Benzoates are commonly used as volatile corrosion inhibitors (VCIs). VCIs are substances that vaporize and form a protective layer on the surface of metals, preventing corrosion. Benzoates, particularly sodium benzoate, are effective in this role due to their ability to release vapor that can interact with the metal surface, forming a protective barrier against moisture and other corrosive elements. This protective layer helps to inhibit the corrosion process, extending the lifespan of metal objects or components.

Sodium benzoate is often preferred for its stability and effectiveness in inhibiting corrosion on various metals, including steel, aluminium, and copper. It’s used in a variety of applications where metal protection is necessary, such as in packaging materials, industrial equipment, and electronic components. Additionally, benzoates are favoured for their low toxicity and environmental compatibility compared to some other corrosion inhibitors.