What exactly is Silica Gel, and what does silica gel do in packaging? The moisture absorber, which is often in use in the healthcare and electronics industries and comes in compact white or clear packages, is an amorphous type of silicon dioxide containing atoms in an irregular framework. The absorbers have nanometer-sized gaps and a tridimensional structure made up of oxygen and silicon atoms. Silica gel xerogel is the liquid or gas substance that fills the voids or pores. Silica Gel is a porous desiccant made synthetically. The pores’ interconnectedness creates a large surface area that draws and holds moisture.
Because silica gel is a desiccant – it adsorbs and retains water vapor — it may be found in a variety of items. Lack of moisture may prevent mold development and minimize spoiling in leather goods and meals like pepperoni. It avoids condensation in electronics, which might harm the electronics. If a container of vitamins had any moisture vapor and was suddenly chilled, the condensing moisture would destroy the tablets. Any item that can get damaged by excessive moisture or condensation contains silica gel packets. Because silica gel is almost innocuous, it may be found in food items.
What Does Silica Gel Do in Packaging?
What does silica gel do in packaging? Silica Gel is typically available in the form of granules. Chemicals are in use to produce indicating absorbers, which enable the color to vary after you saturate it. Silica gel packs can be found in electronic and game boxes, shoe boxes as well as in purses and medicine boxes.
Silica Gel Properties
Because of their enormous surface area of roughly 800 m2/g, desiccants absorb moisture. The physical properties of the desiccant make it excellent as a drying agent used to preserve different items and products against corrosion, contamination, spoilage, and mold development. Silica gel is available in three distinct colors in loose bulk or packages for varying degrees of humidity sensing and control: white, blue, and orange. What is the difference between white, orange, and blue silica gel?
Silica Gel (White)
A non-indicating moisture absorber, as the name implies, does not change color after saturation. One way to determine its saturation limit is to weigh the absorber or use a humidity indicator card.
Silica Gel Orange
The desiccants, also known as Envirogel, include an indicator ingredient called methyl violet, which may change color from orange to green/colorless when saturated with moisture. Although it has certain medical properties, it is not suitable for human consumption.
Silica Gel in Blue
This moisture absorber, on the other hand, contains cobalt chloride, which allows it to change color from blue to pink when completely saturated with moisture. Cobalt chloride is poisonous, and you should never use it with food items.
Silica Gel Applications
Condensation may cause mold development and shorten the shelf life of food packaging. Condensation can also cause harm to extremely sensitive items such as electronics.
Silica Gel offers various advantages when used as a drying agent in packing. Before entering the sealed container, the absorber will remove moisture from the air input. They are often in use as a preservative in locations like libraries and museums to manage relative humidity. Cameras and fish oil packing are two further possibilities.
What Is Its Shape
Often, you can have it in a pearl-like structure, and it is odorless and colorless. The surface of silica gel is what you can coat with silanol groups, which allow water molecules to attach through hydrogen bridge bonds. Also, silica gel is resistant to most chemicals, except for strong alkalis and hydrofluoric acid. It does not emit fumes or react with metals. With rising relative humidity, silica gel’s water absorption capacity rises. However, silica gel can only absorb water at a relative humidity of roughly 10%. Silica gel is a much less expensive kind of desiccant and is excellent if certain residual moisture (about 10%) is what you should have in the container (e.g. for gelatin capsules).
Reasons to Never Throw Away Those Silica Gel Packets
Do you know What is silica gel used for? Everyone enjoys receiving a new box. Inside is a gleaming new item. Perhaps it’s something you’ve been looking forward to for a long time, a little reward you’ve given yourself.
Is it a touch less exciting than what you add to the package? The actual packing! There’s the box itself, and then there’s everything meant to keep whatever’s inside safe throughout transportation. But if you’re fortunate, it’s paper or plastic that can be readily recycled. If you’re unfortunate, it’ll be those dreadful Styrofoam peanuts that cling to everything.
But there’s something more in the package as well. They are generally in the shape of little packets, similar to sugar packets but smaller, and are completely inedible – it states “DO NOT EAT” directly on the paper.
They are often not in use after you open the packaging. But, much like toothpaste and coffee filters, those packets may accomplish a lot more than you would expect.
Keep those packets the next time you receive a new pair of shoes or whatever in the mail, particularly if you have to deal with excess dampness in your house. Furthermore, reusing them keeps them out of landfills.
Check out what silica gel packets can do for your house below. Also, remember that you should never swallow them or put them in a position where young children may access them.
What Are You Going to Do with Those Silica Gel Packets?
Silica gel packages contain microscopic granules of solid silicon dioxide. The precise term for it is silica xerogel; however, most people just refer to it as silica gel.
Because it is a desiccant, water molecules are pulled to it and away from whatever is around the package. Water may pass through the packaging, which is normally made of paper.
That is, they are utilized to keep moisture away from delicate goods, preventing mold, mildew, damage, smells, and stains. It’s also why they come in so many custom packaging boxes.
How does a silica pack function in food packaging? The Silica pack has been sealed. So, you can find it in a permeable sack that enables water to flow through. It’s not completely encased in plastic. Even the ones made of plastic contain microscopic holes if you look closely enough. Molecular water does not need a large hole to travel through, and materials such as paper tape and cloth provide little resistance.
Water or gases may be bound to a desiccant by a chemical process or physical binding. Molecular sieves and silica gel are such common solid desiccants that physically bind water from the environment. Also, liquid desiccants chemically bind water, which will absorb it. So, never ignore them, as now you know what silica gel do in packaging.