Prototype Silica Gel Bag

A while back I bought a lifetime supply of silica gel beads from Sorbent Systems, with the intent of gradually replacing all of the miscellaneous desiccant packs floating around here. The catch is figuring out how to package 2 mm spherical beads, because the whole point of a desiccant pack is getting moist air in contact with the beads. I’m sure there’s a commercial solution for this out there, but …

Anyhow, here’s what 500 g of beads looks like, captured inside a 12×12 inch square of landscaping cloth folded in half:

Silica gel in landscape cloth bag
Silica gel in landscape cloth bag

It really should be sewn along the three joined edges, but this is a quick-and-dirty prototype to see how it works; I simply folded the edges over twice and stapled through all six layers.

For the record, 500 g of beads occupies 700 ml in the measuring cup I used to weigh and pour them into the end of the bag. The bag + beads + staples weighs 508 g. The can holding the bulk beads has a humidity indicator card that shows the humidity is below 10%, so I’ll assume they’re pretty well dehydrated.

It’s now in the basement safe, presumably soaking up moist air at a frantic pace. I’ll check it in a week or two and see what’s actually happening.

For the record, those old desiccant granules (and their tray) weighed 853 g when they went into the safe and emerged at 916 g, having soaked up 63 g = 2 oz of water over the last five months.