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Moisture Content Calculation

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Moisture content is the amount of water present in a moist sample of a product like wood, soil or similar. Moisture content  can be be expressed on wet or dry basis.

Moisture Content on Dry Basis

Moisture content on dry basis is the mass of water to the mass of dry solid:

MCd = mh2o / md                                        (1)


MCd = moisture content on dry basis

mh2o = mass of water (kg, lb)

md = mass of dry solid (kg, lb)

Moisture content on dry basis is commonly used in the timber industry. Note that it is common to multiply values with 100%.

Water Content on Wet Basis

Water content on wet basis is the mass of water to the mass of water and mass of solid:

MCw = mh2o / m

    =  mh2o / mh2o + md                                   (2)


MCw = moisture content on wet basis

mh2o = mass of water (kg, lb)

mw = total mass of moist - or wet - sample - mass of solid and mass of water (kg,lb)


Dry vs. Wet Moisture Calculator

Example - Water Content in Birch on Wet Basis

The density of air-dried seasoned dry Birch is 705 kg/m3 with 20% (0.2) water content. The amount of water per unit volume can be calculated by transforming (2) to

mh2o = mw MCw

       = (705 kg/m3) (0.2)

       = 141 kg/m3

The amount of solids can be calculated as

md = (705 kg/m3) (1 - 0.2)

     = 564 kg/m3

Example - Moisture Content in Birch on Dry Basis

The density of air-dried seasoned dry Birch is 705 kg/m3 with 20% (0.2) moisture content. Equation (1) can be modified to

MCd = mh2o / (m - mh2o)                                  (1b)


m = mass  water and solid (kg, lb)

This equation can be transformed to

 mh2o = MCd m / (1 + MCd )                  (1c)

The moisture content per unit volume can be calculated as

mh2o = (0.2) (705 kg/m3) / (1 + (0.2))

       = 117.5 kg/m3

The amount of solids can be calculated as

md = m - mh2o   

     = (705 kg/m3) - (117.5 kg/m3)

     = 587.5 kg/m3

Moisture and Water Content Calculator

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Related Topics

Material Properties

Properties of gases, fluids and solids. Densities, specific heats, viscosities and more.

Related Documents

Air - Drying Force

The drying force of air depends on the air moisture holding capacity and the water surface to air evaporation capacity.

Air - Humidity Ratio

The mass of water vapor present in moist air - to the mass of dry air.

Air - Moisture Holding Capacity vs. Temperature

The moisture holding capacity of air increases with temperature.

Compressed Air - Water Content

Saturation pressure and maximum water content in compressed air.

Fruits and Vegetables - Optimal Storage Conditions

Optimal temperature and humidity conditions for common fruits and vegetables.

Soil - Water Content

Water or moisture content in soil.

Water Content in Food and other Products

Water content before and after drying - in food and other products cork, grain, soap, peat, wood and more.

Wood - Compressive Strength vs. Moisture Content

Red Spruce, Longleaf Pine and Douglas Fir - moisture content and their compressive strength.

Wood Species - Moisture Content and Weight

Weight of green and air-dried fire wood.

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