Silica Gel Beads

dholdgreve
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Re: Silica Gel Beads

Post by dholdgreve » February 19th, 2019, 8:23 am

Silica beads and silica packets have been around for a very long time. To activate the beads and packets, they need to be baked in an oven to drive off existing captive moisture, then stored in an air tight container until used. Add to your boom box the day before competition and keep the box sealed until just before check in. Open the box and hopefully it traveled well with no damage, the present it for weighing immediately... The boom will acclimate to ambient humidity within 30 minutes or so, so the longer you wait to weigh it the less effective the silica becomes.

You can also buy tubs of damp-out in the Outdoors sections of big box stores. People place these in their campers to keep them from mildewing, but the principle is the same... absorb the humidity.

Personally, I do not believe that this practice will shave tenths off your weight unless you are bringing a 40 gram titan to a competition. For a 7 to 10 gram boom, it might shave as much as .05 grams if you reside in a humid location.

For those interested, another way of getting a little weight off would be to create an enclosure (the plastic bag that your newspaper comes in works well for bridges... plastic garbage bags for booms... Take one end and fasten it around the end of a hair dryer with a rubber band... low heat, low air, and blow over the boom. This basically does the same thing as the silica, but faster. The re acclimation time is similar to that of the beads tho.

...and then there is always helium infusion... :shock: (This is a joke... only a joke guys)
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Re: Silica Gel Beads

Post by TheChiScientist » February 19th, 2019, 4:17 pm

dholdgreve wrote: Personally, I do not believe that this practice will shave tenths off your weight unless you are bringing a 40 gram titan to a competition. For a 7 to 10 gram boom, it might shave as much as .05 grams if you reside in a humid location.
I disagree. I have done this in practice and it will shave off 0.1g or more. My boom was 6.30g and the silica gel beads reduced its mass to 6.16g. :D Also IL isn't the most humid of places so I would say that using silica gel beads is a viable strategy for any type of boom. :geek: Just my input. Has anyone else besides me done actual research of silica gel beads though??
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Re: Silica Gel Beads

Post by jgrischow1 » February 19th, 2019, 6:12 pm

Last year before States our kids had a tower weighing 5-6 grams and silica reduced the weight by .24 grams.

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Re: Silica Gel Beads

Post by Carrot » February 23rd, 2019, 7:15 pm

TheChiScientist wrote:
Carrot wrote:My team hasn't been using silica gel beads and has been able to get a rather competitive efficiency but I heard that it silica gels can shave off a few tenths of a gram. Depending on costs, I might try using them in the near future. To any team that does use them, do you have any recommendations as to where to buy silica gels, preferably not being too expensive, as well as how much should be used?
Amazon. To find the optimal amount (in grams) you must calculate the volume of your airtight container and use the recommended amount per volume. It's normally on the back of the big silica gel bag and then you mass the beads to get near the recommendation. (For me it's 22g) It is a major plus as it shaved off 0.14g which improved my score by 36 points more or less. Remember every point counts. :P
For an "airtight container," any generic plastic box w/ lid would work, right? Just checking to make sure I don't have to use some specific kinds of container in order to be able to effectively use the silica gel beads.

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Re: Silica Gel Beads

Post by TheChiScientist » February 23rd, 2019, 7:22 pm

Carrot wrote:
TheChiScientist wrote:
Carrot wrote:My team hasn't been using silica gel beads and has been able to get a rather competitive efficiency but I heard that it silica gels can shave off a few tenths of a gram. Depending on costs, I might try using them in the near future. To any team that does use them, do you have any recommendations as to where to buy silica gels, preferably not being too expensive, as well as how much should be used?
Amazon. To find the optimal amount (in grams) you must calculate the volume of your airtight container and use the recommended amount per volume. It's normally on the back of the big silica gel bag and then you mass the beads to get near the recommendation. (For me it's 22g) It is a major plus as it shaved off 0.14g which improved my score by 36 points more or less. Remember every point counts. :P
For an "airtight container," any generic plastic box w/ lid would work, right? Just checking to make sure I don't have to use some specific kinds of container in order to be able to effectively use the silica gel beads.
Not necessarily. I used a container specifically marked for moisture seal and airtight. This is your safest bet for optimal operation of the silica gel beads.
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