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Uses of Silica Gel Across Different Industrial Sectors

May 30, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 228

Quite contrary to its name, silica gel is actually a granular, whitish material that is derived from sodium silicate. It's not soft like a gel...instead these beads are rather hard and solid in form. It is a very good adsorbent, which means that it adsorbs moisture from its immediate surroundings. That's precisely why you will see this particular material being used in places where moisture needs to be kept at bay. If you have noticed, boxes containing shoes or leather goods often contain a small packet with tiny beads contained in it. These beads are nothing but silica gel-a very useful and popular desiccant. This is a mineral that occurs naturally, but needs to be purified and industrially processes to make it fit for use in industrial, commercial or domestic use applications. In this article we shall give you an overview of the various applications of this material:

  • It is widely used in the shipping industry where cargo travels in closed compartments by sea routes for days at a stretch. Small packets of the material, when placed with the cargo demonstrate exceeding effectiveness in adsorbing moisture. This helps to maintain the desired humidity levels to keep the contents of the cargo safe.
  • Another critical application where you might find this desiccant used is the food and beverage sector. As we know, the presence of moisture can drastically cut down the shelf life of food products, as it results in problems like mold and fungus. But with desiccants keeping the atmosphere dry, you can expect food to remain fresher for a long time. Some of the biggest names in the food industry cannot imagine doing business with the able assistance from desiccants.
  • Odor control: There are several places such as deep freezer compartments, where you might find this desiccant being used. It shows great efficiency in absorbing odors and foul smell from the immediate vicinity. This material is non-toxic, which means that you can use it around food items too. You can use it sleeping bags, shoes, foot lockers, automobiles etc.
  • Storage: When you have to store items for a long time, there is always a risk of moisture negatively affecting your stored items. For instance, you can use silica gel around items such as mementos, photographs, papers, books, in boats, garages, closets and containers and myriad other things.

While these are just a few examples, there are several other uses of this material. In some cases, small quantities of silica gel will suffice, but in some other cases, you might need to use it in bulk. Another interesting aspect of this material is that it can be regenerated by heating it. Regenerating is the process of eliminating the moisture from the beads so that they are fit for adsorption again.

I am into moisture absorption and moisture control industry for more than 10 years. Silica Gel is preferred moisture absorber solution for moisture-related challenges in industries such as pharmaceutical, electronics, food safety, transportation, government and other much more.

Source: EzineArticles
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