In the intricate landscape of industrial processes, one critical factor is moisture regain—the ability of materials to absorb and retain moisture from their surroundings. This article delves into the fundamental understanding of moisture regain, exploring its major causes, and the far-reaching impact it has across diverse industries. From the food and pharmaceutical sectors to lithium battery manufacturing, data centres, and the automotive industry, excess moisture poses challenges that can compromise product quality, safety, and longevity.

Moisture Regain – An Understanding

The term moisture regain refers to the ability of a material to absorb and retain moisture from its surroundings. It is typically measured as a percentage of the dry weight of the material. The moisture regain value indicates the amount of moisture the material can absorb under specific conditions, such as relative humidity and temperature. Higher moisture regain values indicate that the material has a greater capacity to absorb moisture.

Major Causes of Moisture Regain

  • Hygroscopic nature: Materials with hygroscopic properties tend to attract and absorb water molecules from the surrounding environment. This is due to the presence of hydrophilic groups, such as polar functional groups like hydroxyl (OH) or amine (NH2) groups. These groups form hydrogen bonds with water molecules, allowing the material to regain moisture.
  • Relative humidity: The moisture content in the air, represented by relative humidity (RH), affects the moisture regain of a material. In highly humid conditions, the air is already saturated with water vapour, making it more likely for the material to absorb moisture.
  • Temperature: Temperature influences moisture regain because it affects the vapour pressure of water. Higher temperatures generally increase the vapour pressure, making it easier for materials to absorb moisture from the environment.
  • Fibre structure: The physical structure of fibres impacts moisture regain. Materials with a larger surface area or porous structure, like cotton or wool, tend to have higher moisture regain because they offer more sites for water molecules to bind.

Impact of Moisture Regain Across Various Industries

Food Industry:

Moisture regain is a menace to the food processing industry, particularly in maintaining product quality and safety. The moisture content of food products affects their texture, taste, and shelf life.

Studies found that controlling moisture regain during drying processes significantly influences the final product quality in various food categories. From snack foods to powdered mixes, moisture regain directly impacts consumer satisfaction and the overall success of food products.

Here’s a glimpse at the various areas of the food industry where moisture regain can be detrimental:

  • Biscuit / Cookie Storage
  • Cheese Processing Facilities
  • Chips, Wafers, and Namkeens
  • Coffee Industry
  • Confectionery Manufacturing
  • Dehydrated Food
  • Dried Vegetable Storage
  • Dry Soup Packaging
  • Food Concentrate
  • Health Food
  • Honey Drying
  • Meat Poultry
  • Mushroom Drying
  • Seed Drying and Storage
  • Snack Food
  • Spice and Seasoning


Pharmaceutical Industry:

The pharmaceutical industry is not exempted from the influence of moisture regain. Medications, especially those in solid forms such as tablets and capsules, are vulnerable to moisture absorption. Excessive moisture regain can compromise the stability, efficacy, and shelf life of pharmaceutical products, leading to potential health risks for patients.

According to industry reports, the global pharmaceutical desiccant market is expected to witness substantial growth in the coming years, as pharmaceutical manufacturers prioritise moisture control to safeguard product integrity. Moisture regain management is essential for ensuring the potency and longevity of medications, underscoring its critical role in this sector.

  • Clean Rooms
  • Diagnostic Rooms & Research Labs
  • Dry Powder / Vial Filling
  • Gelatin Drying
  • General Pharmaceutical
  • Penicillin Packaging
  • Soft Gelatin Capsule Manufacture
  • Tablet Coating, Compression, and Packaging


Lithium Battery Manufacturing:

Moisture poses a significant challenge in lithium battery manufacturing. It can react with the lithium in the battery, leading to corrosion, reduced performance, and safety hazards like thermal runaway. Strict moisture control measures are necessary during battery assembly, cell encapsulation, and storage to ensure the longevity and safety of lithium batteries.

Data Centres:

Moisture regain is a concern in data centres due to its potential impact on sensitive electronic equipment. High humidity levels can lead to condensation, which can damage servers, networking devices, and other critical infrastructure. Proper humidity control is essential to prevent equipment malfunction, data loss, and downtime in data centre operations.

Electronics and Electrical Industry:

Electronic and electrical components pose a significant threat from moisture. Excess moisture in such components can cause corrosion, short circuits, and reduced performance of sensitive electronic devices. Proper moisture control is vital during the manufacturing, storage, and transportation of electronic components and equipment to maintain their functionality and reliability.

Here’s a look at some of the core areas where the impact of excess humidity on the electronics and electrical industry could be huge:

  • Electrode Storage
  • PCB Assembly
  • Semiconductor Assembly


Automotive Industry:

Moisture can impact various aspects of the automotive industry, including engine testing rooms, tyre creel rooms, and wire storage. Inability to control humidity can cause:

  • Improper functioning of sensors and measurement tools
  • Health hazards
  • Inaccurate test results
  • Rusting of steel wires
  • Loss of strength in radial tyres due to poor bonding between steel and rubber


Power Industry:

Effects of moisture regain in the power industry is huge. Whether in operation or during plant shutdown, presence of moisture in the air corrodes various equipment in the power industry. These include turbines, power generators, boilers, condensers, etc.

When the moisture exceeds a certain level, it leads to:

  • Deterioration of parts and components
  • Malfunctioning of equipment
  • Decreased life of turbines, etc.

In addition to the above, high humidity levels in a switchgear room results in condensation of moisture on the switchgear surfaces. Such instances are a result of sudden fluctuations in temperature due to outdoor weather conditions or indoor air conditioning factors. 

Leather Industry:

Moisture regain is a critical parameter in the leather industry, especially during the packaging, storage, and shipping of leather items. The porous surface of leather renders it extremely vulnerable to mildew growth in humid conditions when exposed to the air during processing. When the relative humidity is greater than 40%, mould, mildew, and fungi can deteriorate the quality of leather.

Problems that tanneries and leather industries face include:

  • Loss of sheen
  • Pungent smell or musty odour
  • Spots, stains, and discolouration
  • Mould and mildew growth
  • Gradual decomposition and loss of strength

Healthcare Industry:

Excess humidity is a threat to various healthcare settings, such as hospitals, clinics, and laboratories. In a healthcare facility, inability to control humidity can result in the following:

  • Hazardous microbiological growth
  • Fungal growth due to condensation on walls
  • Inaccurate readings in sensitive devices
  • Corrosion and micro corrosion of medical equipment
  • Unhygienic environment for staff and patients

Dehumidification – The Solution to Moisture Regain

Dehumidification plays a crucial role in mitigating the problem of moisture regain across various industries. By removing excess moisture from the air, dehumidifiers prevent condensation and moisture buildup, which can lead to mould growth, corrosion, and product deterioration.

In the food and beverage industry, dehumidification ensures product quality and extends shelf life by preventing moisture-related spoilage. In pharmaceutical manufacturing, dehumidification maintains optimal storage conditions for sensitive drugs and prevents degradation. Moreover, in electronics and manufacturing facilities, dehumidification safeguards equipment and components from moisture damage, reducing the risk of malfunction and costly repairs.

Overall, dehumidification is a vital solution for controlling moisture levels and preserving the integrity of products and processes in diverse industrial settings.

Choose Bry-Air for Moisture Regain Prevention

Bry-Air stands out as a reliable partner in the battle against moisture regain for a wide range of industries. With expertise in designing and manufacturing desiccant-based engineered dehumidification systems, we offer tailored solutions for demanding applications across sectors such as lithium battery, pharmaceutical, food processing, semiconductor, electronic industry, turbine storage, and many more.

By employing advanced moisture removal technology, Bry-Air ensures that the desired humidity levels are maintained, preventing costly damages and ensuring optimal performance. Bry-Air’s dehumidifiers are equipped to tackle the unique challenges posed by each industry. With its commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction, Bry-Air is undoubtedly a trusted ally for industries seeking effective and efficient moisture control solutions.

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