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Moisture Content Determination

How to Get Reliable Moisture Results with Halogen Moisture Analyzers

Determination of Moisture Content
Fast and Reliable Moisture Analysis
How to choose moisture analyzer
Moisture Analyzer Accessories

Industry Solutions

Method Development

Learn about Moisture Method Development

Routine Testing

Learn about Calibration and Testing

FAQ - Moisture Content Analysis


 

1. What is the drying oven method?

The drying oven method is a thermogravimetric method (loss on drying) in which the sample is dried for a defined period of time at constant temperature. The moisture content is determined by weighing the sample before and after drying and determining the difference.


 

2. How are samples heated in the drying oven and in the moisture analyzer?

In the drying oven, samples are heated by convection. This means the samples are at the same temperature as the drying oven. When using a moisture analyzer, the sample heats up and dries by absorbing infrared radiation from the heating element. The sample's temperature and drying time depends on its absorption characteristics.


 

3. Isn't moisture the same as water?

This is a common misconception. Everything which evaporates upon heating is named moisture. Water may be a part of this but there may be other substances which also evaporate, such as alcohol or solvents.


 

4. Why is moisture important?

Moisture affects the processability, shelf life, usability and quality of many products such as pharmaceutical substances, plastics and foods. Information about and monitoring of moisture content is therefore very important. Most substances have an optimum moisture content for obtaining the best possible processing results and therefore attaining maximum quality. Furthermore, moisture content impacts on price and there are statutory rules for some products governing the maximum permissible moisture content (e.g. as defined by national food regulations).


 

5. I have many different samples (liquid, pasty, solid, powder). Which method should I use for moisture content determination?

In general, all kinds of samples are suitable for both the drying oven and the halogen moisture analyzer. Which method is best for you, depends on how fast you need the result or if you need the result using an official method. Sometimes, for example, in goods-in or final product quality control, moisture analyzers are used in parallel with a drying oven. Fast analysis with the moisture analyzer is done to optimize processes and the drying oven is used for official documentation purposes.


 

6. We have to use the standard method with the drying oven, but using a moisture analyzer would really speed up our processes. Is it possible?

Many industry regulations require manufacturers to follow a standard method. However, it is acceptable to use a moisture analyzer if you can prove its results are the same as those from the drying oven procedure and are of the same level of accuracy. This requires developing a drying method for the moisture analyzer and cross-validating it against the drying oven through a series of analyses. METTLER TOLEDO's application database contains over 100 free ready-to-use cross-validated drying methods. Contact us if you don't find what you need.


 

7. How can I put the batch number on the printout from my moisture analysis?

You can do this either through the ID management functionality on our moisture analyzers or in the differential weighing application on our balances. If your batch number is a barcode, you can even connect a barcode reader to scan it, or any other ID.


 

8. I am using the drying oven procedure. How can I avoid errors when I'm recording results and doing calculations?

Manual processes are more prone to error so it's best to use the built-in balance application or a software solution (LabX™) with a balance to capture all the results and do the calculations automatically. It's not only much faster but it's error-free too. Results can be printed out for your lab journal or saved on a USB stick to be saved electronically. LabX saves everything in a secure database so you can be sure your data is safe. The LabX report generator enables you to create elegant reports with charts which can be printed out or saved electronically.


 

9. How can I avoid my crucibles getting mixed up in the drying oven?

Good labelling is key. Using barcode labels uniquely identifies each sample. A barcode reader attached to the balance ensures that no mix-ups occur and weighing results are correctly logged against each sample. Use of a barcode reader is fully supported by the differential weighing application on the balance and by LabX.


 

10. What is the difference between moisture content, dry content and ATRO moisture?

Moisture content is the amount of moisture in the sample given as a percentage of the sample's original (wet) weight. Dry content is the amount of solids which are left after drying given as a percentage of the sample's original (wet) weight. ATRO moisture (AM) is the amount of moisture in the sample given as a percentage of the sample's final (dry) weight. Different industries use different units e.g. in wood or pulp, ATRO is commonly used.


 

11. What do TS and DC stand for?

The loss on drying procedure can be used to determine moisture content (MC) or, alternatively, dry content (DC). A sample may undergo extensive drying to remove all the moisture. The dry content remaining may be termed the total solids (TS).


 

12. Is there a difference between dry content (DC) and total solids (TS)?

Dry content and total solids mean the same thing. They describe the amount of material remaining after all the moisture has been evaporated.

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