Desiccants and You: One Easy Solution for Moisture Issues

Very few would like a wet blanket when lying down for the night, and even fewer would prefer wet plastic material in the industry.

There are many issues in the plastics industry that moisture issues with raw materials can cause. Film manufacturers can see lensing, mechanical failure and die lip buildup as moisture passes through their machinery and is imparted into final products. Makers of molded parts may see voids that weaken the structural integrity and cause unsightly blemishes. Moisture can be introduced or worsened during processing by additive decomposition or moisture pick-up during transit or raw materials storage.

All these issues and more are problems for not only the producers of plastic articles but also their customers. For example, a plastic bag with lensing can tear more easily, spilling contents, and molded parts that have been weakened may not hold up to the stresses of typical use leading to negative customer experiences. These issues will persist from raw materials through creating the plastic article unless they are sufficiently addressed during processing.

Resin driers help alleviate these issues but take up valuable floor space, add operating and installation costs and the associated time required to dry the materials may be unattractive. In addition, for manufacturers using polyolefins who don’t usually deal with hydroscopic materials, these driers present added headaches and costs for processing. For these issues and more, Colortech supplies a range of drop-in desiccants that can remove moisture with minimal impact on the final properties of the article.

One particularly useful application for desiccants is with PCRs (post-consumer resins). In addition to water retention after initial processing, some PCRs can be hydroscopic in nature. The use of desiccant with PCR can help eliminate any moisture issues caused by PCR and help achieve a high-quality product with minimal impact.

Colortech’s desiccant concentrates work to eliminate moisture in-process. These materials react with moisture in the melt and chemically bind it, preventing the moisture from causing processing issues downstream. These desiccants can be fed like any pelletized material with little-to-no hassle for the manufacturer.

The following video shows Colortech’s desiccant alleviating lensing issues on a lab-scale film line shortly after the desiccant reaches the die.

Colortech has a suite of desiccant products and a dedicated team to ensure that you find the best fit for you. Contact a Colortech Sales Representative to learn more about our additive packages that suit your moisture removal needs.



Josh Cisco

Technical Services Representative