Cortec® VpCI® Coatings Outperformed Competition in NASA Research Project!

17 September 2020

Cortec® Corporation proudly announces that its globally known VpCI® inhibitors performed best among all the corrosion preventive compounds tested in a real life test, “The Behavior of Environmentally Friendly Corrosion Preventative Compounds in an Aggressive Coastal Marine Environment,” conducted by NASA at their atmospheric test station at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This is known as the  most corrosive area in the United States and one of the most corrosive places in the world because of its hot climate, proximity to the Atlantic ocean, and winds carrying salt spray and fallout of rocket propellants that are highly corrosive. Kennedy Space Center is located within the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge; therefore environmentally-friendly alternatives are highly sought after. The shift to use environmentally friendly technologies throughout future space-related launch programs prompted a study aimed at replacing current petroleum and solvent-based corrosion preventive compounds with safer alternatives.

This research focused on identification and evaluation of environmentally friendly CPCs for use in protecting flight hardware and ground support equipment from atmospheric corrosion. The corrosion preventive compounds needed to survive in the aggressive coastal Space Center environment in Florida.

The objective was to determine if environmentally-friendly CPCs would provide adequate corrosion protection for spaceport structures and related hardware used at NASA’s center, considering the large number of environmental and safety issues associated with conventional CPCs. Petroleum-based CPCs have become increasingly impractical for use at this location due to environmental concerns and cumbersome containment procedures required during application and removal


The different protection behaviors of 15 different soft film CPCs, both common petroleum-based and newer environmentally friendly types, were evaluated on various steel and aluminum substrates. The CPC and substrate systems were subjected to atmospheric testing at the test site located in Kennedy Space Center as well as to cyclic accelerated corrosion testing. Each CPC also underwent physical characterization and launch-related compatibility testing.

CPC Applications of Interest: Spaceport ground support equipment, aircraft applications, marine applications, ground operations applications, launch applications.

The summary of current results and analysis performed by NASA showed that of all the CPC’s tested Cortec’s inhibitors exhibited the least amount of both crevice and galvanic corrosion and have penetrated successfully under the fastener as well as provided good protection considering the long atmospheric exposure time periodVpCI® -368 was the only inhibitor tested to resist corrosion for of all of the aluminum alloys!

VpCI®-368 is a time-proven coating that provides excellent protection to metal substrates exposed to harsh outdoor conditions. EcoLine® 3690 is a bio-based/bio-degradable ready to-use temporary coating designed for severe marine and high humidity conditions. The product is non-hazardous, non-toxic, perfect for sensitive areas where environmentally-friendly alternatives are highly sought after. It provides excellent outdoor protection on any metal surface. The film is self-healing and moisture- displacing, providing superior protection against aggressive environments.

EcoLine® HD Grease – bio-based/bio-degradable Heavy Duty Grease, formulated with American-grown natural seed oil that surpasses the lubricity of most conventional petroleum based greases. Utilizing the latest biotechnology, It is an environmentally friendly replacement for harmful greases

Not Science Fiction Any More—It’s Science

In 2011, after 135 missions and 30 years of service, NASA retired its space shuttle fleet. Endeavour, aunched on 25 missions and flown 122.8 million miles (197 million kilometers), is the last space shuttle to go to its final landing. It will now be permanently displayed in its new museum home at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. Cortec® has been right there helping the U.S. Space Shuttle Program protect Endeavour and the other shuttles from corrosion with VpCI®–101, 105, and 111 Emitters; VpCI®-368; VpCI®- 238; and VpCI®-126 Film.

For deep storage applications MilCorr® and CorrLam® have also been used. The agency retired the fleet last summer to spend more time and money developing new vehicles and rockets for deep-space exploration to reach destinations like Mars. The Shuttle Program may now be history but the future of the U.S. Space Program is right before us and Cortec® is blasting off with it!

Like “Blue Ocean Strategy” (W. Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne), as space gets crowded and prospects for growth are reduced, NASA is ready to leave the Red Ocean (earth orbit) behind and start into the Blue Universe (Deep Space) – the unknown, defined by untapped space, knowledge, and the opportunity for growth. As NASA creates the future of space exploration, Cortec® will be present with our tried and true corrosion control products and will continue developing new, cutting edge, and innovative products to offer as technology advances farther into the cosmos.