Natural and Sustainable Moisture Protection
09 Nov, 2018
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Protective packaging is a key element of the mil-spec packaging industry. However, it’s well-known how much of a negative impact some packaging solutions have on the environment. (Related Topic: protective packaging, VCI paper, moisture barrier bags)
That’s why some companies are working on developing alternative solutions that provide the same level of protection but are more natural and sustainable for the sake of the planet and even our own health.
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For example, bentonite desiccants in moisture controlled packaging represent a natural and sustainable solution that’s just as effective as the traditional moisture-protection packaging. For those who are not familiar with desiccants, these are substances that are used in packaging to absorb moisture and protect many products from corrosion, mold and several other kinds of moisture-related damage and degradation. The aforementioned substances are essential in maintaining the quality of products and their shelf life.
Although the most popular desiccant is silica gel, bentonite clay has very similar properties and both can be used to protect a wide range of products such as electronics, leather goods, textiles, metal components, foods, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and medical devices from any moisture associated damage.
Bentonite clay is a natural mineral that occurs as a result of the weathering and sedimentation of volcanic ash deposits, and its main ingredient is calcium montmorillonite, a chemically inert and non-corrosive substance with massive absorption power. Bentonite clay is mined from the ground, processed and dried into the form of free-flowing granules that attract and readily bind water vapor within its complex and highly layered structure, allowing it to function as a highly effective desiccant.
A single unit of bentonite clay desiccant weighs approximately 33 grams while a unit of silica gel weighs 26 grams, and both can absorb between 30 and 40 percent of their unit weight of water vapor equivalent to their unit weight. Although these absorption capabilities are very similar, tests have shown that bentonite offers a higher adsorption capacity in some of the most common and industry relevant packaging conditions.
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