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Home Blogs Four-Step Visual Asset Preservation (4VAP): Silica Gel to LDPE

Four-Step Visual Asset Preservation (4VAP): Silica Gel to LDPE

What is the Omni-tuff Four-Step Visual Asset Preservation?


The Omni-tuff 4VAP (four-step asset preservation) system is a step-by-step layered protection process. These steps are for safeguarding equipment and critical spares. There are four steps to the process utilising Omni-tuff products from the MAINTAIN range. The steps are outlined below.


STEP 1: Unituff Peelable coatings

Apply Unituff 452 to carbon or mild steel to eliminate oxygen and prevent corrosion from taking hold. Unituff peelable coatings (formerly Omni-tuff Seal’n’Peel) offers the following benefits:

  • Fast-drying properties (takes 2-3 minutes to touch dry)
  • Effective prevention of rust-creep
  • Non-residue coating


The Unituff OGS (formerly Omni-tuff Seal’n’Peel OGS) is a specialised formulation for stainless steel and other specific alloys.


STEP 2: Omni-tuff desiccants and VCI emitters


  • Omni-tuff Desiccants
    • There are a number of moisture absorbent/adsorbent materials out there. And the e-Gel is a popular option with an in-built indicator – the gel is orange when it is unspent or thirsty. The gel then turns dark green when it is spent (filled to capacity), which is approximately at 30% of its weight.
    • Typically, in the 4VAP process, e-Gel is used in sachets, e.g. 100g, 200g, 500g and 1kg.
    • Omni-tuff e-Gel is more eco-friendly than conventional blue-to-pink silica gel, while blue-to-pink gel typically contains cobalt chloride. E-Gel is still silica gel – SO2, with the indicator Methyl Violet.
    • As a rough indicator, 1kg of e-Gel will protect 1 cubic meter of void within a covered nucleus for up to 6-12 months, depending on conditions, such as high humidity.


  • VCI Emitters
    • The Omni-tuff VCI emitter is user-friendly, with each emitter fitted with double-sided tape at the base for simple application. VCI emitters are most commonly used inside enclosures such as electrical enclosures, where contacts and coppers wires that are subject to corrosion are usually found.
    • VCI emitters reduces the effects of moisture inside an enclosure for up to 24 months. The sizes are as follows:
      • Size 1 – 1 cu ft (cubic foot of enclosure)
      • Size 2 – 5 cu ft
      • Size 3 – 10 cu ft

STEP 3: VCI paper


VCI stands for Volatile Corrosion Inhibitor, which has two main functions:

  • VCI paper’s kraft properties allow the paper to absorb moisture; as the temperature within the covered nucleus heats up, the VCI paper then allows the moisture to dissipate. The application of this scenario is common with equipment covered by a plastic pallet bag or engine bag.
  • Because of the temperature range (cold at night and hot during the day), beads of condensation tend to form on the underside of the plastic cover. While there is no real issue with beads of moisture on the plastic, there is the possibility of moisture trickling from the plastic to exposed metal, thus setting off a rusting process.
  • VCI paper is impregnated with VCI masterbatch. This allows the paper to emit corrosion inhibitors, protect the metal surfaces, and mitigate the usual effects of moisture that might be present. Volatile corrosion inhibitors rely on a presence of moisture to work.

STEP 4: The Outer Cover

Outer covers are usually made up of or is an LDPE (plastic) bag. The most common bag sizes are the pallet and skid cover bags, as follows:

  • 1220+1220×2100 (full pallet size)
  • 1220+610×1600 (half pallet size)
  • 610+600X1100 (quarter pallet size)
  • 820+810×1600 (two-thirds pallet)
  • 2400+1600×2700 (tall engine bag)
  • 2400+1600×2200 (regular engine bag)

In the above products, there are a mixture of options, such as:

  • Plastic gauges/thicknesses ranging from 50um up to 250um
  • Regular plastic with no masterbatch added – for short use applications, such as contamination control during or between shifts
  • UV stabiliser masterbatch properties, giving integrity to the plastic
  • UV stabiliser and VCI masterbatch properties, ensuring greater plastic integrity and rust inhibiting properties


Omni-tuff also has a range of smaller bags, or component bags, with UV stabiliser and VCI masterbatch. These bags range from 200mm wide up to 600mm wide. There is also a style  of bag that is simply UV stabilised (but not VCI), and are commonly sized as 300mm or 750mm.

Another option is the Omni-tuff UV/CI stretch film, which is a 500mm wide roll. This 40um is a high-performance stretch film as typically 20um to 25um. The UV/CI stretch film is ideal for smaller items or for unusually shaped items, and is also good for situations where heat shrinking is not ideal or where there are strict rules for hot work permits.


The 4VAP is a layered process that ensures corrosion protection and prevention for critical gear and spares. Try the 4VAP system for your warehouse today.