Can Thermal Shields Fight Vessel Condensation?


  • The standard-purpose freight container is unable to curb the effects of temperature fluctuations and condensation.
  • The CTU Code specifies that inadequate control of humidity may cause damage to cargo and spur losses.

Condensation can have severe consequences on marine vessels, reports

Climate change issues

Global trade compels goods to circumnavigate the earth through various climatic zones, chiefly involving sea carriage. The standard-general purpose freight container is incapable of curbing the effects of temperature fluctuations and resultant condensation. Thus climate change has reverberating consequences worldwide.


The CTU Code identifies that “insufficient control of humidity may cause severe damages to and collapse of the cargo and also cause the loss of the stability of the CTU.” Hence, every action has to be taken to report the alterations in humidity and temperature that are expected during the journey.”

Condensation and hygroscopic vessels

Condensation can have disturbing effects on hygroscopic cargoes across numerous temperature zones. 

Products such as rice, coffee beans, pulses, peanuts, etc. are hygroscopic and they are sensitive to climatic variations. Though some of the effects can be mitigated by selecting aired containers.

According to law, there is a duty to care about the cargo under the legislation, contract, and general legal principles. Nonetheless, there is a significant extent to depend on the natural and innate nature of the goods to deny liability where condensation damage occurs.

Non-hygroscopic vessels

Non-hygroscopic cargoes do not generate moisture but they are in danger of deterioration due to climatic aspects.

Wood is hygroscopic and can sweat. Resultant condensation can defect the cargo and packaging due to moisture. Similarly, moulds might either physically deteriorate the cargo or tarnish it with odour.

Condensation may also be caused due to the position of the container itself.


Traditional practices to avoid condensation are ordinary but they are not adequate to deter condensation from damaging. Moreover, there are assertions that capacity is adversely influenced where air circulation is needed.

A few modes include lining containers with cardboard or corrugated paper known as Kraft paper and injecting desiccants or silica gel to absorb water vapour.

Erratic temperatures expose artillery to huge stakes. Militaries from several countries require live ammunition to be stored in extreme temperatures. Temperatures in some locations may reach 40°C or more during the day, even falling below zero during the night. 

Thermal Shields

By employing heat-deflecting technology the temperature in the ammunition tents could be kept steady, with temperature spikes minimized. The military designed a unique material or film that works similarly to Kraft paper to fight erratic temperatures.

But such military applications not only prevented temperature spikes but permitted hygroscopic goods to breathe. Consequent research suggested the deployment of nanotechnology where tiny perforations are made on the upper layer of the thermal shield. 

When the vapour turned to water, the nanopores were too small and wouldn’t allow water molecules to permeate the thermal shield. The water molecules are retained on the outer surface of the shield.

Such nano-tech thermal shields could serve three primary purposes.

  1. Elimination of damage to hygroscopic commodities through condensation
  2. Prevent destruction to cargo due to holed containers
  3. The quality of hygroscopic commodities may be maintained due to their ability to breathe.


Thermal shields provide means to avoid losses due to condensation. Military-grade thermal shields also help in maintaining the quality of the goods.

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Source: ttclub



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