When transporting fragile medical equipment, food, medicines, or electronics, shipping goods is vulnerable to damage caused by jostling, rolling, shock, bumping, and other factors. Furthermore, suppose the cargo is going overseas. In that case, it may be subject to corrosion, dust, oxidisation, and various other pollutants that can impact everything from the performance of electronics to the “freshness” of food products.
Many businesses use alternatives such as foam inserts or corrugated boxes with corrugated cardboard walls to safeguard their shipment. For an extra layer of security while shipping by sea, whether locally or internationally, it will be beneficial for shippers to use:
- Desiccants (a substance that absorbs moisture)
- Vapour Corrosion Inhibitors (VCI)
- Moisture Barrier Bags
What are Moisture Barrier Bags?
Unlike air barriers, which slow the movement of air, the purpose of a Moisture Barrier Bag or Vapour Barrier Bag is to block the movement of water vapour. A Moisture Barrier Bag in the packing and shipping industry inhibits condensation, preventing moisture from accumulating on the product. They are available in roll or bag form and customisable to different needs.
- Protecting hygroscopic products against damage caused by moisture and corrosion.
- Shielding atmospherically sensitive items from the environment outside the package.
- Lowering expenses since less desiccant is used, resulting in a lower total shipping weight for products. Items are also more likely to arrive in good condition, which saves businesses time and money in replacing them, resulting in customer satisfaction.
- Eliminating the need to re-dry goods.
- Preventing the transmission of odours.
- Reducing the possibility of product leakage, which means that the cleanliness of the outer packing is optimal – this also allows businesses to reuse any outer containers that is used for both storage and transportation.
- Perfect for use in any anti-static application.
Typical Applications and Industries
- Fine Powders
- Raw Ingredients
- Dehydrated / Freeze-Dried Foods
- Food Supplements
- Pharmaceutical Products
- Excipients & Active Ingredients
- Electronics / Microprocessors
- Fine Art & Antiques Preservation
- Drying Packaging
A dry package is made up of four components:
- Moisture Barrier Bags (MBB) function by enclosing a device with a metal or plastic cover that prevents moisture vapour from entering the bag. The bag also protects against static electricity (ESD).
- Desiccant is a drying agent packed in a porous pouch to allow moisture to pass through and be absorbed. Therefore, it absorbs moisture vapour (humidity) from the air that remains within the barrier bag after being sealed. The water vapour that enters the bag will be absorbed as well. Even when fully saturated with moisture vapour, desiccant remains dry to the touch.
- Humidity Indicator Cards (HICs) are printed with moisture-sensitive dots that change colour from blue to pink in response to different humidity levels. The humidity inside barrier bags may be measured using the HIC. When the bag is opened, the card is checked to ensure that it is dry inside the bag. This implies that the barrier bag and desiccant were properly functioning.
Types of Moisture Barrier Bags
Foil Moisture Barrier Bags
Foil Moisture Barrier Bags are one of the most popular types of moisture barrier bags. These bags are made of a substance called Mylar, which protects contents from oxygen and moisture damage. They can have a resealable zipper, are lightweight, and protect the contents from light, moisture, and air damage. Due to its high-quality construction, this protective packaging solution resists punctures and rips.
Kraft Foil Moisture Barrier Bags
Kraft Foil Moisture Barrier Bags have a stronger structure and a layer of Kraft paper and foil to preserve their contents. These bags will also keep the contents safe from moisture, vapour, and light. They are greaseproof, so they are an excellent choice for businesses that want to use them in an environment prone to grease damage. This is a dependable and effective protective packaging option if severe corrosive damage is concerned.
Static Shield Moisture Barrier Bags
The Static Shield Moisture Barrier Bag protects against electrostatic discharges as well as moisture. It may be the best option for a variety of items.
How to choose the right Moisture Barrier Bag
When looking for the right packaging, these are several aspects to consider:
- Thickness & Material
- Special Features Proper Sizing
- The Specifications of Your Product
These factors are dependent on the product as well as the storage conditions for the duration. Furthermore, there are several products on the market that appear identical yet have very different barrier qualities.
1. Material selection
There are a variety of film constructions to satisfy the needs of the business’s goods based on the amount of oxygen, light, and moisture that can safely expose their product. When choosing packaging, it is important to analyse these considerations, as well as how the product will be preserved. The idea is to select a material that provides enough barrier to appropriately protect the goods without spending too much money on unnecessary films.
Industries such as food and pharmaceutical, as well as biomedical and electronics, all require this type of packaging. In-process components, medicinal goods, dehydrated/freeze-dried food products, and various other products that are susceptible to moisture or oxidation are examples of products that will benefit greatly.
2. Product compatibility
The material used should be chosen based on the product to be packaged. For example, strong chemicals and fine powders have highly precise requirements for the film’s inner layer. Chemicals, as well as natural components like lemon, include compounds that can react with certain films. Along with establishing product compatibility, the product must also have the capacity to be sealed as certain products create a residue that makes heat sealing difficult. Fine powders and greasy products are examples of such items. Therefore, a film with an advanced inner layer capable of sealing right through substances/residues for such objects will be the most effective option.
In conclusion, Moisture Barrier Bags are the ideal choice for packages shipped by sea to protect items from the humid sea environment, ensuring that items arrive just as they left.