How Does a Moisture Analyser Work?
There are lots of devices that can be used for testing moisture in a sample. However, moisture analysers eliminate the need for laborious oven testing methods. But how does a moisture analyser work?
What is a moisture analyser?
A moisture analyser is a device that helps determine the level of moisture or solids left within samples or products, providing an alternative to the time-consuming method of oven testing. Suitable for agriculture and food testing, the heating and drying methods are highly customisable, since all samples react differently. Moisture analysers are often connected to devices to observe and analyse different effects. These instruments have the ability to save the tests and measurements in its memory to repeat frequent testing parameters without having to set them up each time it is used.
What is a moisture analyser used for?
Filtration companies such as water plants remove harmful chemicals and bacteria otherwise known as impurities, from our drinking and bathing water allowing for it to be safely distributed around the country. However, to do this they will need to collect samples to be used in a moisture analyser and measure the number of solids that are present.
Within the food industry, moisture content often leads to growth of bacteria and mould which can be extremely harmful and very off-putting, along with dramatic effects on the quality of the food product. So, keeping track of the amount of wet ingredients used and are in a product can be very useful. In this case moisture analysers are used to measure how much excess moisture is in products to maximise their shelf life and minimise the growth of bacteria, ensuring consistent quality products. Additionally for businesses, when items are sold by weight, it is important to make sure customers aren’t being overcharged for water weight.
Moisture analysers are also frequently used in cosmetic environments measuring the purity of organic oils, creams, and serums. The presence of excessive moisture can completely alter the physical appearance and texture of different substances. Equally the same effects can happen when there is too little moisture, hence the importance of moisture analysers to provide reassuring accurate results.
The concrete industry will use a moisture analyser to test how much wet is in a sample as too much moisture can completely alter the consistency making the batch defective and unable to be used in construction. The rate of evaporation falls as concrete dries meaning moisture analysers are perfect to test samples. Adam Equipment’s PMB Moisture Analyser also has an ATRO feature that determines the amount of moisture left in a sample based on the dried sample, measuring the rate of evaporation in the mixture.
How does a moisture analyser work?
Moisture analysers start by weighing a sample. A halogen bulb in the analyser then heats and thoroughly dries the sample before it is weighed a second time. This process is called Loss on Drying (LOD) a standard process for measuring moisture that evaporates. After this process has been repeated, the weight after drying is subtracted from the weight when moisture was present. This means the loss of moisture is determined using the loss of mass.
Different moisture analysers have various ways of generating heat. Adam’s PMB moisture analyser is heated using a halogen bulb that ranges from 50°C to 160°C in one-degree increments. Moisture analysers are quick, efficient, and responsive, which makes them ideal for quick and easy moisture analysis processes, where there is no single setting that heats all samples evenly. Some samples can be dried using constant heating while others must be heated in specific increments to avoid damage.
How to use a moisture analyser
To show you how to use a moisture analyser, we're using Adam Equipment's PMB Moisture Analyser.
Firstly, when using the PMB Moisture Analyser you will need to adjust the settings for the type of moisture determination that you are attempting to do. Using the function keys, you can go through the available type of results wanted, for example:
• Moisture displays the percentage of moisture content of the original sample.
• Solid displays the percentage of solid remaining after moisture has been driven off
• ATRO moisture displays the percentage of moisture relative to the dried sample mass
• ATRO solid displays the percentage of solid relative to the dried sample mass
Once Moisture is selected you will need to select the measure of heating. The PMB offers three methods:
• SINGLE temperature, to heat your sample to set temperature.
• RAMP to gradually reach final temperature in a specified amount of time.
• STEP to use three different temperatures during test.
There are now additional settings that need to be decided.
• The display will indicate for you to set a temperature.
• You will have the option to set time intervals anywhere from 1 to 99 seconds. This is where the analyser will calculate/update the results.
• Select a stop condition. This is where test can be stopped automatically after a set time or after the sample is stable, meaning weight loss has virtually ended.
Now you can start the test:
• Place a disposable pan into the analyser.
• Add your sample.
• Simply press Auto to start the test.
• Close the lid to begin the test.
• Finally, the display will show the complete test information, including the elapsed time, the temperature inside the chamber and the percentage of moisture removed from sample.
• If you have an Adam Printer connected to the moisture analyser you can output the test results to keep a record.
Buy moisture analysers
A&D’s M Series Moisture Analyser utilises a straight halogen lamp and uniquely designed SRA (Secondary Radiation Assist) filter that gives shorter measurement time, thanks to fast and uniform heating. This is an accurate and reliable moisture analyser that can aid in advanced heating and drying applications in laboratory environments.
The Kern DLB is a simple to use moisture analyser with intuitive graphics display with step-by-step user guidance in six languages. This instrument can perform advanced heating and drying processes with ease, with accurate results able to be displayed on PCs or sent to printers via RS-232 output.
The Kern DBS is a high-quality moisture analyser with a single-cell weighing system for outstanding stability, reliability and response speed. This instrument can carry out advanced drying and heating processes and will deliver accurate results every time.
The PMB is a professional, highly accurate moisture analyser from British manufacturer Adam Equipment. These popular moisture analysers set a new standard for effortlessly recording moisture test results. A circular halogen heater lamp to allow for even heating and drying of the sample, ensuring accurate test results. The automatic test-setting function enables easy recall up to 99 frequently used tests of the same items, without having to re-programme each time. The large LCD display shows time, temperature and weighing results all at the same time and various levels of heating can be programmed to heat the sample in different ways.
Want to find out more about how to use a moisture analyser, or need guidance when you’re ready to buy moisture analysers? Get In Touch with the Inscale team.