What is a desiccant? | Absortech

What is a desiccant?

A desiccant is a hygroscopic material that absorbs or adsorbs water molecules from the surrounding air, decreasing the levels of moisture.

Desiccants are usually available as a desiccant pouch that contains 1-200 g of desiccant. Larger desiccant bags can contain several kilograms of sorbent component. Desiccants are referred to as drybags, desiccant packets, sachets or moisture absorbers.

What does a desiccant do?

Desiccants decrease the amount of shipped goods that are wasted due to moisture damage, which is a significant amount.

Desiccants are used by companies to keep their goods dry in situations where excess moisture could cause damage, especially during transportation and storage, and can be used for any product liable to moisture damage. B2C products like garments, shoes or consumer electronics, usually contain small desiccant pouches.

Larger desiccants are often used to protect goods shipped in containers from moisture damage. Container desiccants decrease the level of moisture in the container – and protect all the goods and packaging from high relative humidity and ‘container rain‘ which can cause different types of damage to goods. Often, container desiccants can replace the need for in-box protection.

Different types of desiccants

Several substances can be used as desiccants. They differ in the nature of the components but also in their capacity to absorb moisture or their performance. The most common desiccant types are:

  • Silica gel desiccant
  • Natural clay desiccant
  • Clay MD desiccant, a mix of clay and calcium chloride
  • Calcium chloride desiccant, with different purity levels

Over-dimensioning cardboard is also considered a desiccant solution. Cardboard is hygroscopic and absorbs moisture from the air. Many companies over-dimension the thickness of the cardboard packaging to protect the contents against excess moisture.

What are the benefits of desiccants?

There are alternative solutions to protect a product from moisture, like decreasing the shipping time by using air freight or shipping in a reefer container. Others use oil coatings or VCI inhibitors or overdress the goods in plastic or cardboard. But the benefits of using desiccants have made them a very popular solution:

  • Desiccants trap moisture and eliminate the root cause of moisture damage
  • They have a wide-ranging application
  • Bags are usually easy to install and very versatile
  • If properly used, desiccants are a very cost-effective solution
  • Generally, they are more sustainable than other alternative solutions

Contact us

General inquiry

We collect your personal data to handle your request. Your data can be used for sending information and content from Absortech and it will be saved as long as they are relevant. By submitting the form you agree to our Privacy Policy.

Choose what you are interested in

We collect your personal data to handle your request. Your data can be used for sending information and content from Absortech and it will be saved as long as they are relevant. By submitting the form you agree to our Privacy Policy.

Choose what you are interested in

Container

Gel

Liquid water

In-box

We collect your personal data to handle your request. Your data can be used for sending information and content from Absortech and it will be saved as long as they are relevant. By submitting the form you agree to our Privacy Policy.

We collect your personal data to handle your request. Your data can be used for sending information and content from Absortech and it will be saved as long as they are relevant. By submitting the form you agree to our Privacy Policy.