Silica Gel

Essay by xim0nlymexHigh School, 10th gradeA-, March 2005

download word file, 2 pages 3.0

Most damage to stored valuables and supplies is caused by humidity trapped within the enclosed storage area itself ... be it a safe, gun, camera or telescope case, video tape or photograph collection, computer parts and accessories such as CD-ROM cases, tool box, storage container, display case, shipping container, locker, silver drawer, whatever. Humidity trapped within enclosed space turns into almost imperceptible condensation which causes irreparable damage:

rust, corrosion, oxidation, tarnish of tools, electronic, computer and other valuable equipment, coin collections, silverware, mildew, fungus, mold, odor, spoilage, spotting, toning, stains, gum damage, cracks to stamp collections and valuable documents, photographs, videos, shortened "shelf-life" of photographic film, batteries, fogging of lenses

deterioration of foods, medicines, etc.

Silica gel prevents these moisture related problems before they begin. (Manufacturers know this. That's why they often include a small packet of silica gel in shipments of new guns, cameras, electronics, leather goods, pharmaceutics, etc.)

Silica gel creates a protective shield of dry air within any enclosed storage area.

Silica gel was developed just prior to WWI and was used in Allied gas masks; then, in WWII it was used extensively to keep penicillin dry. It remains the highest capacity adsorbent available today. Not a "gel" as commonly thought of, and not to be confused with "silicon gel", silica gel is a porous, granular form of silica, synthetically manufactured from sodium silicate.

The internal structure of each small silica gel granule is composed of a vast network of inter-connecting microscopic pores, which attract and hold moisture by a phenomena known as physical adsorption and capillary condensation. (It sounds ridiculous, but a single teaspoon of Hydrosorbent Silica Gel has an internal adsorptive area equivalent to a football field, including the two end zones.) Hydrosorbent Silica Gel is inert, non-toxic and safe to use to protect...