What is a Desiccant? | Uses of Desiccants

Desiccants are common in packaging items susceptible to moisture and humidity. They absorb moisture in the air and maintain a low humidity atmosphere. Moisture facilitates the growth of bacteria and mould and could potentially damage electronics, apparel, cosmetics, and medications.

Uses of Desiccants

Desiccants are used in different industries, such as military-grade waterproofing, fuel tank venting and pharmaceutical applications. They can protect paper from moisture, preserve paintings and display cases, and reduce silver tarnishing. This is because desiccants draw moisture away from the product, thus preventing problems such as spoilage, discolouration, rust or tarnish.

Did you know that desiccants can be used in your everyday life too? Desiccants like silica gel can prevent mildew and odour in gym bags or clothes storage boxes. Placing silica gel packets in your shoes can also keep them in good pristine condition as the desiccant absorbs unwanted moisture. This is because silica gel is one common desiccant that removes excess humidity from containers, usually for its protecting purposes in humidity-sensitive products such as food preservation and electronics materials transport. Hence, it is not surprising to find silica gel packets in your food packages.

Desiccants can be used if you need a safe, clean, and dry protective packaging solution. The packaging and container volume will determine the type and quantity of desiccant required, and the trick is determining which type of desiccant is appropriate for each situation.

Still unsure what is a desiccant? Here are some common desiccants and their functions:

1. Silica Gel – Through a moisture adsorption process, water in the air is absorbed by the silica gel between the tiny pores as the air passes past them. Silica Gel is usually distinguished by three colours: white, blue, and orange, with different humidity monitoring and indication levels. Besides, Silica Gel typically acts as a drying agent for preserving numerous products against corrosion, contaminants, damage, and mould growth.

2. Molecular Sieve – This is the most preferred desiccant since Molecular Sieves dehydrate, purify, and separate certain gases and liquids. It has an impressive ability to absorb up to 22% of its weight, hence, Molecular Sieve is often used in filtering systems to lower humidity levels and may be used at temperatures up to 300°C.

3. Activated Alumina – Activated Alumina is used for various functions, including adsorbing catalysts and removing fluoride and other impurities. It is an effective desiccant adsorbent as it can absorb gases and liquids without affecting its form or structure, making it ideal for high-pressure applications.

To conclude, a desiccant’s main function is to absorb moisture from a closed environment and they play an important part of product packing, transportation, and storage. Visit https://www.streampeakgroup.com/products/desiccants/ for more information on the different types of desiccants.

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