It is not only by far and away the world's most widespread and damaging contaminant, but it causes electronics to fail, machines to jam, drugs to lose potency, metal to rust and a host of other common failures. Keeping water vapour out (or in) from places it isn't (or is) meant to be is nowhere near as easy as it sounds as it can actually pass right through most materials. And that's where Versaperm come in.

Versaperm has a range of permeability testing instrumentation to help companies test both their materials and their manufacturing processes as it can measures the permeability of both samples and finished products giving answers that are usually accurate in the Parts Per Million (PPM) range. In some cases this takes just 30 minutes.

The equipment allows designers and manufacturers to experiment and test materials that bypass their specific problem. This can be counter-intuitive as some materials (such as cellulose which is very widely used) are barriers to liquid water but allow water vapour to pass through virtually unhindered. It also enables QC departments to check both incoming materials and outgoing products without causing unnecessary delays.

Versaperm's latest instrument and specialised 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 and nitrogen. The system can measure several material samples, seals, enclosures or products at a time.

The company also runs consultancy and laboratory services that advise on permeability in complex cases or where the volume or logistics does not mandate a dedicated instrument.