Moisture Analysis Machines
Moisture analysis is a highly valuable wet chemistry testing method. Moisture analysis testing can improve product quality as well as the manufacturing process for a wide range of industries and applications.
How Moisture Analyzers Work
Moisture analysis machines are used to quantify the moisture content of a material sample. Moisture analysis can be conducted on solid, gas, and liquid materials. Moisture analysis equipment can detect water, fats, organic solvents, and alcohols.
Moisture analysis testing starts with sample preparation. Each sample is weighed before any testing is conducted. Once all weights have been recorded, samples are exposed to infrared heat so they can dry out. Depending on the moisture analysis machine, the heating element may be a quartz lamp, a halogen lamp, or another heating apparatus.
The samples are weighed repeatedly, at set intervals. Once the weight of the samples becomes steady—suggesting that all moisture has dried up—the final weight is recorded. This number is subtracted from the original weight to calculate the moisture content of the untested sample.
Moisture analysis test methods can be customized to meet the specific needs of a project or client. There are also a few standard tests in circulation for benchmarking moisture levels in certain products and materials, including:
- ASTM D6304—Standard Test Method for Determination of Water in Petroleum Products, Lubricating Oils, and Additives by Coulometric Karl Fischer Titration
- ASTM D7348—Standard Test Methods for Loss on Ignition (LOI) of Solid Combustion Residues
Uses and Applications for Moisture Analysis Machines
Moisture content analysis has many applications in many industries, including food and beverage, rubber and plastics, medical and pharmaceutical, and more.
Food & Beverage
Measuring and controlling moisture content is crucial in the food and beverage industry. Excess or insufficient moisture can impact the longevity of a shelf-stable food item and lead to premature expiration. Moisture also plays a vital role in preserving the desirable taste and texture of many food products, especially low-fat foods. Moisture analysis testing can help food manufacturers create products that appeal to customers and stay fresh for longer.
In the world of medicine and healthcare, precision is vital. A slight deviation in moisture content can impact the flowability of powders used to make tablets, capsules, and pills, which can change the dose of the drug. Understanding and monitoring moisture content and crucial to ensure proper dosage.
Moisture content of pharmaceutical product packaging is equally important. Syringes, inhalers, and other medical products often contain rubber components, such as seals and stoppers. If a rubber component releases too much moisture, it can impact drug dosage, delivery, and quality.
Rubber, Plastic, & Polymer
When it comes to materials, such as rubber and plastic, understanding moisture content is key to ensuring a successful manufacturing process. Deviations in moisture content can affect the appearance, structure, and performance of the final product, which can lead to additional problems.
One example is tires. If there is too much moisture in a tire compound and the problem goes undetected, it can weaken the tire’s inter-component adhesion properties. If components cannot adhere together, or that adhesion degrades faster than expected, major—and dangerous—issues can occur.
Another example is weather stripping and other extruded products for automotive or construction applications. Excess moisture can cause porosity bubbles in a rubber compound, which can affect the consistency of the final product. Holes and imperfections on the surface, caused by ruptured pockets of moisture, can compromise product performance.
Poor calculations of moisture content in rubber can also lead to massive supply chain issues. The moisture saturation of rubber and other materials can increase slowly over time if the product is stored in a humid or exposed area. Moisture analysis is key to detecting and addressing these issues early, since a misrepresentation of moisture content can cause large-scale problems. According to World Scientific: “Based on the total volume of rubber sheet produced annually in Thailand, 1.8 billion baht (about $55 million) will be lost from farmers or traders if the trader over or underestimates the moisture content by only 1%.”
How to Choose Your Sample Size
Sample preparation for moisture analysis is an art and a science. Larger sample sizes allow for a more representative, homogenous sample and fewer anomalous specimens. However, if cost or procurement is an issue, smaller sample sizes may be sufficient.
How We Use Moisture Analysis Machines at ACE Laboratories
Our moisture analysis experts have years of experience testing a wide variety of materials for moisture content and helping our clients diagnose problems related to moisture content. We understand the many ways moisture affects material properties, manufacturing processes, and product performance, so we can help you identify and address any potential issues associated with moisture and ensure a quality product.
To learn more about moisture analysis services at ACE, get in touch >