If you need to know the moisture content of something – anything – a moisture analyser is a tried-and-true way to do it. These simple, but reliable devices allow product developers, researchers and scientists from all kinds of industries to accurately measure the moisture content of all manner of substances via a small representative sample. The sample is placed in the moisture analyser and weighed in an analytical balance. It is then heated to dry it out and weighed again to determine the moisture content.
Why is moisture content so important? Well, for the food industry alone it’s critical. Too much moisture in a manufactured solid or semi-solid product compromises taste, shelf life and general consistency. Too little moisture and products become overly dry.
It’s a balancing act and that’s possibly why moisture analysers are also called moisture balances. It’s the same for pharmaceutical companies manufacturing drugs. It’s the same for oil and gas companies trying to get the moisture balance right in natural gases and crude oils.
A small sample of a substance is placed in the moisture analyser and weighed. The substance is then heated to dry it out and then it’s weighed again. Simple math is then used to subtract the dry weight from the initial weight to determine the moisture content.
It’s not rocket science, but it’s both accurate and effective. Most units will have a computer interface for observing and analysing the sample before and after the drying process.
Definitely. Moisture analysers are faster than ovens and complete the measuring process in fewer steps meaning there’s less chance for errors. Equally importantly, moisture analysers can be hooked up to computers and printers for easy data evaluation.
Moisture analysers are also far more portable than ovens.
There are almost as many moisture analysers on the market as there are substances to analyse. So it’s important to compare specifications in great detail. You also need to consider factors that can’t be accurately assessed off a spec sheet, such as how easy the unit is to use in a real time sampling environment.
With that in mind, here are the main questions to ask when choosing a moisture analyser:
There’s more to a moisture analyser than meets the eye as they are highly calibrated and offer analysts the benefit of the most minuscule variations. So prices start at around $2,500 and can go over $4,000 with an average price of around $3,400.
Basically, there’s one primary problem - Ignoring temperature calibration.
It’s an easy mistake to make as the essential function of a moisture analyser is to weigh samples before and after heating. As a result, operators can focus solely on ensuring the weight calibrations remain accurate while temperature goes haywire. If the sample dries too fast or too slow due to undetected temperature problems, the ensuing analysis can be wildly inaccurate.
Regularly check to make sure the unit’s temperature is calibrated correctly.
If a moisture analyser isn’t properly maintained, the accuracy of sample readings suffer. First and foremost, keep your moisture analyser clean.
If you are looking to a buy a Moisture Analyser for sale, suppliers on IndustrySearch include AMS Instrumentation & Calibration, Diverseco, HMA Group, Scantech International, A&D Weighing & Inspection Specialists, HK Calibration Technologies