Moisture analyzers are critical industrial instruments used to sense moisture content in a wide range of solids, liquids, and gases. Sensors help manufacturers control product quality, regulate heat treatment processes, and maintain a dry working environment. Choosing the right moisture analyzer for these applications promotes efficiency and prevents moisture from interfering with critical processes.
MAC Instruments has manufactured precise, heavy-duty instruments for over 30 years, including innovative moisture analyzers that ensure accurate readings in variable conditions.
What are Moisture Analyzers?
Many industrial processes rely on precise moisture measurements to fine-tune the efficiency of different processes or assess product quality. While traditional testing methods can take hours to return an accurate reading, industrial moisture analyzers assess samples in a matter of minutes so that facilities can consistently control process parameters.
Moisture analyzers rely on various measurement methods to determine water content in a sample. MAC Instruments’ popular 125 and 155 models use a proprietary solid-state humidity measurement process that requires absolutely no chemicals, compressed air, wet bulb techniques, optics, or mirrors. Instead, an absolute pressure sensor measures the total process atmospheric pressure, while a high-temperature sensor calculates the sample’s partial water pressure. The quotient of partial vapor pressure divided by total process pressure yields a highly accurate moisture measurement.
Selecting the Best Moisture Analyzer for Your Application
The ideal moisture analyzer for an application depends on a number of process-specific factors:
- Impact of Moisture. The more important moisture content is to product quality, the more accurate your sensor must be. Halogen moisture analyzers, for instance, use gravimetric detection to offer accuracy of 0.01 % with a resolution of 0.01 g. This level of significance may be critical when manufacturing moisture-sensitive pharmaceuticals, but it is usually unnecessary for general industrial applications.
- Material Being Measured. Most moisture analyzers are medium-specific, meaning they only measure moisture content in a specific material. Thus, you must identify a moisture analyzer that accommodates your particular samples.
- Process Compatibility. It’s important to choose a moisture analyzer that suits your application’s process requirements. For instance, if you need continuous measurements, you will likely need an in-process moisture sensor that uses microwave-based detection. Another consideration is whether your samples can be damaged. If so, you should opt for a non-destructive measurement method.
Moisture Measurement Principles
The above variables determine which moisture measurement paradigm is most suitable for a given application. Options include:
- Capacitive Moisture Detection. This option uses a dielectric sensor probe to measure electrical capacitance through a substance. These devices convert capacitance to a measure of moisture based on the characteristics of the sample material.
- Conductivity/Resistance-Based Moisture Detection. This method involves inserting two probes into a sample and generating an electric field. The electrical resistance between the probe contacts indicates the relative moisture content. Like capacitive moisture detection, this calculation is material-specific.
- Gravimetric Moisture Detection. This method is one of the most precise methods available, although it can also take longer. These devices measure the initial weight of a sample, then dry the sample and calculate the amount of moisture lost based on the final weight.
- Microwave-Based Moisture Detection. This option is the best choice for continuous process monitoring. The technique employs a microwave sensor and an alternating magnetic field to measure a sample’s dielectric properties and extrapolate moisture content from the readings.
Importantly, capacitive and microwave-based analyzers are non-destructive, while conductivity and gravimetric analyzers require destructive sampling. Gravimetric sampling is also the only option that is material-independent, meaning the same analyzer can process various sample types.
Industrial Applications of Moisture Analyzers
Moisture analysis is an important quality assurance process across diverse industries. They enable stack emission monitoring in oil and gas facilities, as well as humidity management in food and beverage baking processes. They are similarly useful for managing product moisture levels in drying products from paper to concrete.
Industries that especially benefit from moisture analysis include:
- Power generation
- Oil, gas, and refinery
- Pulp and paper
- Horticulture and agriculture
- Food and beverage
Moisture Analyzer Options at MAC Instruments
At MAC Instruments, we specialize in high-performance moisture and humidity analysis. Our moisture analysis tools ensure consistent, accurate readings even in high-temperature or highly variable conditions.
The MAC125, 155, and 116 moisture analyzers rely on our patented technology to generate reliable, NIST-traceable direct moisture level measurement.
- MAC125. The MAC125 is our latest and most advanced humidity meter, offering in-situ measurements at virtually any temperature. Using its proprietary solid-state measurement process, this analyzer is equipped to generate accurate readings in extreme operating environments. It is suitable for indoor or outdoor applications and mounts directly to stacks, ovens, dryers, and similar equipment.
- MAC155. With its built-in two-point calibration, the MAC155 is ideal for processes that require daily in-situ calibration checks. Clients across the globe trust the MAC 155 for 24/7 stack emission monitoring, which improves process safety, efficiency, and regulatory compliance. The device is operational up to 1200° F (650° C), or up to 2400° F (1300° C) with the addition of high-temperature accessories, so it can easily endure challenging operating conditions.
- MAC116. Optimized for food and beverage clients, the MAC116 helps manufacturers control steam flow into cooking atmospheres. With the MAC116, users can easily maintain moisture levels, maximize product yield, and minimize cooking time. Additionally, the device is designed to withstand clean-in-place operations, and its built-in purge process means it can stay in place during sanitization procedures. Common applications include drying and pasteurizing food products, as well as continuous cooking applications.
Our moisture analyzers are rugged, accurate, and specifically designed to combat common industrial pain points. The expert team at MAC Instruments would be happy to discuss our solutions further if you have questions about your specific application.
Contact Our Experts for High-Quality Moisture Monitoring Solutions
MAC Instruments has manufactured in-situ industrial moisture analyzers since 1990, developing innovative products that function without the typical chemicals, compressed air, wet bulbs, or optics. The resulting analyzers enable continuous, accurate humidity readings even in variable or extreme conditions. At the same time, our devices are engineered for maximum ease-of-use, offering hassle-free installation and intuitive interfaces to help employees save time.
For years, MAC Instruments has been producing high-quality moisture analyzers that are easy to install and maintain and offer instant, accurate results with high sensitivity to moisture. This is critical in a wide range of industrial applications because excess humidity can pose a danger to sensitive industrial equipment and the products you produce, resulting in higher operational costs and repair costs along with reduced product quality. In critical applications, moisture levels can’t be left to chance: they must be carefully monitored and adjusted as necessary.
Basics of Moisture Measurement
Just like temperature, air pressure, and contaminants like dust and odors, moisture in your industrial environment needs to be controlled to ensure consistent, accurate production processes and results. As both a liquid and a gas, moisture levels that are too high or too low can damage equipment, alter the quality of your finished product, and increase your operating costs in the form of higher utility bills and/or higher maintenance and repair costs.
Unfortunately, moisture can be challenging to measure and control in an ever-changing environment. That’s why it’s essential to use reliable moisture measurement tools in your facility.
Moisture Measurement in Industrial Applications
Because moisture can penetrate porous surfaces and hide in even the smallest cracks and crevices, it’s as dangerous as any other contaminant when it comes to the quality of your product and the efficiency of your equipment. Excess moisture, whether in liquid or gas form, can cause a variety of problems:
- Inaccurate test results, particularly in gas and compressed air applications
- Corrosion on pipes and other equipment
- Inconsistent product quality
- Ice formation in low-temperature environments
- Freezing and thawing in changing temperature environments, adding wear and tear to equipment
- Equipment failure or inefficient operation
- Moisture may mix with chemicals or vapors to create reactions that alter your process or product
In industrial environments, there are two primary technologies for measuring dew point: capacitive sensor technology and optical sensor technology. Capacitive sensors are an economical choice that offer a quick response to small changes in water vapor. Optical sensors are more expensive, but they are more accurate and may be a worthwhile investment in situations where the slightest changes in moisture levels can pose a major risk to sensitive equipment or products. These devices measure the dew point by cooling a gas until it forms frost. The frost is then vaporized and the device recalibrates, so it can continue to test.
Both technologies are used in a wide range of applications, including paper mills, product drying, metal processing, baking and food processing, stack emission monitoring, power generation, semiconductor manufacturing, and more. We’ve supplied moisture measurement tools to several companies with challenging humidity and moisture situations, and we’re proud to share their success stories.
Moisture Measurement at MAC Instruments
Our moisture analyzers, steam flow meters, and steam flow transmitters are trusted in a wide range of industries and applications. With a user-friendly interface, high moisture sensitivity, and high performance stability, moisture measurement tools from MAC Instruments are easy to use, reliable, and durable. To learn more about our products, contact us or request a quote today. We’d love to work with you to ensure you get the most accurate moisture measurements in your facility.