Getting the Most Out of Your Moisture Analyzer
In many different industries, from food processing to manufacturing and pharmaceuticals, among others, moisture content is an important consideration. So, having a high-quality moisture analyzer and knowing how to maintain and operate it efficiently is essential.
Moisture can impact the potency of a medication, the quality and texture of food, the density of lumber, and the weight of many manufactured goods. In industries where products are sold by weight, not properly monitoring moisture content could cost a company thousands if not millions of dollars.
In addition to moisture analysis playing a key role in quality control, it’s also an integral part of meeting regulatory requirements in fields like pharmaceuticals. Products can fail, production can be compromised, and customers can be lost. Indeed a lot rides on the practice of moisture analysis.
This is why moisture analyzers are a fixture in so many work environments. Essentially a lab balance with a heating element, a moisture analyzer is used to calculate how much moisture there is in a material by testing a small sample. Moisture analysis covers a range of methods for measuring moisture content. Generally, moisture content is determined by heating the sample under controlled conditions and continually measuring the sample’s change in mass over time.
In food processing, a moisture analyzer can be a multi-purpose instrument. It can be used to help assess the quality of raw ingredients, test intermediate food samples, and support quality control of final food products.
Tips for Getting the Most from a Moisture Analyzer
For consistently reliable results, there are some best practices we recommend for using a moisture analyzer.
- Place the instrument on a stable surface like a fixed table. If the table has wheels, be sure they are locked in place.
- Your work station should not be near open windows, vents, or running fans.
- Minimize floor traffic as movement and vibrations can affect results. You also don’t want to risk someone bumping into the work table.
- Keep your device clean to avoid cross contamination, as well as any debris that could hinder smooth operation.
- OHAUS moisture analyzers are easy to clean simply by removing all metal parts from the chamber, wiping each part with a wet cloth and making sure they are dry before reassembling.
- Make sure temperature and humidity in the room are kept consistent and in reasonable ranges.
- Periodic weight and temperature calibration is necessary to ensure accurate results and prevent damage to samples.
- Use the in-use cover to help protect the moisture analyzer from accidental spills and scratches.
- Allow the device a chance to warm up prior to use.
Following these tips will not only promote reliably accurate results, but will also help to extend the life of your moisture analyzer.
Five OHAUS Models to Suit Your Needs
Depending on your specific application needs, OHAUS has a moisture analyzer to suit your needs. For basic applications, the MB25 and MB27 models are easy to operate and offer reliably precise results. Both models include a 90 mm pan, backlit LCD display, in-use cover, presets and a timer. Both are capable of temperature ranges from 50° to 160° C. The MB23 relies on an infrared coil for heating and measures moisture content to 10 mg (0.1%) with a maximum sample capacity of 110 g. The MB27 utilizes a halogen lamp for heating samples up to 90 g with moisture content readings as small as 1 mg (0.01%).
For more advanced applications, OHAUS offers the MB90 and MB120 Moisture Analyzers. Both models feature a 90 mm pan, halogen lamp, multiple communication ports (two USBs and RS232), a full-color 4.3 in touchscreen WQVGA display, in-use cover, timer, and presets. Both are capable of moisture content readings as small as 1 mg (0.01%). The MB90 offers a maximum sample capacity of 90 g and a temperature range of 40° to 200° C. The top-of-the-line MB120 can handle a sample capacity of 120 g and an impressive temperature range of 40° to 230° C.