Dry saturated steam is an innovative cleaning and sanitizing technology that is becoming increasingly popular due to its exceptional effectiveness. This dry steam sanitizing method makes use of the power of water vapor in a special state, known as ‘saturated dry steam’. But what exactly is ‘saturated dry steam’ and why is it so useful in the field of sanitizing? Let’s find out together!
What is dry saturated steam?
To answer this question, it is important to remember the definition of steam. Steam is the gaseous phase of water produced when water is heated from a temperature of 1°C to 100°C and converted to gas by the process of evaporation. But not all steam is the same. There are different categories of steam, including saturated steam and dry steam. Let’s start with the distinction: what is saturated steam and what is dry steam?
As said, when water is heated from 0°C to 100°C, the transition from the liquid phase to the gaseous phase is started with the appearance of vapor, i.e. the chemical bonds that held the water molecules together begin to break, giving rise to water vapor. Saturated steam is defined as steam that is in equilibrium with water in the liquid phase at a given temperature and pressure (e.g. 100°C at 1 atmosphere), where the number of chemical bonds broken is equal. Saturated vapor therefore contains the maximum amount of water vapor that can be maintained at a given temperature without condensation (transition from the gas phase to the liquid phase) occurring.Dry steam, on the other hand, is a gaseous phase of water that is low in humidity and contains a very limited amount of water microdroplets. This means that dry saturated steam consists mainly of water vapor (H2O) in gaseous form and almost no water molecules in liquid form. This situation occurs when water is heated in a closed environment (e.g. a boiler) to a temperature above 100°C, bringing it to the boundary between saturated steam and superheated steam. The superheated state is the phase at which the boiling point is exceeded and the state of equilibrium is left, and consequently there is no liquid left to turn into water vapor as all chemical bonds are broken and no new ones are formed.
What is the difference between dry saturated steam and wet steam?
The main difference between dry saturated steam and wet steam lies in the moisture content. Dry saturated steam has a very low, almost zero humidity, whereas wet steam contains a significant amount of water droplets. Taking a practical example, we can think of a kettle. The steam we see coming out of the nozzle is considered dry steam while the steam inside the appliance where we see saturated gas but also condensation droplets on the walls of the material is called wet steam. This difference has a direct impact on the cleaning and sanitizing capacity of these two forms of steam.
Dry saturated steam can clean and sanitize effectively because its low humidity allows treated surfaces to dry quickly. In contrast, wet steam can leave surfaces wet and take longer to dry, increasing the risk of bacterial growth or mould growth.
Why are dry steam cleaners used for sanitizing and hygienising?
Dry steam cleaners use the power of dry, saturated steam to achieve exceptional cleaning results. These machines are equipped with boilers that produce high temperature dry steam that is applied to the surfaces being cleaned. The heat and low humidity of dry saturated steam allows dirt, bacteria and germs to be completely removed.
Dry steam cleaners are used in different settings – including domestic, professional and industrial – to clean floors, surfaces, fabrics, cars, and much more. A dry steam cleaner is especially useful for disinfecting surfaces since it can eliminate various harmful microorganisms without using any chemicals. Dry steam cleaning is faster than wet steam because you don’t have to wait for the surface to dry, allowing you to complete your cleaning sessions in less time.
STI Steam Industry has developed dry steam cleaners that are specifically designed to capitalize on this type of steam and ensure impeccable cleaning, sterilization, and sanitation. Explore our selection of steam cleaners and, should you require further advice on which model is best suited to your individual needs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Our team will be more than happy to provide guidance or offer a free quote for the product that is right for you!