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What is the purpose of a moisture analyzer in the laboratory?

In laboratories it is often necessary to determine the moisture content of a liquid, pasty or solid sample. Moisture analysers are laboratory balances and are used to heat and dry samples, enabling highly accurate measurements to be taken, for example, in foodstuffs or in the earth industry. There, it is important to ensure the high quality of the products as well as their shelf life and storage life.

Drying balances are used instead of the usual drying oven methods, as these heat up the samples more quickly. Equipped with different drying modes, they work more efficiently and allow optimal adaptation to the often smallest samples to be measured.

How does the measuring principle of a moisture analyzer work?

A dry balance works according to the LOD (loss of drying) method and is the most commonly used method in moisture analysis. The sample is weighed with the integrated weighing unit before and after drying. The following steps are possible:

  1. The temperature is raised to a certain level for a certain period of time, for example to 150 C in 15 minutes.
  2. The moisture analyzer heats up to this temperature and then maintains it for the set duration of the test.
  3. After a temperature has been maintained for a set period of time, the moisture analyzer can change to another temperature, which is also maintained after setting. The maximum is three heating periods, which can vary in temperature and duration.

During the heating of the sample, the weight is continuously recorded, making the reduction clearly visible and measurable. The heating is done by a halogen lamp or an infrared radiator. When the sample no longer loses weight, the difference can be measured and thus the moisture content determined. This procedure is also called thermogravimetric analysis.

Applications of the moisture analyser in the laboratory

Moisture analysers are important tools in the laboratory because they are used in numerous industries. The measurement of moisture content is essential in

  • the food industry,
  • the pharmaceutical industry,
  • plastics processing,
  • sewage treatment plants,
  • the textile industry
  • and in the agricultural industry.

Moisture analysis is an important technique because it can help determine quality control criteria such as weight, shelf life, pricing and quality.

For example, the higher the moisture content of a product, the greater the potential for microbial activity and the shorter the shelf life. In addition, the taste is less intense with higher moisture content. As a result, there are many guidelines for the optimal moisture content of certain products.

Regulations and guidelines for moisture analyzers

When using moisture analyzers in the laboratory, there are certain guidelines that must be followed. These are data management and performance testing.

Data management states that each result of a measurement must meet the following criteria:

  • Readability (who did the measurement?)
  • Readability
  • Time accuracy (the protocol was made during testing)
  • Correctness

Performance testing is done using reference substances. These substances can be processed and measured in the same way as normal samples. These can be used to determine whether the moisture analyser is still performing accurately and reliably. In this way, regulations and operating tests can be complied with.

Types of moisture analyzers

Since not all laboratories require the full range of a model, there are dry balances for low, medium and high requirements:

Classic Moisture Analyzers

These simple models are ideal for small budgets and meet the basic requirements for laboratory use. They provide accurate moisture analysis for samples, are easy to use and work with the most common methods.

General Purpose Moisture Analyzers

General purpose moisture analyzers are designed for frequent use and are suitable for all types of laboratories and production sites. They are easy to use, usually with shortcuts that allow quick entry of a wide range of commands. Electronic help, such as transfer to computer or USB, is usually included.

High-performance moisture analyzer

This type of moisture analyzer provides maximum measurement performance for all applications. Even difficult samples can be measured without any problems and the measuring procedures can be repeated accurately. In addition, the results can be transmitted and evaluated via multiple interfaces. These instruments are state-of-the-art and offer everything that is possible with a modern drying scale.

Of course, the products are constantly being further developed and adapted to the specific requirements of the various industries. This means that the range of models and performance spectrums is continually expanding. So feel free to ask us about the current status and the best moisture meter for your laboratory.

Choosing the Right Moisture Analyzer Buying Criteria

When choosing the right moisture analyser for your laboratory, there are certain criteria to consider. There are many, but three points are of primary importance:

  1. Performance

The capacity is based on the amount of sample needed to perform a measurement. Depending on how often, how much and which substances you want to measure, you should choose larger or smaller capacities.

  1. Readability (moisture and weight)

The readability of the measurement results is equally important. Therefore, insist on a device that displays the results as accurately as possible in terms of weight and moisture content:

Choose an instrument that displays enough decimals in relation to the percentage of moisture when weighing the samples. This is usually one decimal place more for weight than for moisture. For example, if you want to measure moisture with an accuracy of 0.0001%, it is best to buy a scale that shows measurements down to 0.00001%.

  1. Reproducibility

If you repeat a measurement, then it should give the same result as the measurement before. So your drying balance should support this reproducibility by giving the same results when you repeat the measurement under the same conditions with the same substance.

When buying a moisture analyser for your laboratory, also make sure that the operation of the instrument is tailored to your needs, allows convenient data management and has good support. If you need additional equipment or accessories, please contact our customer service at any time and benefit from our all-round service. We will be happy to help you!

The manufacturers at MedSolut

The dry balances at MedSolut come exclusively from well-known manufacturers who are leaders in the production of laboratory equipment. These include:

KERN

Founded in 1844, Kern has been a leader in the precision performance of its balances from the very beginning. KERN established itself accordingly quickly and is today the origin of the internationally renowned Sddeutsche Przisionswaagenbau.

PHOENIX instrument

For 11 years, PHOENIX Instrument has been a determined player in the market and is known for selling high-quality laboratory measuring instruments with an unbeatable price-performance ratio. The excellent service underlines this performance and ensures the highest customer satisfaction.

SHIMADZU

SHIMADZU has been committed to providing the highest quality and customer satisfaction since 1875. Branches and partners in 76 countries ensure smooth processes in manufacturing and distribution, in which the company’s historical expertise plays a significant role. SHIMADZU guarantees the highest quality of product and service and the most advanced instrumentation technology.

Find the moisture analyzer for your laboratory at MedSolut

The reliable moisture analyzers in the MedSolut range are selected according to the highest requirements and fulfil all functions that are indispensable in everyday laboratory work. If you have any questions or would like advice on selecting the optimum moisture analyzer for your laboratory, our customer service is also available to help. Please feel free to contact us using the contact form or by calling +49 30 2096579 00. We look forward to hearing from you.