Moisture analysers – what are they and what are they for?

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What are moisture analysers?

Moisture analysers are sometimes called “moisture balances”. They are instruments that determine the moisture content of various types of samples. They combine the a standard balance with a heating element. The drying procedures are highly customisable, to allow many different sample types to be analysed using the same moisture analyser.

A moisture analyser weighs a sample, heats it up to remove the moisture, and weighs it again once it’s dry. This is called loss on drying (LOD), a standard method for measuring moisture. The sample is weighed, heated, dried and weighed again. The weight after drying is subtracted from the weight before, so the loss of moisture is determined using the loss of mass.

Different moisture balancers have different heat sources – each of which has its own strengths and weaknesses. MSC supply analysers with a choice of halogen, infrared and dark radiator heating elements.

What are moisture analysers used for?

Water and moisture content  play an important role in the processing and quality of products as well as on the pricing of these products in many industries including pharmaceutical products, food industry, agricultural sector, construction materials and more.

Food industry: moisture control is important in the food industry. Too much moisture can lead to staleness or bacterial growth. Many items are sold by weight, so it’s important to make sure customers are not overpaying for water weight. Too little moisture can reduce the calorie count or make the food dry. Moisture affects taste, consistency, shelf life, appearance and more.

Quality Control (QC) Laboratories: moisture analysers are frequently used in quality control labs and other laboratories. Moisture analysis is used in many fields, to determine the water content in crude oil, fuel, sewage sludge and many other chemicals, solids and liquids.

Moisture analysers – maintenance and calibration.

As with any precision laboratory equipment moisture analysers must be correctly maintained to ensure accurate operation. Moisture analysers must be calibrated for both weight/mass and temperature. Our partner Precisa UK has an interesting blog post highlighting the importance of regular checks/calibration for moisture analysers.

MSC offers a full range of moisture analysers see the full rang here, or feel free to get in touch to discuss your needs with one of our technical specialists.

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