Bulk silica gel: how to choose it and when
Choosing bulk silica gel instead of sachets is not just a matter of savings. Bulk product costs less than the packaged one, that's true, but the main point is that it is used for different purposes.
Here you'll find a short overview for clarifying the uses and characteristics of bulk silica gel (both indicating silica gel than the white one), in order to help you choose.
When to use bulk silica gel?
Dehydrating sachets are usually used in packaging. They are put inside the box, in contact with the products you need to protect during transit and storage. Bulk silica gel, instead, is used for different needs: e.g., to keep a low humidity rate inside rooms or in various type of machinery.
It can be collected in small tanks to be placed near machinery, collectibles, in small environments where electronic circuits are found and in any other place when moisture control is needed. Another typical use is inside filters, for air or gas circulation systems: bulk silica gel is here used to reduces the percentage of humidity in the treated air mass, making the filter much more efficient.
Bulk silica gel is also available in its “indicating” version: bulk silicagel indicating means that it is added with a harmless and inert coloring substance that highlights when humidity is too high inside silicagel crystals (so they can not adsorb other humidity). In this way you can handle the product much more easily, as you can clearly and unequivocally distinguishing when the dehydrating agent is already saturated (compared to silica gel which still has a good absorbency).
Bulk silicagel is regenerable: even a simple microwave is enough to heat it and make humidity evaporate, bringing it back to its original state.
The silica gel indicating: a visual and immediate aid
Talking about common white silica gel, the only way to understand if the bulk product is already saturated with humidity or if it is still usable, it's to rely on its weight. White crystals looks exactly the same even when they are full of water, but its weights turn higher.
Weighting silica gel to check its humidity rate is not that easy or comfortable, however. That's why so many people is asking for silicagel indicating, even in our shop. Silica gel indicating is added with a substance that changes color as it absorbs humidity. So it becomes possible to realize at a glance when the time has come to replace it.
Price is a bit higher than white bulk silica gel, but the difference is fully worth.
We sell two different types of indicating silicagel; they take their name from their color when dry: orange silica gel and brown silicagel. It exist also blue silicagel, but we do not sell it: it has been banned for many years by European Union laws.
Different kind of bulk silica gel indicating
Indicating blue silica gel uses cobalt salts as an moisture indicator. It appears blue when it is free of humidity and turns pink while absorbing it.
Since 1998, European Union has banned its use due to the toxicity of cobalt salts, which could be risky to human health.
However, this type of bulk silicagel is still used in other areas of the world due to its greater cost-effectiveness but cannot be imported or used for products shipped to Europe.
For this reason you will not find blue silica gel in our online shop of anti-humidity products, as we only offer fully safe and certified products.
Silicagel orange and brown
Indicating orange or brown silica gel is pure silicon dioxide enriched with a completely free of cobalt salts indicator agent. It's fully safe and inert: all products in our shop meets the requirements of non-toxicity and absence of DMF contaminant according to CE regulations.
This is our best selling product, between “bulk silicagel” category.
We offer it in two versions, which we call for convenience:
- “Orange” silica gel, which occurs in 2/5 mm spheroidal crystals.
You can buy it here: Silica Gel Shop – Orange, spherical
- “Brown” silica gel, which we sell in the form of amorphous crystals (or granules) of the size of 2.5 / 6 mm.
You can buy it here: Silica Gel Shop – Brown, granular
The two products are very similar: as already said, they have the same composition. The indicating brown silica gel, in the form of granules, has a more irregular distribution and therefore has larger and more varied interstices. The spherical silica gel, on the other hand, has regular interstices; it has a more compact and dense mass with the same weight and quantity.
If you have any doubts about which is the best supply for your needs, about the quantities you need, how to best use silicagel orange or our other products, please contact us without obligation.