The use of desiccant canisters is an essential component of packaging and preservation of the contents for longer periods of time, which are often overlooked but essential. These small, reusable containers are filled with an adsorbent material such as Silica gel, Molecular sieves, Aluminium oxide, Activated carbons, and their various configurations, that can adsorb moisture from the air and help maintain a dry environment, which is required for many industrial applications and uses.
These canisters are designed to prevent moisture damage, spoilage, and corrosion caused by excessive humidity, moisture levels, vapor, and are used in a wide variety of industries, such as pharmaceuticals, electronics, and food, to extend shelf life and prevent corrosion, so let us learn all about Desiccant Canister.
How does a desiccant canister work?
A desiccant canister works by effectively absorbing moisture from the air and the surroundings. The desiccant material inside the canister is hygroscopic in nature, which means that it has a strong affinity for water and vapor molecules. When the silica gel canister is placed in a humid environment, the desiccant material will attract and absorb water molecules from the air, keeping the contents of the packaging clean and dry for longer periods of time.
Other types of desiccants, such as Activated Alumina and Molecular Sieves, are also capable of achieving lower humidity and moisture levels due to the formation of various chemical bonds between the water molecules and the desiccant adsorbing material.
As a result, these adsorbent desiccant materials can be employed in combination with other methods of humidity regulation, including air conditioning or dehumidification systems, and they work effortlessly. Additionally, desiccant canisters can be used solely and individually in small, confined spaces, including shipping containers or storage cabinets.
Desicant canisters vary in size and shape, but essentially, they all operate in the same fundamental manner, where the desiccant adsorbing material is encased in a porous mesh bag or canister, that is well perforated. When the silica gel canister is exposed to a moist environment, the moisture molecules in the atmosphere are attracted to and absorbed by the dry material. The desiccation material will retain its moisture content until it reaches saturation. Once saturated, the desiccating material can be reused or replaced.
Desiccants are materials that are naturally attracted to and kept away from water, which means they are essentially hygroscopic in nature. This is usually because they have a porous structure or because they have chemically active sites on them that bind water molecules, thus leading to effective adsorption of water, moisture, and humidity.
Desiccant canisters are usually filled with special adsorbent materials that adsorb moisture, like silica gel or molecular sieves. You can also use clay or activated carbon, depending on what you're using and how much moisture you want to get rid of.
If you're looking for a way to get rid of the moisture that's trapped in your desiccant material, you can try regenerating or reactivating the adsorbent in the desiccant molecular sieve. This usually involves heating the desiccant to a certain temperature, which allows the trapped moisture to come out and restore the material’s adsorption properties making it affordable and durable in the long run.
Factors to consider when choosing a desiccant canister
- It's important to know how sensitive your particular product or the packaging content is to moisture. Different items have different levels of moisture sensitivity, so make sure you pick a dry canister with enough adsorption capabilities as per your packaging needs.
- The desiccator size and volume of the dryer canister will vary depending on the use and moisture removal requirements. For instance, a shipping container will require a larger dryer canister than a smaller storage cabinet.
- Look at how easy it is for moisture to get in through the packaging. If the material is really permeable, you'll need to use a desiccant molecular sieve that is porous and has more adsorption, or you could use multiple canisters for the container contents to keep them dry and void of any humidity changes.
- Think about where you're going to package, store, or transport the product you are handling. If you're in an area with a lot of humidity levels, or frequent changes in different humidity levels, you'll need to use silica gel desiccant canisters with better adsorption to keep the moisture or humidity levels down.
- There are various types of desiccants available in the market, and each type has its own benefits and drawbacks. Your desiccant choice should depend on your requirements for the packaging or contents that you are using for the application. Silica gel, molecular sieves, clay, and activated carbon are common types, each with distinct adsorption capacities, so choose the one best suitable for your application.
- You need to consider and find out the desired duration of protection. Some products might only need it for a couple of days, but others might need it for a while. Pick a canister that can keep the humidity up for as long as you want.
- Make sure you pick a canister that meets the standards and regulations specific to your industry. For instance, if you're in the pharmaceutical business, you'll want to make sure your canister meets the pharmaceutical regulations, and if you are dealing with food products, you need to make sure they follow all food-grade and food-safe regulations such as USFDA/FDA.
- Check to see if there are any restrictions on how you can handle or package the canister, like how much space you have, how much weight you need, or what shape it should be. Make sure it fits into the packaging without taking away from the look or use of the canister, or else it may defy the purpose.
- Some dryers are reusable in nature and can be used multiple times, while others should be replaced once they're used or saturated with moisture and humidity. If you're looking for a dryer that can be used again, you'll need to pick a dryer material that can be regenerated again.
When you consider these factors when selecting the suitable and correct desiccant canister, you can pick the right desiccant container for your needs, making sure it keeps moisture away and keeps your product safe. Always buy desiccant canisters from only a trusted source and manufacturer, to make sure the results are high-quality and long-lasting.