Dry Storage Options: Types of Desiccants

by Andy on June 26, 2012

In electronics manufacturing, there are many products that are sensitive to moisture. It is important to protect these products, especially when they are out of sight in storage or shipping. There are many dry storage options to keep your products moisture free in storage, but it can be difficult to decide which to use.

Clay vs Silica Desiccants

clay desc Clay desiccants and silica desiccants are two of the most common products used for effective dry storage. Both offer protection against moisture, but at different levels of effectiveness. For most typical usage, clay and silica are very similar; they both work best at room temperature and neither swells as they absorb moisture. Also, they recharge easily, as you can heat them up to release their moisture.

If you look at the pricing for clay and silica, you can see that clay is much cheaper. This is because of the effective temperature range. While both work very well at room temperature, clay desiccants will stop working and even release moisture if they get above 120°F. Silica has a much larger range, as it works up to about 220°F.

While it may seem like this makes silica better, but it can depend on your application. If you are storing your product below 120°F then clay is not only cheaper, but easier to recharge. You need to heat silica much higher than clay to recharge their absorbent ability, so take that into account when purchasing your desiccants.

That is all for clay and silica desiccants today! Check in next Monday when we will be going over moisture indicators.

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