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Desiccants - Desiccant Packs

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Tyvek Desiccants in Drums - Full Pallet - 5 Drums

Tyvek Desiccants in Pails - Full Pallet - 48 Pails

Kraft Desiccants in Drums - Full Pallet - 5 Drums

2 Desi-Pak #200002889 5 x 4.75 Clay Desiccant Packets

2 Unit Clay Desiccant 5 x 4.75 Packets

Stock#: DS05B




  / Drum of 800

4 unit Desi-Pak #3809 5 x 6 Kraft Desiccant Packet

4 Unit Clay Desiccant Kraft Packets

Stock#: DS06




  / Drum of 500

Kraft Desiccants in Pails - Full Pallet - 48 Pails

1/3 Clay Desiccant Packets

1/3 Unit Clay Desiccant Packets

Stock#: DS02




  / Pail of 700

1/2 Desi-Pak #3741 3 x 3.5 Clay Desiccant Packets

1/2 Unit Clay Desiccant Packets

Stock#: DS03




  / Pail of 550

1 unit Desi-Pak #3785 5x3.5 Clay Desiccant Packets

1 Unit Clay Desiccant Packets

Stock#: DS04




  / Pail of 300

2 Desi-Pak #200002886 3 x 6 1/2 Clay Desiccant Packets

2 Unit Clay Desiccant 3x6-1/2 Packets

Stock#: DS05




  / Pail of 150

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Desiccants are used as a dehumidifier to control moisture in contained environments, including pharmaceuticals, medical, diagnostics, food, electronics, and optical industries. Clay Desiccant Packets are made of an aluminosilicate clay compound which is a natural mineral and is more economical than silica gel. At 20% RH, Desi Pak will adsorb 50% more moisture than required by Mil-D-3464E, whereas silica gel will only adsorb 3.5% more moisture than required by Mil-D-3464E. The chart under the pricing is used to estimate the number of Desiccant Packets required for moisture protection. Bentonite desiccants are all-natural, and effectively absorb moisture in packaging to prevent damaging effects such as corrosion, mold, and degradation. The production of clay desiccants has less impact on the environment as no harsh chemicals are used during production and mine sites are recultivated and renaturalized.

How much desiccant do I need?

  • It depends. The amount of desiccant required is usually dependent on the following factors:
  • The volume of air space to be desiccated
  • The nature of the material to be protected
  • The moisture surrounding the package
  • The type of desiccant to be used
  • The length of time for protection
  • The atmospheric conditions (temperature and relative humidity) when/where the product is sealed and during subsequent shipment and storage


Desiccant Requirement Formula:

Formula: Units = 0.011 x Bag Area (in.²)
Example: 10" x 10" ClearZip® Bag.
Bag Area: 10" x 10" x 2 sides = 200 in.³
Units Needed: 0.011 x 200 = 2.2 Units


Use our Desiccant Calculator table to determine the amount of desiccant for your application.

Please note that the information in this desiccant calculator is for reference purposes only and should not be interpreted as an exact desiccant recommendation. There are several other factors to consider, such as:

  • What product is being protected?
  • What type of container/packaging is being used, and how well is it sealed?
  • What is the total amount of time (including packing, shipping, and storage) for which you need protection?
  • Is the product sealed in a separate polybag (plastic bag) within the container/packaging?
  • What are the approximate environmental conditions (temperature and relative humidity %) during the time for which you need protection?


What is a desiccant, and what does it do?

A desiccant is a dehumidifying agent which attracts moisture from the atmosphere. It adsorbs and holds particles of water to itself. Desiccant Packets are small sachets of Desiccant clay, aimed at protecting goods from moisture. The three most common types of desiccants are clay, silica gel, and molecular sieve. Desiccant Packets help protect products in a wide range of industries, including pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, diagnostics, food, and electronics, from moisture.


A Desiccant is a substance that removes moisture from the surrounding air. When sealed in an air-tight container, such as a plastic bag, a Desiccant packet will produce a low humidity environment within the Poly Bags and Poly Liners.

237 0.14 1.1 1/6 DS01
476 0.28 2.1 1/3 DS02
715 0.42 3.2 1/3 DS03
1,429 0.83 6.2 1 DS04
2,857 1.67 12.5 2 DS05
4,286 2.50 18.7 3 DS05
5,714 3.33 25.0 4 DS06
7,143 4.17 31.2 5 DS06
8,571 5.00 37.4 6 DS06
10,000 5.83 43.6 7 DS06
11,423 6.67 50.0 8 DS07
12,857 7.50 56.1 9 DS07
14,286 8.33 62.3 10 DS07
17,143 10.00 74.8 12 DS07
20,000 11.67 87.3 14 DS07
22,857 13.33 99.7 16 DS08
28,571 16.67 125 20 DS08
42,857 25.00 187 30 DS08
57,143 33.33 249 40 DS08
 71,429 41.67 307 50 DS08
 85.714 50.00 367 60 DS08
100,000 58.30 432 70 DS08
114,286 66.67 493 80 DS09


How to Use Desiccant Packets? 

Place your item into an anti-static bag or a static shielding bag, a plastic reclosable bags - a resealable plastic bag or a cellophane bag and insert the desiccant packet. Seal the bag immediately. The silica gel will help to remove moisture from the air within the package.


How to Store Desiccant Packs? 

Unused desiccant packs should be stored in an air-tight container. To preserve their effectiveness, they should be kept in the case immediately before use.


How Long Do the Desiccant Packets Last?

For best results, replace the Desiccant Packets often or if they are exposed to air for an extended time. Between uses, seal the empty case with your Desiccant Packet inside. That will preserve the unused desiccant packets for future use.

Extreme close up of rusty metal nut without desiccant protectionRusty
Extreme close up of metal nut with desiccant protection

Common Uses of Desiccants:

  • Protect foods and medicines like popcorn, candy, pills, and vitamins.
  • Protect important documents inside safes and lock boxes.
  • Protect musical and camera equipment, electronics, leather, rubber, copper, etc.
  • For moisture protection of foods, medicines and exposed electronic components, we recommend white sulfur-free Tyvek Desiccant Packets. Tyvek Desiccants are sold in the same pail and drum sizes as Brown Kraft Desiccants.


Why use desiccants?

Products vulnerable to moisture damage need special protection during storage and transport to ensure that they remain effective. Desiccant Packets provide a simple, dependable, and economical solution for preventing moisture damage in small, sealed packages. A popular Desiccant Packets configuration in the pharmaceutical industry, Desiccant Packets are also ideal for protecting nutraceuticals, diagnostics, electronics and food in addition to protecting products from moisture.


What are clay desiccants?

Clay desiccants are non-hazardous, moisture-absorbent substances created by the controlled drying of calcium (bentonite) aluminosilicate clay. This naturally occurring montmorillonite clay has a special affinity for moisture and is chemically inert and non-corrosive. The layered structure of clay desiccant attracts and adsorbs moisture onto its surface and between its layers.


Clay is the least expensive of all desiccants and highly effective within normal temperature and relative humidity ranges. It is used in most industrial applications requiring humidity control. Clay desiccant can adsorb up to 28% of its weight in water vapor at 77°F (25°C) and 80% relative humidity.  At full moisture vapor capacity, Desi Pak remains dry and free-flowing. There is no apparent change in the desiccant's size, shape, or texture. 


Clay desiccant works satisfactorily below 120°F (49°C). Above 120°F (49°C), there is a possibility that the clay will give up moisture rather than pull it in (silica gel or molecular sieve are suitable for such temperatures). Accordingly, anticipated storage and transportation conditions should be considered when deciding whether or not to use clay. 


What is silica gel?

Silica gel is silicon dioxide (SiO2), an amorphous form of silica that is manufactured from sodium silicate and sulfuric acid. It is a naturally occurring mineral that is purified and processed into beaded or granular form. Like clay desiccant, silica gel is also non-corrosive and chemically inert. 

Much like a sponge, silica gel's interconnected pores form a vast surface area that will attract and hold water by adsorption and capillary condensation, allowing silica gel to adsorb about 40% of its weight in water vapor at 100% humidity.


As a desiccant, silica gel has an average pore size of 24 angstroms (24A). Silica gel desiccant will pull in moisture at temperatures up to 220°F (104°C). As temperatures increase above 100°F (38°C) the rate of moisture pick-up will slow down, but the silica gel will still work. Silica gel performs best at room temperatures between 70°F to 90°F (21°C to 32°C) and at high humidity between 60% to 90% relative humidity.


What is indicating silica gel?

Indicating silica gel is a bead or granule washed with a concentration of cobalt chloride (a heavy metal salt). The cobalt chloride is a deep blue color when dry and turns from blue to purple to pink as it becomes saturated with moisture. 


Another use of indicating silica gel is with a moisture-sensitive product that will be inspected regularly, as the indicating silica gel gives a quick visual indication of how well the product is doing. Due to the presence of cobalt chloride, silica gel desiccant should never be used in contact with products for consumption, such as food or pharmaceuticals.


Indicating silica gel desiccant is also available in special packet sizes for use in electronics, pharmaceuticals, or food packaging.


What is molecular sieve?

Molecular sieve is a synthetically produced crystalline metal alumosilicate zeolite. Molecular sieve particles have a uniform pore structure (created during the manufacturing process). This enables the molecular sieve to separate molecules by size. It is also non-hazardous and derived from naturally occurring materials. 


Molecular sieve is the desiccant of choice for the most demanding and unique applications. The pore structure of molecular sieve desiccant provides a higher capacity for water adsorption than either silica gel or clay at very low humidity levels. Molecular sieve also retains a higher percentage of moisture capacity at elevated temperatures; in fact, molecular sieve can hold moisture at temperatures well past 450°F (232°C). Because of its high affinity for moisture, molecular sieve can bring the relative humidity in packages down as low as 10% relative humidity.

The most commonly used pore size for drying applications is 4 angstroms (4A). Molecular sieve desiccant is also available in 3 angstroms (3A), 5 angstroms (5A), and 10 angstroms (13X) sizes for specific molecule separation, including gases. 


Molecular sieve is the most aggressive of the primary desiccants (in terms of adsorption rate), so additional handling procedures may need to be considered. 


What is a desiccant "unit"?

In desiccant terminology, a "unit" is the quantity of desiccant required to meet the U.S. Military's specification (MIL-D-3464E) for packaged desiccant products. Under this specification, a unit is the quantity of desiccant which will adsorb 3.00 grams of water vapor at 20% relative humidity or 6.00 grams of water vapor at 40% relative humidity at 77°F (25°C).


When do I need to include a humidity indicator card in my package?

You need a humidity indicator card if you are concerned as to whether or not the desiccant in your package is still active. Desiccant becomes inactive under the following conditions:

if your package is not properly sealed
if you don't use enough desiccant in your package to draw down the relative humidity
if the barrier material (i.e., plastic bag) you use to package your product has a high moisture vapor transmission rate (which means that a significant amount of humid air enters your package through the barrier material itself).

How does desiccant most effectively protect my product or package?

To achieve optimal protection, desiccants should be used within a closed/sealed moisture barrier or a rigid/sealed container. Humidity Indicator Cards are generally placed inside the container to show the humidity level and to indicate when the desiccant needs to be replaced.


What size bags, packets, and canisters are available?

Standard sizes for unit bags are as follows: 1/6, 1/3, 1/2, 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, and 80 units. One unit is roughly one ounce of desiccant material.

Standard sizes for packets are as follows: 1/4, 1/2, 1, 2, 3, 5, and 10 grams.

Standard sizes for canisters are as follows: 1/2, 1, 2, and 3 grams.

Custom sizes are available to fit your packaging needs, though such sizes typically carry a significant minimum order quantity.


What industries and products use desiccant?

The largest users of desiccants are the industrial, pharmaceutical, and electronic components packaging industries. The following list shows examples of the types of industries and products that use desiccant products:

Industries that use desiccants Products that are packaged with desiccants
Aerospace Batteries Optical devices
Apparel Bulk powdered chemicals Pet foods
Automotive Cholesterol tests Photographic equipment and film
Communications Circuit boards Powdered or beaded glass
Dental Clothing Pregnancy tests
Diagnostic Documents and paper storage Relays and communication devices
Education Electronic components Safes
Electronics Flour, sugar, grains Shoes
Film Making Glucose tests Semiconductors
Food Packaging Industrial equipment Vitamins
Foodstuffs Instruments  
Industrial Leather products  
Medical Machine Parts  
Military Medical equipment  
Nutraceutical or Bioceutical Metal and machine parts  
Optics Metal powders  
Packaging Military instruments and armaments  
Pet Food Motors  
Pharmaceutical Museum Storage  
Textiles Oceanographic devices  

How are desiccants packaged?

Desiccants are generally packaged in bags, 5-gallon buckets or pails, packets, canisters, or fiber drums. (Packets are sometimes referred to as "sachets" or "pouches.")


Desiccants in bags are commonly referred to as industrial desiccants. They are primarily used by industry because their medium to large size enables them to adsorb moisture in heavy-duty applications. However, these bags are commonly used in non-industrial applications as well.


Bagged desiccants are available in:

  • Tyvek (heat sealed)
  • Kraft paper (heat sealed)
  • Lantuck non-woven rayon/polyester blend (string sewn)

The term "bagged" desiccants commonly refers to any desiccant which is packaged by the unit.


Desiccants in packets or canisters are commonly referred to as pharmaceutical desiccants. The pharmaceutical industry primarily uses them because of their small size. However, other industries, such as electronics, optics, and food packaging, utilize these packets and canisters as well.


Packet desiccants are available in:

  • Tyvek (heat sealed)
  • GDTII (heat sealed)

Canister desiccants are available in:

  • Polyethylene containers

Composition of SCPP Film Stocks

Film Composition Porosity
Tyvek Spun-bonded polyethylene 50-100 sec
Kraft (X-Crepe) Cross-creped kraft paper 5-25 sec
GDT-2 BT-060E non-woven 65% polyester / 35% polypropylene 5-25 sec
Sewn Bags Non-woven rayon 5-25 sec
MP-20 2 mil polyethylene/0.48 mil polyester clear film N/A

When International Plastics receives a call from a customer looking for a desiccant, our sales reps will help calculate which type and size of desiccant will work best for the particular application.

To determine the number of "units" required to protect medium to large products/packages/areas, refer to the Desiccant Requirements Chart Unit Sizes.

To determine the number of "grams" required to protect small products/packages/areas, refer to the Desiccant Requirements Chart Gram Sizes.

Tyvek is a registered trademark of Dupont. / Desi Pak is a registered trademark of Süd-Chemie / Süd-Chemie is a division of the Clariant Company

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