New 3M film reduces pipe condensation contamination
Overhead condensation formed during the sanitation process is a potential vector for contamination at food processing facilities. Condensate can harbor bacteria, including E.coli or Listeria, and if not properly cleaned from overhead piping can drip into containers that will later contain food, which poses risks for consumers and can shut down a food processing plant. For the past 100 years, the removal of water droplets from overhead pipes has been performed by using a mop or squeegee, yet this method is time and labor intensive and still leaves the risk for potential cross contamination. To help combat this issue, 3M produced Condensation Management Film, an adhesive film designed to manage intermittent condensation formed during the sanitation process in food processing environments. This film is the first product introduced in the market that reduces the need to manually remove hanging water droplets, improves productivity through time and labor savings, and improves plant hygiene.
“Manual intervention to remove condensation has been the only solution for facilities, until now.” stated Steve Swanson, 3M Corporate Research and Development. “We saw the need for a tough film that could adhere to piping systems in food processing environments, to help minimize condensation risk while enhancing productivity.”
Condensation Management Film reduces potential contamination from condensation in food processing facilities, as well as offers a time and labor-saving solution. How it works:
- Increases evaporation rate
Traditional methods that rely on mops, squeegees or HVAC systems can spread bacteria across the plant. Condensation Management Film’s wicking technology minimizes the release and transfer of hanging water droplets. The adhesive increases the evaporation rate, with lab studies showing condensation drops evaporating on average 10 times faster than natural evaporation. This quick evaporation process helps eliminate the need to manually remove hanging drops following the sanitation cycle.
- Saves time and labor
Food processing facilities have to cease production an average of four hours daily for the sanitation process. By using 3M Condensation Management Film plants can eliminate the need to manually mop/squeegee condensation which is time-consuming and can often lead to production delays. Simply replacing the manual labor with the film can help some facilities get back up and running 25-30 minutes faster.
- Reduce risk of cross contamination
Mops, squeegees and HVAC systems are prone to spreading bacteria from one part of the plant to another. Unlike traditional methods, Condensation Management Film minimizes the release and transfer of condensation droplets, improving plant hygiene.
“Condensation Management Film is an answer to help business owners increase productivity, save time, and increase plant hygiene,” said Steve Swanson, 3M Corporate Research and Development. “We tapped into 3M’s adhesive expertise to develop a film with microscopic capillary channels and a self-drying surface that spreads water droplets, increasing evaporation rates and reduces the need to mop.”
The easy-to-use film applicator makes adhering Condensation Management Film to pipes fast and easy. The film can be applied to many metal and plastic surfaces including galvanized and stainless steel, PVC, aluminum and copper at 5-10 feet per minute. Condensation Management Film is available in three colors to easily identify when it is time for replacement; with removal recommended every 90-180 days.
3M has a long history of applying science to develop innovative adhesive products. Condensation Management Film is a true breakthrough that complements 3M’s comprehensive adhesive portfolio. For more information on moisture management, please visit our website at 3M.com/condensationmanagement.