Relative Humidity in the Environment
Relative Humidity in the Environment
  • Posted on 31-Oct-2022 by Administrator
  • Posted In: Blog Posts

Our sensors measure relative humidity which is the ratio between the amount of water vapor present in the environment at a given time and the amount of water vapor required to saturate the air. Humidity is a measure of the amount of water vapor present.
Relative humidity is a unit used to describe air humidity. It is defined as the difference between the amount of water in a sample of air and the most water that air can hold at a given temperature. It is quantified as a range from 0 to 100%.
Due to the fact that cold air can store less moisture than warm air, air humidity is "relative" to temperature. For instance, an air sample at 10°C can store less moisture than an air sample at 20°C. The warmer sample has a lower relative humidity than the colder sample even though the same amount of water is present because it may be able to hold more moisture.
As a result, even in humid climes, interior air humidity can be low when chilly, damp air from the outside enters a manufacturing facility and raises the facility's temperature. Typically, a temperature increase of 20°C might result in a 60% RH drop in humidity (relative humidity). This implies that when heated, humid air that enters a structure at 80% RH will only drop to 20% RH. Production could suffer greatly as a result of this.
RH is strongly proportional to temperature and highly sensitive to temperature changes. This means that if you have a stable temperature in your system, your RH will also be stable. As well as temperature, relative humidity also depends on the pressure of the system in question.

Humidity measurement is important during production processes across industry, in packaging and product storage; it is vital to ensure product quality. In the highly regulated pharmaceutical and food industries it is a key requirement and must be fully documented. In museums and galleries humidity levels must be controlled to protect artefacts. Meteorological reports necessarily include the measurement of air humidity as well as temperature and other parameters. It is crucial to measure temperature together with humidity since a small variation in temperature has a large effect.

Effects of Humidity in Industries

Pharmaceutical Industry

Effects of Low Humidity
A significant consequence of relative humidity levels falling below 45 percent is static accumulation. The buildup of static charges can cause drugs to become dry, which will alter how any production-related solvents are supposed to behave. Additionally, excessive static can make items crumble or stay together, causing issues with tablet pressing and packing.

Effects of High Humidity
High humidity can be just as damaging as low humidity situations because products absorb the extra moisture in the air. In some products, excessive humidity can cause degradation or even poisoning by impairing potency and efficiency. The potential for risk arises when relative humidity levels approach 60% or more, allowing for the growth of mites, fungi, mold, viruses, and bacteria.
Production might also be impacted by an excessive amount of moisture. Extra moisture causes products to either crumble or become sticky, which could clog machines and abruptly stop manufacturing.

Food Processing and Warehousing

The Dangers of Not Using Climate Control in Food Processing and Storage Facilities
Microorganism growth: Moisture encourages the growth and spread of microbes, even in places that are thought to be clean. Condensation may develop on food processing equipment and in storage spaces in the absence of temporary temperature and humidity control. It's possible for pollutants and dust particles to enter places where food is produced if there isn't enough airflow. For instance, airborne bacteria could contaminate the products at a meat-processing factory if the air from a location where employees handle raw meat travels to a location that houses the finished product, such the packaging stations.

Reduced product quality and shelf life: When dry foods are exposed to moisture, a mold and bacterial growth results that can cause spoiling and food-borne illnesses. Some foods may lose some of their shelf life if the temperature is not properly controlled. Additionally, hotter weather conditions may cause food's vitamins to break down, lowering their nutritional value.

Breakdowns in packaging: Generally speaking, the layout of food packaging prevents perishables from going bad and lengthens their shelf life. For instance, the presence of moisture in a warehouse may cause paper wrapping to degrade and metal cans to rust. As a result, food spoilage or contamination could result from package deterioration. Food packaging can become even worse from heat, especially if it originates from sunlight.

The Benefits of Climate Control
• In some fruits, vegetables, and roots, cool temperatures slow down the production of the natural ripening agent ethylene.
• Improve ventilation: Due to their promotion of optimum airflow, environmental control systems lower humidity in a building. You can save money on moisture-resistant food packaging when you can regulate ventilation and moisture.
• Eliminate moisture-related contamination concerns: Food safety is one of the major priorities in the food processing sector. Excess moisture and unsuitable ambient conditions can make it challenging to maintain safety standards even in the most strictly regulated, sanitized facilities. By removing extra moisture, climate control methods assist facilities in maintaining sanitary conditions and optimal temperatures.
• Increased productivity: When cleaning equipment with water, facilities frequently have to stop preparing food while the water dries. Workers' productivity increases because they don't have to wait as long for the water to dry thanks to humidity control technology.
• Optimal temperature ranges: Temporary climate control allows you to store food at temperatures that maintain its nutritional value.
Maintaining cool conditions can:
• Reduce the degradation and respiratory activity of enzymes
• Halt the growth of food-rotting microbes
• Reduce internal water losses in foods that are dry.
• Preserve food packaging
• Conserve energy: HVAC systems don't do the same things that temperature control systems do or have the same functions. By using temporary climate control, you lessen the strain on the heating and cooling system, which lowers maintenance costs and extends the system's life.
Failure to regulate the humidity in a food processing plant or warehouse can create a dangerous breeding ground for microorganisms and negatively affect the quality of the products. Vaisala offers temporary climate control solutions tailored to your facility’s needs that mitigate and eliminate moisture and moisture-related problems while creating a comfortable environment for workers.

Effect of Humidity on Buildings:
• Mold, germs, rot-causing molds, carpenter ants, and pest insects like termites.
• Building materials such as wiring, metal roofing, flooring adhesives, and roofing adhesives can all corrode.
• Construction materials that dissolve in water returning back into solution.
• Wooden materials can warp, swell, or decay.
• Brick or concrete can be harmed by salt buildup beneath the surface as well as by freeze-thaw cycles.
• Paint and varnish damage.
• Reduction in the insulating value of thermal insulation (R-value).

We offer a comprehensive range of precision humidity measurement devices that are specified by leading companies worldwide, including handhelds; data loggers featuring a continuous environmental remote monitoring system, and measurement transmitters with analogue and digital outputs. Vaisala’s humidity and temperature probes are reliable, high accuracy with a wide range of models that are suitable for various conditions and applications.

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