petrochemical industries.  A critical issue within that industry is the corrosion that may occur on the exterior surface of the steel piping under said insulation.  This corrosion is often referred to as CUI, (Corrosion Under Insulation).  The localized corrosion from CUI can cause leaks in the piping resulting in shutdowns.  The problem is especially troublesome as the effects of CUI are hidden from view.

We have developed a new product to mitigate CUI, called Zerust Inhibitor Fusion Tape or ZIF Tape for short.  ZIF Tape is a corrosion inhibiting tape based on self-fusing silicone elastomers with proprietary Zerust corrosion inhibitors integrated into the polymer matrix.  It combines our proven corrosion technology with the unique properties of a self-fusing tape for easy, ambient temperature, application. 

The ZIF Tape is simply wrapped over the coated section of pipe to be protected, prior to the installation of the thermal insulation.  The silicone tape matrix provides a physical barrier to moisture and contaminants reaching the metal surface, while the inhibitors within the ZIF Tape provides an extra layer of corrosion protection.

There are many test methods for evaluating the performance of coatings for CUI.  None of these methods are applicable for testing ZIF Tape.  As such, we are working with the aforementioned company to develop an accelerated test method as to demonstrate the ability of ZIF Tape to mitigate CUI.


Where should readers go for more information about Zerust Oil & Gas Corrosion Solutions?

For more information, they can visit our website at www.zerust-oilgas.com. They can also contact us with any questions they may have, and our team will be happy to help.


08 - Zerust Oil & Gas Implementation Services for Corrosion Protection (By Alex Roytman, Senior Manager of Field Application Services)

Zerust Oil & Gas Implementation Services for Corrosion Protection and Preservation of Assets in the Oil & Gas Industry

We interviewed Alex Roytman, the Senior Manager of Field Application Services from Zerust Oil & Gas, on the implementation services offered by Zerust Oil & Gas for the protection and preservation of assets in the oil and gas industry. Below are the questions and answers from the interview.  

What does Zerust Oil & Gas do?

Zerust® Oil & Gas, a division of Northern Technologies International Corporation (NTIC), has over 50 years of experience providing corrosion mitigation solutions and services to clients in the Oil & Gas and process chemical industries. 

What Assets does Zerust Oil & Gas focus on Providing Corrosion Mitigation Solutions for?

Zerust Oil & Gas focuses on customized corrosion mitigation plans for protecting asset(s) or equipment(s) for the following:

To view a complete list of our solution capabilities, please click here.

Which Products make up the Core of Zerust Oil & Gas Corrosion Solution Offerings?

Zerust Oil & Gas has a full suite of corrosion mitigation products, which can be viewed here. However, Vapor Corrosion Inhibitors (VCIs) and Zerust Zerion FVS make up the core of our offerings. 

Vapor Corrosion Inhibitors (VCIs)

VCIs are a variety of chemistry formulations which prevent corrosion of metals and are used for corrosion protection of metals in static, enclosed environments.

Some key applications include:

Click here to view a video explaining how VCIs work.

Zerust Zerion FVS

Zerust Zerion FVS is a versatile new corrosion inhibitor specifically designed to protect ferrous metals in aggressive corrosion environments where there is the possibility of the accumulation of water, moisture and/or water ingress. Zerion FVS is a highly cost-effective corrosion mitigation solution for difficult to protect spaces.

Some key applications include:

Click here to view a video explaining how Zerust Zerion FVS works.

What services does Zerust Oil & Gas provide to its clients from the corrosion mitigation planning process through to implementation of the solution?

The overall process from start to finish will vary from project to project, but below is a simplified outline of steps for what can be expected when joining forces with Zerust Oil & Gas for creating and implementing a custom corrosion mitigation plan.

  1. Identification of Asset in Need of Corrosion Mitigation 
  2. Discussion of Key Factors for Customization of Corrosion Solution 
  3. Plan Approved, PO Submitted, and Project Dates Confirmed 
  4. Finalizing Project Details with Client and Approved Contractor 
  5. Verify Project Materials for Installation 
  6. Project Installation Time for Zerust Corrosion Mitigation Solution
  7. Installation Follow-Up Report
  8. Project Completion and Communication Continuation

Throughout the project, Zerust Project Managers can support clients and installers by phone/conference call, and onsite as needed depending on the project’s requirements. 

Zerust will continue to stay in contact with the client to confirm satisfaction, gather corrosion data readings (as applicable), and discuss future replenishment and corrosion solution plans as needed.

For a more detailed explanation of the planning process, please click here. 

Where should readers go for more information about Zerust Oil & Gas Corrosion Solutions?

For more information, they can visit our website at www.zerust-oilgas.com. They can also contact us with any questions they may have, and our team will be happy to help.

07 - Science that creates products

Better ask a Pro

History of the European R&D Lab.

From 1993 onwards, the chemist Prof. G. Reinhard, TU Dresden, advised EXCOR GmbH in Hann.MĂĽnden on the subject of "VCI". This resulted in the formation of EXCOR Korrosionsforschung GmbH ("KorFo") in 1996 with the Managing Directors Prof. G. Reinhard and Dr. D.A. Kubik, NTIC AG, in Dresden.

In the following 14 years Prof. Reinhard purposefully built up the KorFo after its move to the KnĂĽppel Elblagerhaus. The first own VCI-recipes were patented. The small team found chemical and physical methods for product testing. The core "consulting" grew into four areas: production, quality control, climate & corrosion testing and research & development.

Today, the lab manager Dr. F. FaĂźbender and four teams of 22 chemists, physicists, engineers, assistants and technical staff work in these four areas. The chemist Dr. FaĂźbender came to KorFo from the semiconductor industry in 2009 and has been managing the company since 2010.

The Korrosionsforschung produces several hundred tons of masterbatch and liquid coating agents for the production of VALENO films or ABRIGO papers per year. The customers are the partners of the worldwide NTIC Joint Venture.

Every year 7000 chemical and physical tests are carried out in Dresden for the quality assurance of all ZERUST EXCOR VCI products. The results decide on delivery or blocking of the batches. The end customer receives ZERUST EXCOR VCI packaging materials only in tested quality.

The use of VCI products is not self-explanatory. ZERUST EXCOR KAM and the application engineers provide customers on-site with the necessary support. The EXCOR Korrosionsforschung helps actively in this respect with climatic stress tests of packaging in its three climate chambers, clarification of damage cases, packaging development, and expert advice.

The R&D department is broadly based and develops new VCI products, analysis methods and corrosion protection tests. Research brings new VCI formulations to market maturity and secures the knowledge gained in patents.

New, highly innovative products now leave the development pipeline. The patent applications have been submitted for examination. With the support of ZERUST EXCOR's corrosion research, of course.

06 - Interview of André Gaebel (Field Implementation Expert at ZERUST EXCOR)

Hello André. You are one of the specialists in the implementation of VCI packaging for the Zerust-Excor group. What is exactly your job?

Development of corrosion prevention packaging concepts with application/usage of VCI method, manufacturing of prototypes and test it in industrial size with high climatic stress load conditions in big climatic chambers.

For those unfamiliar with VCI technology, what is VCI packaging?

This is a complex chemical process with a lot of advantages for corrosion protection during packaging, I recommend the video on ZERUST EXCOR home page.

How does VCI Packaging work?

With the chemical active VCI product inside a tight closed package and VCI saturated atmosphere is established and VCI molecules lay down on the surface of all parts inside for corrosion protection.

What forms can VCI packaging take today?

VCI products are available in different applications as : papers, plastics, foams, dispensers, oils
These are solutions for the protection of parts during shipment.

Are there other fields of applications like outdoor storage or long-term storage?

Yes, especially for short-time corrosion protection and company in-house protection with low budget for packaging materials.

What is complicated in the implementation of these solutions?

Costs and tightness of packaging.

You are in permanent contact with customers, do you have a particular intervention process because each case is unique with variable components?

Yes, you are right, each case is unique and it needs to look deeper into detail and/or process. But the most important points for VCI packaging concepts are always valid: cleanliness, dryness, and corrosion-free initial situation of parts with the tightness of package and enough availability of VCI inside.

One of your particularities is that you train the customers in the implementation and use of these VCI packaging solutions, how do you organize these sessions?

In most cases, ZERUST EXCOR KAM suffers in contact with customers the needs or doubts for VCI resulting packaging concepts. After getting direct contact we organize meetings with training courses, prepare instruction materials or make upgrade training presentations or events. Nowadays telephone or video conferences are the medium of choice.

In general, you are called on special or specific cases?

Yes, mostly. If the standard solution is not applicable or special big sizes of packaging volume are requested. The last big unconventional issue was an 8 m long loading platform from a dumper. For sure customers and KAM asked for my opinion in interrelation with climatic stress tests or shipment under extreme climatic conditions.

Do you also intervene upstream for the design and manufacture of VCI packaging?

For design and development yes, after them the manufacturing is well organized by my colleagues from purchasing department.

Have you set up a user feedback system to bring back valuable information from the field?

Normally we create for all applications and developments packaging instructions and descriptions. This information we discuss with KAM in frequent meetings. A special kind of internal communication is the preparation of customer-made presentations with all technical details and parameters and relevant information and pictures.

One last question André, how durable are the solutions you implement?

All ZERUST EXCOR VCI materials are recyclable via standard collection systems and reusable. All products you can use in returnable, multi-cycle systems if the mechanical properties allow it and it is are practicable for the customer. For the EMIBO VCI capsules, we create a separate returnable system with big partners from the automotive industry and reuse the VCI contained plastic content partly in other VCI plastic products.

How did you get to this position?

In the situation of retirement of a very experienced packaging expert, I got a tip from a good friend of mine and follow the job advertisement. From 1987-1992 I took my study as a mechanical engineer at the University of Dresden. Before EXCOR (for 11 years) I worked 17 years in leading and worldwide active positions in the paper machinery industry in Germany and Sweden.