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Bull Frog Rust Blocker VpCI Emitter FAQ
(Frequently Asked Questions)

What is an 'Emitter?"
Emitters are devices (cups, foams, bags, covers, etc.) which contain patented compounds called Rust Blocker VpCIs (Vapor Phase Corrosion Inhibitors) which evaporate (emit) into the surrounding enclosure or package. (In essence, VpCIs travel through the atmosphere and attach themselves to metals.) This is much like water as it evaporates but it takes place over months or years instead of minutes or hours. We generally refer to Bull Frog emitters as those individually packaged products that are the 3" strips, emitter cups and emitter shield. However, the Bull Frog, Rust Blocker VpCI fabrics used in our bags and covers, are often used in the same manner. In general, all Bull Frog products contain VpCIs and will act as emitters although they are not normally called emitters.

How Does an Emitter or VpCI Work?
The chemicals (Bull Frog, Rust Blocker VpCIs) which vaporize are special compounds that form a very thin layer, (only a few molecules thick), on the surface as they interact with all metals present. These chemicals form an ionic bond on the (free radical ions) surface of the metal. They neutralize these ions and therefore prevent the interaction of air and water moisture with the metal, which in turn slows and stops the corrosion process.

Are Emitter Vapors Hazardous?
Bull Frog emitters contain chemicals which are not known to be hazardous, toxic or flammable. In fact, our emitter chemicals have been approved by the FDA (United States Food and Drug Administration) to be used with food and beverage containers.

Are Emitters Environmentally Safe?
Bull Frog emitters, like most of our other 20+ products, are very environmentally friendly and contain no known environmentally restricted or harmful compounds. Bull Frog's position on the environment is well documented. Environmentally safe production is assured under ISO 14001 (environmental impact) standards. There are very few ISO 14001 qualified companies in the world.

How Do You Remove Emitter Films?
You don't! The films left by emitters are only a few molecule layers thick (-1/25,000th of 1µ or 1/500,000th of 1 mil). They are much thinner than most contamination layers which normally form on virtually any surface. It is unnecessary to remove them and they have little effect on adhesion or subsequent coatings.

How are Emitters Used?
Emitters are used to protect enclosed metal components from corrosion by placing one or more of the devices into a container, package or other enclosure. This includes all types of electronics, computers, electronic devices, electrical switches, electronic gear aboard ships and RVs, tool boxes, spare parts boxes and storage units, fuse boxes, telecommunications devices, such as cell phones, analytical equipment, gun safes and cabinets, as well as any enclosure that contains metals that will corrode.

Why Use Emitters?
Emitters will save money (and time) for almost anyone using consumer electronics, electrical tools and any consumer product which contains vulnerable metals. Emitters reduce corrosion that affects the product quality and useful longevity in several ways:

  • Emitters reduce electrical/ electronic failures in relays, switches and connectors by preventing corrosion, -the number one cause for failure of electronic and electrical devices.
  • Reduce maintenance by reducing failures and parts replacement.
  • Extend equipment lifetime.
  • Improve electrical reliability by reducing noise levels, and increasing switch reliability and continuity.
  • Reduce accumulation of contaminants. The quality and performance of electronic devices will also improve in that they will look cleaner, function more reliably.

What About Protection of Silver, Gold, Tin and Other Metals?
Bull Frog emitters use a unique blend of several different chemicals to provide a corrosion inhibitor with one of the widest ranges of protection possible. They are multi-metal inhibitors and will protect most metals under many conditions.

How Does One Know When the Emitter is "Used Up" ?
There are several ways to determine if an emitter is still useful, but they are so costly that we recommend automatically replacing the emitter once every two years. The emitter should replaced more frequently than this if the conditions are severe or there is significant leakage or loss of the internal air through frequent opening and closing. If there are signs of corrosion beginning on the product, it is most likely that the VpCIs in the emitter have been depleted.

How Long Does it Take for an Emitter to Become Effective?
This depends on the size, shape and temperature of the enclosure. In general, at room temperature, emitters begin working immediately for metals immediately adjacent to them. It may require as much as 24 hours for metals at the extreme ends and internal spaces to become saturated with VpCI vapors.

How Can Emitters be Made Effective Sooner?
This can be done in several ways:
• By using more than one emitter and locating them at each end or along each edge of the enclosure.
• By spraying the entire area initially with one of our other Bull Frog products, such as Bull Frog Rust Blocker or Lubricant.
• By treating the item with our Bull Frog Cleaner/ Degreaser before placing them into the container or enclosure.
• By increasing the temperature of the parts or atmosphere.

Don't Emitter Vapors Disappear When the Box is Opened and Closed?
Yes. Some of the vapors may be lost when a container is opened, but the VpCIs already adsorbed on the metals will not be disturbed immediately and will continue protecting the metal. As soon as the container is closed, the VpCIs will again fill the containers with vapors.

How Many Times Can a Container Be Opened and Closed Before Depleting the VpCIs?
This depends on the chemical contaminants in the atmosphere. Under normal circumstances, if all of the vapor is lost from the container and all of the vapor is desorbed from all of the components in the container, the
container can be opened and closed approximately 400 times or 10 times a day for one year!

What About Enclosures/Cabinets/Boxes Which are Not Completely Sealed?
The lifetime of an emitter will be somewhat shortened, possibly to one year or less. Although emitters are specified for "enclosures" they will still provide protection for systems which have some air flow through them. The degree of protection will depend on the level of contaminants in the air and the rate of air leakage. The VpCIs that are already adsorbed on metal components will not be easily displaced. Once they have been coated, protection will continue for a considerable time.

What About Cabinets With Fans or Other Forced Air Throughput?
Again, the lifetime of the devices may be shortened but they are still able to provide excellent protection depending on the quality of the air flowing through them. This protection is best achieved by allowing the VpCI vapors to equalize and coat the metals during off hours when the fan or forced air can be turned off, such as over the weekend or evenings.

How Do VpCIs: Affect Electrical Characteristics Such as Continuity, Resistance, Dielectric Strength, etc.?
All testing and use of VpCIs used in emitters to date indicates that they have no adverse effects on electrical parameters. In fact, Independent Testing Laboratories have shown that when VpCI emitters are used, the contact resistance of contacts remains much lower because they inhibit oxide and contaminant build-up on the contacts. Other tests have indicated no increase of leakage currents at any point on PC boards or electrical circuitry.

What About VpCIs on Radio Frequency (RF) Equipment, such as Cell phones, Marine Radios and Satellite Dish devices?
Separate tests by an Independent Laboratory indicate that VpCI emitters do not adversely affect the performance of RF equipment. In fact, when used on connections and PC boards it will actually extend the life of the treated area.

What About Using Emitters in High Voltage Equipment?
VpCIs have been used in equipment which has operating voltages exceeding 500OV. We suspect that if they are used at higher voltages there will also be no adverse interactions. In fact, it is very likely that they will minimize formation of corrosive components, which could otherwise lead to increased breakdown.

Do Emitters Provide Desiccant Activity?
VpCI emitters provide a small amount of desiccant activity, but their main attribute is the protective "skin" or layer they produce on metal surfaces. This layer helps eliminate the normal destructive reactions which otherwise occur with moisture, making desiccant ability only a secondary feature.

What About Use of Emitters Under Harsh Conditions?
VpCI emitters have been used very successfully under extremely adverse conditions, including remote control switch and relay boxes located near the sea, in atmospheres containing over 200 ppm of mixed acids such as S02, H2S, HCL, etc.

What Are the Effects of Higher Temperature?
In general, the higher the temperature, the faster the VpCIs will vaporize. At an operating temperature of 80 to 100F, you can expect the useful lifetime to start decreasing. This means that the emitters will reach equilibrium sooner, but they will be depleted sooner. When emitters are used continuously at these higher temperatures we suggest that they be replaced more often than once every two years.

What About Using VpCI Emitters in Older Equipment?
Although emitters will not reverse prior corrosion, when they are used in older equipment, they will extend lifetime, reduce failures and curtail further corrosion.

What's The Best Way To Prepare Metals For Long Term Storage, Using Bull Frog VpCI Protection?
These steps offer an easy, safe, effective and economical corrosion protection. You can expect better protection of metal surfaces using the following guidelines.

  1. Clean your item, preferably with Bull Frog Cleaner Degreaser.
  2. Be sure the item is free of fingerprints, oils and acid or alkali residue.
  3. Protect your item of concern with A Bull Frog Rust Blocker product as soon after cleaning as possible.
  4. Keep the Bull Frog emitters as close to the product surface as possible, within 12" maximum. Use at least 1-3" strip for every square foot of metal surface protected, and a minimum of 1 square foot for every cubic foot of void space.
  5. Place nothing between the metal surface protected and VpCI Emitter. Also, in order to prevent loss of the protective vapor, the item must be completely enclosed.
  6. Seal your item airtight, if you need long-term storage of up to 10 years!
  7. You can use VpCI emitters anywhere you need them, as a wrap, as insert strips and cups.
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