English English Nederlands Nederlands Deutsch Deutsch Italiano Italiano Español Español Français Français 简体中文 简体中文 Português Português Русский Русский
    DetailingWiki Newsletter
    Get free and automatic updates on new articles
    We respect your privacy. No data is used for anything other than sending the newsletter!

    Advertisement

What is condensation

Written by:

Condensation can affect how well you can look through the windscreen. It can be a nuisance that you might want to prevent or remove. Humidity is very relative and understanding this will help to handle, remove or prevent it.

What is condensation

Condensation is a side-effect of large difference in relative humidity. This occurs when the air isn’t capable anymore to hold the water vapour it absorbed.

For example: air with a temperature of 10 degrees Celsius can contain a certain amount of water vapour. If it contains 100% if what it can carry, the air is saturated and the relative humidity is 100%. Just for this example, we say that air with a temperature of 10 degrees Celsius can hold a maximum of 10 gram water vapour per cubic meter.
When air gets warmer, it can absorb more moisture. So hot air can contain more water vapour then cold air. In this example we’ll say that air with a temperature of 15 degrees Celsius can obtain a maximum of 15 grams of water vapour per cubic meter.
The air inside the car’s interior is 15 degrees, and is saturated. It holds 15 grams of water vapour per cubic meter. This saturated air comes in contact with the window, which is actually colder than the air. The glass of the windscreen will cool down quicker and more than the air in the car.
The thin layer of air that comes into contact with the windscreen cools down, but that means it holds more water vapour than it can carry. The colder air can only hold 10 gram, which is 5 gram less than it holds at the moment. This excess of water vapour needs to go somewhere. The vapour solidifies and shows as condensation on the glass.

To prevent this, the glass would have to be the same temperature (or higher) then the air inside the car. If that was the case, the air wouldn’t need to get rid of the excess water vapour and no condensation will occur.

Relative humidity and condensation

Humidity is a relative term, this means that the humidity is different in certain circumstances. Humidity is expressed in percentage of saturation.

For example: let’s say that air of 10 degrees clesius can contain a maximum of 10 grams of water vapour per cubic meter. Then 50% humidity with 10 degrees Celsius would mean that the air contains 5 grams of water vapour per cubic meter. In essence: half of what it can hold with that temperature.

Air with a temperature of 10 degrees Celsius with 50% humidity will contain a very different amount of water vapour then air with a temperature of 20 degrees and also 50% humidity. If the temperature rises, but the amount of gram water vapour per cubic meter stays the same, the relative humidity will drop. Simply said: 10 degrees Celsius with 50% humidity holds the same amount of water vapour as 20 degrees Celsius with 30% humidity.

A graph showing relative humidity
A graph showing relative humidity

Air pressure

However, pressure also plays a big role in this, which is purposely left out to make the examples easier to understand. If the pressure is raised, the relative humidity will also rise. Air under a large amount of pressure can hold very little water vapour.

Different related articles

  • Removing ice or frost from glass
    Guides
    Frost or ice on your windscreen can affect your ability to properly see your surroundings. Removing ice or frost from glass will increase not only your own safety, but also that of others. It can also be illegal to drive without proper visibility....
  • How to clean tyres
    Decontaminating
    Paintwork gets cleaned very frequently, but tyres not so much. Everybody who knows the word “detailer” or “valeter” probably knows how to safely remove contaminants from the surface of a vehicle. Even when glass is dirty, you’ll quickly see the streaks and your fingers will be itching to reach for the glass cleaner. Most parts of a vehicles gets cleaned frequently, and we have all kinds of products that help us keep our cars/bikes looking sparkly clean....
  • How to prevent condensation
    Detailing Miscellaneous
    Condensation is the result of a water vapour in the air condensing on a colder surface. This can be frustrating when you can't look through the front window. There are several ways to prevent condensation....
  • Carproducts
    Manufacturers
    C.A.R. Products is a manufacturer of cleaning chemicals for carwashes located in Holyoke, United States. The company has a strong focus on B2B customers....
  • Deep cleaning fabric
    Decontaminating
    There are 2 general ways for deep cleaning fabric. Using a vacuum cleaner (just removing surface dirt), or using a wet/dry vacuum cleaner (deep clean the fabric). When you deep clean fabric, you need to take into account that you will spent a lot more time on it....
  • Ice formation on glass
    Detailing Miscellaneous
    When glass has a temperature that is lower then, or equal to 0 degrees Celsius, any water coming in contact with it, will freeze and turn into ice. This is often seen in cold climates or seasons and might require the ice to be removed....

Links to this article

There are no external links to this article. Yet.
Sidebar



Stay up to date with our free newsletter
Always be the first to know about new updates, articles and other informative content.
Don't miss out, opt in!
We respect your privacy. No data is used for anything other than sending the newsletter!