Silica gel is an amorphous form of silicon dioxide, which is synthetically produced in the form of hard irregular granules (having the appearance of crystals) or hard irregular beads. It is available in porous, granular, and amorphous form, synthetically manufactured from the chemical reaction between sulfuric acid and sodium silicate. The internal structure of Silica Gel is composed of a vast network of interconnected microscopic pores which attract and hold water, alcohol, hydrocarbons and other chemicals by the phenomena known as physical adsorption and capillary condensation.
Silica Gel has been the desiccant of choice by government and industry since W.W.II. By surface adsorption, Silica Gel drinks up excess humidity from the air. It prevents condensation within enclosed areas which causes irreparable damage: rust, corrosion, tarnish, oxidation, mildew, fungus, mold, odor, spoilage, spotting, toning, stains on stamps & documents; fogging of lenses; deterioration of foods and medicines.
Advantages of Silica Gel:
•Silica gel has ability to adsorb up to one third of its own weight in water vapour. This adsorption efficiency is approximately 35% greater that typical desiccant clays, making silica gel the preferred choice where weight or efficiency are important factors.
•Silica gel has an almost indefinite shelf life if stored in airtight conditions.
•Silica gel can be regenerated and reused if required. Gently heating silica gel will drive off the adsorbed moisture and leave it ready for reuse.
•Silica gel is a very inert material, it will not normally attack or corrode other materials and with the exception of strong alkalis and hydrofluoric acid is itself resistant to attack.
•Silica gel is non-toxic and non-flammable.