Technology: Why Control Humidity?

Condensation

Moisture will not condense on a surface if the air in contact with it has a dew point lower than the surface temperature.

Problems caused by condensation are experienced in areas such as health & safety, integrity of electrical equipment, product quality, packaging and material handling.

Ice Formation

Ice will not form on a surface if the air in contact with it has a dew-point lower than the surface temperature. In cold stores, ice formation damages product packaging, creates an unsafe working environment and reduces the efficiency of cooling coils. By lowering the air’s dewpoint, desiccant dehumidifiers can reduce or eliminate ice and frost formation.

Product Drying

When drying heat sensitive products, a low relative humidity is essential if efficient drying times are to be maintained. In cooling processes, desiccant dehumidification can prevent condensation forming on the product.

This results in a faster, more efficient cooling process.

Building Drying

When removing moisture from a building, whether new or as a result of water damage, the most effective way is to use desiccant dehumidification. Heating only transfers the moisture to another part of the building and heating in combination with outdoor ventilation requires high energy costs. With desiccant dehumidification the moisture is efficiently removed from the building.

Handling Hygroscopic Materials

The quality of drugs, powders, dried food, confectionery and other hygroscopic materials can only be maintained during production if it is kept in contact with air at a low relative humidity.

Most hygroscopic materials require dew-points so low that this can only be achieved using desiccant dehumidifiers.

Corrosion

Corrosion rate of iron and steel will be dramatically reduced if the air in contact with the surface is maintained below 50%RH – it is eliminated by reducing to 40%RH. Dehumidification is often more effective and less expensive than conventional  methods of preservation (eg: surface treatments). Applications benefiting from dehumidification include bridges, power stations, ships (refit or lay-up), offshore constructions, aircraft and military vehicles.

Odours

Unpleasant odours will be significantly reduced if the relative humidity is kept below 50%RH. For example in sewage stations the odours can be controlled by installing a dehumidifier.

Mould & Fungus

Mould and fungus formation is prevented if the surrounding air is kept below 70%RH.

Electronics

The characteristics of electronic products can change at high relative humidity – failure rates also increase.

Bacteria

Bacteria requires humidity to survive and multiply. The humidity required for bacteria to thrive is often found on hygroscopic materials. If the surrounding air is maintained below 50% relative humidity, many types of bacteria will not find a suitable environment to live on.