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Different Types of Desiccant Packs

Moisture has a history of ruining many products, including electronics, food, semiconductors, and all types of machinery.  Because of this, many people choose to put desiccant packs in their packages during shipping.  Desiccant packs are used to absorb moisture, odors, and chemicals while products are being shipped.  This article introduces 3 of the popular desiccant pack materials that people utilize: silica gel, calcium sulfate, and montmorillonite clay.

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Silica Gel

Silica gel is a form of silicon dioxide, which is a natural mineral that is purified and processed into either granular or beaded form.  It is commonly found around the world as a major compound in sand.  Silica gel has a wide range of pore sizes, meaning it not only absorbs water, but also ammonia, alcohols, aromatics, diolefins, and paraffins.


Calcium Sulfate

Calcium sulfate is made from the controlled dehydration of gypsum.  The main purpose of this type of desiccant pack is laboratory use because it is a nontoxic and non-corrosive option.  Although calcium sulfate desiccant packs usually come at a low cost, they have a low absorptive capacity.


Montmorillonite Clay

Montmorillonite Clay is in the phyllosilicate group of minerals that form when they precipitate from water solution as microscopic crystals, otherwise known as clay.  This type of desiccant pack is great for repeated use at low temperatures.  The downside, though, is that when the temperatures are high, the clay may give the moisture back to the package.

Aside from these materials, there are also molecular sieve, calcium oxide, and more materials.  If you need to protect your package from moisture, make sure to utilize desiccant packs.  In addition, there are other protective packaging options such as VCI paper, moisture barrier bags, anti-static bags, and mil spec packaging.