No rusty goods in these cardboard boxes

A liquid coating that can be applied to corrugated cardboard boxes will allow electronic components and other perishable goods to be stored for years without rusting.

A liquid coating that can be applied to corrugated cardboard boxes will allow electronic components and other perishable goods to be stored for years without rusting, according to its UK developer.

The anti-corrosion coating, which will be launched this month by Omega-Intercept, allows products to be packed and stored in cardboard containers for up to five years without perishing.

The ink contains fine, highly reactive copper particles, and acts like fly paper when applied to the inside lining of corrugated cardboard packaging boxes, said Patrick Treves, managing director of Omega-Intercept. Because the ink is reactive, any atmospheric gases likely to cause corrosion or tarnishing attack the coating, rather than the component, he said. ‘When coated on to packaging, the gases attack the box and not the product – it acts like a magnet.’

Once the gases have been attracted to the coating, a chemical reaction then leaves them permanently neutralised.

The ink has been developed primarily for the electronics industry, to prevent solder rust in printed circuit boards. But it can be used to protect any product that rots, including photographs, clothing, rubber, CDs and museum artefacts. The company is seeking approval from the MoD to use the technology to protect military equipment, said Treves.

The coating also protects against static electricity, which can be extremely damaging to computers and electronic goods.

The ink looks and acts like copper, losing its lustre and starting to go grey at the end of its life, allowing companies to judge easily how much longer the product can remain in storage before it will begin to deteriorate.

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