Frequently Asked Questions
What is a desiccant and what does it do?
A desiccant is a hydrating agent that attracts moisture from the atmosphere. It adsorbs and holds Particles of water to itself.
How are desiccants best used?
To be used most effectively. desiccants should be used within a closed/sealed moisture barrier. or a humiditY level and indicate when the desiccant needs to be replaced.
Is silica gel is not a gel then
No, silica gel isn’t a gel-like a hair gel. It is a solid material that comes in granular or beaded forms. These granules or beads are sorted according to their size. For silica gel in sachets, the grain size is not usually important, but for uses such as drying flowers, a fine grain silica gel is more suitable than a large grain silica gel. A 0.5 -1.0 mm grain size rather than a 1.0 – 3.0 mm or 3.0 – 6.0 mm grain. The larger grain sizes are suited for dynamic drying applications where the air is dried by being passed through a bed of silica gel.
But does silica gel get wet as it adsorbs water?
No, it doesn’t, one tremendous asset of silica gel is that it traps water molecules inside its pores yet remains dry and appears physically unchanged. It does not swell or changes shape.
Silica gel now comes in many colors then?
Yes, now it does. Silica gel comes in either non-indicating or self-indicating forms. Non-indicating silica gel is white and staves white as it absorbs moisture. Self-indicating silica gels have traditionally been impregnated with a moisture-sensitive cobalt chloride indicator. This gives a blue silica gel which slowly changes color as it absorbs moisture until it becomes pink. New self-indicating silica gels feature several other colors (because they have different moisture-sensitive indicators), but all have the same purpose to indicate when the silica gel is saturated and unable to take up any more moisture.
Can silica gel be used anywhere?
Theoretically yes, but it is only effective in an enclosed environment. In a situation where new air (and moisture) is constantly being introduced, an unpractical amount of silica gel will likely be needed to keep the Relative Humidity at low levels.
Is silica gel dangerous?
Silica gel is non-toxic and non-flammable, it is very inert with a very high melting point. It is very much like sand and thus can safely be sent by any means of transport.
How can silica gel work when it’s inside a sachet?
The materials used to make silica gel sachets are specifically chosen to be breathable. Water vapor passes through them to be absorbed by the silica gel.
Why are there so many different size sachets?
The larger the item that is being protected, the more silica gel is needed. A range of sachets allows for a single sachet to be used in most cases.
How is silica gel regenerated?
Self-indicating silica gels when they have become saturated can be regenerated by heating at 100-120°C until they return to their original colors. The heating drives off the adsorbed moisture. Regeneration can be carried out repeatedly, although eventually, the crystals will lose their color. When regenerating self-indicating silica gel sachets, only the minimum necessary heat should be used. This will prevent the sachet material from deteriorating. Although non-indicating silica gel can be regenerated in the same way, it is not apparent when the silica gel is regenerated other than by checking its weight. it will return to its original dry weight when completely regenerated.
What is Silica Gel?
Silica gel is a form of silicon dioxide, Si02, the material that occurs in nature as sand. The difference between silica gel and sand is that sand is a crystalline, non-porous form, whereas silica gel is non-crystalline and highly porous. Silica gel is synthetically manufactured from the chemical reaction between sodium silicate and sulfuric acid.
Silica gel is an amorphous adsorptive substance with stable chemical properties and has a highly complicated porous structure. It is odorless, tasteless, and non-toxic, and offers an excellent capacity for physical and chemical dehumidification because of good absorbability, chemical stability, wide surface area, and higher mechanical strength. Therefore, silica gel is used for packing food, pharmaceuticals, goods for export and precision instruments. Silica gel is easy to handle and silica gel saturated with moisture can be regenerated to afford new moisture protection by simply reheating under specified conditions.
A form of silica manufactured from sodium silicate and sulfuric acid. Like Clay. Silica Gel is a known Porous molecular structure that closely resembles a Sio2 and has the highest capacity of any commercial desiccant for moisture adsorption.
Who are our customers?
Electronic Parts, Computers, Pharmaceutical and Vitamin Packaging of Metal Parts and Food Packaging.
Silica gel is a desiccant then?
Yes, it adsorbs water vapor by physical means, not a chemical reaction. Water vapor is attracted inside the silica gels crystalline structure.
Does silica gel comes ready to use?
Yes, the silica gel does not need to be ‘generated’ before use. It is always sold (loose or in sachets) in a dry condition, ready for use.
How long can silica gel be stored?
Almost indefinitely. The key to retaining a sachet’s usefulness is to keep it under airtight conditions until it needs to be used. Silica gel will absorb moisture from any environment, so a sachet left out in the open will immediately start taking up water vapor. Although the moisture uptake rate is not fast, small sachets can be vulnerable to such exposure, as they do not have the large moisture-holding capacity.
It is recommended that they are not left open to the atmosphere for longer than 15 minutes. Larger sachets should not be removed from their Packaging more than 1 hour before they are required for use. The shelf life of silica gel in a sealed environment can safely be said to be between 4 and 12 months. Practical experience has shown that it can often far exceed this.
What is Relative Humidity?
Air will always contain water vapor. At any given temperature there will be a saturation point at which no more moisture can be retained (and excess will condense). The Relative Humidity of air is the actual moisture content expressed as a percentage of this saturation content. The aim of using silica gel is to keep the Relative Humidity at levels below 50% of the saturation capacity. At these levels, corrosion and mold growth will not be promoted. Problems are often caused if the temperature drops as the saturation content of air at the new temperature become much lower.
And which size sachet should I use?
It will depend on the application. For a well-sealed item, a rule of thumb is that 5 grams of silica gel are needed for every cubic foot of volume of the package. This converts to 170 grams per cubic meter.
How much water vapor can silica gel hold?
Silica gel will absorb up to 40% of its weight in moisture.
Can you get non-indicating and self-indicating silica gel sachets?
Yes, the blue self-indicating silica gels can be seen through the sachet material.