PUBLISHED BY ABSORTECH GROUP 14 JANUARY 2021
The first thing to know about moisture protection is that the enemy is everywhere. The air around you contains water. All it takes is changes in temperature for that moisture to condensate and become a threat to your products. When your products are loaded in a container, the moisture is already there. Although everything may look fine at the time of loading, circumstances will change over the course of the transportation.
Hopefully, we can shed some light on how moisture damage occurs and the alternatives available to avoid it.
#1 Temperature and relative humidity
The relative humidity measures the amount of humidity in the air, compared to the highest possible humidity, what the air can “hold”. For example, 100% Relative Humidity (RH) means that the air is totally saturated, therefore the air cannot hold more water vapor. The higher the relative humidity, the higher the risk for container rain that can damage your products.
However, the triggering factor is the temperature. Temperature affects the relative humidity because the highest possible humidity, what the air can “hold”, depends on the temperature.
A sudden fall in temperature can lead to condensation. And during a shipment, temperature varies with latitude, colder when approaching the Poles, but also during day and night, when temperatures drop.
Temperature is a key factor in the appearance of container rain. But it’s also a factor out of your control, unless you opt for using refrigerated containers for your shipments. It’s an expensive solution commonly used only for temperature-sensitive goods such as fresh food or pharmaceuticals.
#2 Adding moisture during loading and container breathing.
It’s common to accidentally add moisture to the container during loading. This is often because of wet or humid packaging around the products or the boxes that they’re placed in, or commodities that release moisture (like cocoa beans). Sometimes the reason for the packaging or boxes is to protect the products from moisture damage, while it actually increases the threat. Another factor that affects the moisture threat is the fact that no container is airtight. Even a container in great condition will have air and moisture moving in and out of it.
#3 Let it dry out.
Sometimes there isn’t enough time from washing a container to loading it with products. In that case, the container may contain a lot of extra water. This means trouble. It’s important to keep an extra eye out for water on the container floor. Also, if there is wood inside the container, such as pallets and dunnage, it needs to be dry. Otherwise, there is so much unnecessary water in the container that the risk is high that it will cause trouble.
The best way to protect your goods from moisture.
There are many ways to approach the moisture damage issue. We believe very firmly that the best way is to attack the root of the problem: The moisture itself.
Therefore, we use highly efficient calcium chloride desiccants that we dimension to your needs. We monitor how our solution protects your goods through the tracking of your shipments. This way we can tailor a solution that gives you just the protection you need.
This article was written by the Absortech Group appearing in the January 2021 Moisture Magazine. For further insights check out the Absortech Group Moisture Magazine. Protection Experts Australia is the exclusive distributor of Absortech products throughout Australia.