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Techniques Available for Moisture Measurement

Supplier: Ultra-Dynamics
09 January, 2009

There are a number of technologies that have been used for the moisture measurement including:

  • Microwave Transmission
  • Near Infra Red (NIR)
  • Capacitance
  • Conductivity

Of these, near infra red and microwave transmission techniques have probably been the most widely adopted. This is because the limitations of the other technologies preclude their use in a number of applications. Of these two technologies, the microwave transmission technique has significantly fewer limitations compared to NIR:

Competitive Advantages Compared to Near Infra Red Technology:

Potential Limitation


Near Infra Red

Vertical segregation

Unaffected – beam penetrates full bed of material

Reflectance technique from surface molecules only

Sample presentation

Unaffected by position of material

Distance of material surface to receiver important



Significant effect

Ambient lighting


Requires shielding


No moving parts

Mechanical filter system

Presence of steam


Can cause interference

Dirty atmosphere

IP65 enclosures

Window requires to be kept clean

Because of these strong competitive advantages the microwave transmission technique has been successfully applied to a wide range of industries including; mining, ports, minerals processing, timber, grain, gold mining, fertiliser, sugar, quarries.