Imagine you are responsible for the shipment of the latest model of iPhone to a series of cell phone stores across the state. It’s hurricane season, which means that even if your state is nowhere near an actual hurricane, there’s a good chance you’ll encounter some heavy rains at least. Moisture is in the air. More specifically, moisture is in your truck, which is where your massive shipment of brand-new iPhones is sitting.
Later that day, you arrive at your destination and drop off the iPhones with no problem. The next day, a customer purchases one of those iPhones. The customer goes home, turns the phone on and it works. One day passes, and, all of a sudden, the phone becomes completely nonfunctional. The customer then calls the store and demands a full refund. This then happens again. And again. Until eventually it becomes clear that almost every single iPhone on that shipment arrived with water damage.
Finding a packaging solution that prevents moisture damage is vital to ensure your customers receive working products consistently.
Does Water Damage Electronics?
Yes, and there are many factors that contribute to why electronics and H2O cannot co-exist.
Among the more hidden contributing factors is that of corrosion. Corrosion, simply put, is the breakdown, over time, of a certain material. In most cases, that material is a kind of metal. And its breakdown is a chemical reaction, the cause of which is the surrounding environment of the material. In most cases, when a metal corrodes, there is usually water and oxygen in the environment, which then transforms into iron oxide. Iron oxide is the technical term we use to describe what we more commonly know as rust. It was rust that ruined that shipment of iPhones.
The Essentials You Should Know About Corrosion
The speed at which corrosion can inflict damage on a given electronic device can vary. It depends largely on severity, as in how much water particles managed to infiltrate the device. Equally as important is the amount of time the device was wet before someone recovered it. One of the more measurable factors is the humidity level of the environment at the time of contamination. And finally, there’s also variance in the actual makeup of the device. Some electronics are simply more susceptible than others to water damage.
Effects of Moisture Damage
Moisture damage can negatively impact your bottom line and business reputation in multiple ways.
Excess moisture can quickly render an electronic device inoperable when humidity or liquids reach the internal circuitry. As corrosion grows, these circuits lose their ability to carry currents effectively. In extreme scenarios, rust can also cause excess heat buildup that may pose a fire hazard.
A damp environment can lead to numerous issues with packaging. Moisture promotes mold and mildew growth, causing packaging to lose its visual appeal and have an odd odor. Dampness can also cause packaging to lose its structural integrity and collapse.
Additionally, wet packaging may result in label loss, making it more challenging to identify contents accurately or track inventory. These outcomes translate directly into inefficiencies when your workforce spends more time accounting for stock and repackaging the items.
How to Prevent Water-Damaged Electronics
Fortunately, choosing the right packaging solutions for environmental dampness can help you protect your electronics.
Use Protective Bags
If the damaged iPhone scenario seems plausible for your company, we recommend making adjustments as soon as possible to avoid product loss and reputational damage.
Commercial moisture barrier bags are ideal for helping protect electronic devices from humidity. These bags effectively block water and water vapor to help ensure your product’s integrity. Several styles exist with additional protection, such as options that can shield against electrostatic discharge and prevent oxygen penetration.
Consider Adding Desiccants
Desiccants help control moisture by acting as an absorbent, with several packet sizes and absorption levels available. A permeable outer layer, such as Kraft paper or Tyvek, allows the silica gel or bentonite clay contents to draw humidity from the surrounding air. Desiccants are long-lasting, so they can handle extended distribution journeys and longer storage periods.
Monitor the Humidity
While technically not a prevention method, monitoring humidity within your packaging is a proactive safeguard against product loss. You can do this with humidity indicator cards featuring multiple dots that transform from blue to pink depending on the maximum humidity level. Pink dots alert you that moisture exceeded a specific level, allowing you to act quickly.
Partner With Edco Supply Corporation for Moisture Control Solutions
Edco Supply Corporation is a business-to-business mil-spec packaging company. We specialize in moisture barrier bags, antistatic and static shielding bags, desiccant packs, and more. Our products allow businesses to transport electronics safely, without any risk of them receiving trauma, water damage or harm from electrostatic discharge (ESD). For more info on our products, please give us a call at 718-788-8108.