The seemingly easy question of “How waterproof are your products?” is not as simple to answer as you may think! Water is easy to keep out – but water vapour permeates through every material – and in doing so causes several billion pounds of waste to UK industry every year.
Versaperm has a range of testing instrumentation to help companies overcome the problem and measure permeability for both material samples and complex finished products or components. Results are typically accurate in the Parts Per Million (PPM) range (PPB for some materials and gasses) and in some cases this takes just 30 minutes. Permeability is critical to manufacturing as even simple processes such as bending or forming, can increase the amount of vapour that seeps inside a pack or product by a factor of four.
Permeability problems are often non-intuitive and highly complex, for example, silicone is very good barrier against water as a liquid – but it is virtually useless against water vapour which can pass through it almost as if it wasn”t there. The problems this creates are legion throughout almost every UK industry – from aerospace to fashion and from electronics through to food and packaging.
Versaperm”s equipment allows designers and manufacturers to test materials which bypass their problems. It also enables QC departments to check both incoming materials and outgoing products, without causing unnecessary delays.
Versaperm”s latest instrument and sensor range can actually measure permeability not just for water vapour, but for virtually any gas or vapour used by industry, including oxygen, carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, helium, argon and nitrogen. The system can measure several material samples, seals, enclosures or products at a time.
Water vapour is far and away the world”s most widespread and damaging contaminant, it causes electronics to fail, machines to jam, drugs to lose potency, metal to rust and a host of other common failures.
The company also runs consultancy and laboratory services that can advise on permeability in complex cases or where the volume or logistics does not mandate a dedicated instrument.