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Equipment Storage Environmental Control

CFW provides temperature control and dehumidification for equipment storage applications where components are vulnerable to corrosion, mould or chemical changes. We supply standard refrigerative and desiccant dehumidifier units, as well as temperature control solutions, custom products and services, and turnkey solutions. We have been active in air technology design, manufacture and services for decades and have undertaken environmental control projects that concern a vast array of applications. Consult our sales engineers for further information.

CFW offers protection from heat and humidity for hardware in many kinds of storage space, including:

Corrosion is a pervasive problem with many materials. Ferrous metals such as iron and steel are some of the worst affected, and the costs are high. Over time, the substances present in the equipment gradually change into others through chemical reactions, which may be accelerated and catalysed by moisture or heat. Iron rusting is a typical example, but crystals and even glass corrode as their surfaces are exposed to moisture. Metals such as copper, though very sensitive to corrosion, are partly protected by their tendency to form oxidized surface films. However, even small amounts of corrosion can be costly when electronic circuitry made of metals such as copper is affected. It is thus important to prevent corrosion by storing metal equipment in a humidity-controlled environment to stop the products or materials from absorbing ambient moisture. Leather, polypropene plastic and rubber are also known to deteriorate in uncontrolled ambient conditions. The production of ozone by equipment is one cause in the case of rubber and plastic.

Humidity Control for Equipment Storage
If the relative humidity (RH) of the storage space is kept at no more than 40%, rusting is prevented, and no oil or other surface coatings will be necessary. In this way, the equipment will not only be safeguarded, but will also be ready for use at any time. In many cases, it is not necessary to closely control the temperature by using air-conditioning in addition to dehumidifying the storage space. Not only are expenditures from part replacement, painting and surface coatings not incurred in these situations, but additional savings are gained by eliminating the need for air conditioning. Hygrometers and thermostats can be used to monitor and control the humidity and temperature level.


Weapon Storage Facilities

CFW provides climate control solutions for storing weaponry. We can provide dehumidifier products for applications ranging from small weapons safes to the long-term storage of military vehicles. We also provide fans and ducting for ventilation and temperature control equipment. Both custom and turnkey solutions are available. CFW’s engineers have extensive experience in applying air control technologies in many fields and are ready to work with you to design a system which will protect your equipment in the most economical way.

Weapons of all kinds, whether military or personal, are often stored over long periods of time. During such long-term storage, the serviceability of the equipment can become a concern because of the possibility of rusting and other problems. High maintenance and replacement costs are the result.

Storing Small Arms
Ideally, firearms should be stored in an armoury or gun safe where the temperature and humidity levels are relatively constant. The level of moisture is the most important factor to consider: low relative humidity prevents metal from rusting and mould from damaging wood, but if it is too low, leather, slings and wood can crack. Constant (preferably warm) temperatures help to eliminate condensation. Rust, corrosion and pitting is most likely to occur where metal is in contact with wood. RH (relative humidity) should be kept below 50%. These preventative measures are more important where weapons are kept in long-term storage and not regularly maintained.

Storing Military Equipment
Many defence forces suffer significant losses due to corrosion of weapons, vehicles and other equipment. A loss of resistance in nylon insulation and electronics malfunctions are two of the problems caused by excessive moisture levels that are sometimes neglected.

The problem has lead armed forces to consider new solutions such as controlled humidity protection (CHP) in recent decades. Military forces in many countries have resorted to desiccant dehumidification to preserve equipment in a state of combat readiness and keep down storage and maintenance costs. The result is that maintenance on critical equipment can be deferred by up to five years.

In the home, a good portable dehumidifier will ensure that your guns will remain in working order.

CFW can provide all the necessary equipment and accessories to establish the proper conditions for weapons safes and stores.

Aircraft Storage

CFW Environmental provides climate control equipment to protect aircraft from corrosion during storage. CFW has distinguished itself in the design, manufacture and installation of environmental control equipment since being founded in 1966. We supply dehumidifiers with a wide range of capacities for different climates (both desiccant and refrigerative units). We can also provide turnkey solutions designed according to your specifications, such as ducted systems to protect the interior of the aircraft.

Corrosion is a major problem for aircraft owners and can lead to high maintenance costs. This problem is exacerbated by high humidity, and the engine, radar and avionics of aircraft operated near the sea can be significantly affected. Corrosion rates rise exponentially at relative humidity (RH) rates of above 50%, causing quickly accumulating damage. In particular, electronics can deteriorate much more quickly in planes that are not operational, as the electrical currents that would help to dissipate small amounts of moisture are not present. As many as 20% of electronics failures are caused by corrosion.

Aircraft often require many hours of work to make them flightworthy after long-term storage, so that it is often better to ensure the best possible storage conditions, with fuel in place. For this reason, the term controlled humidity protection (CHP) has gained currency in military aeronautical terminology in recent years.

Because some aircraft materials cannot endure long storage under ambient conditions, guidelines suggest that the humidity should be kept between 40% and 60% RH. If CHP measures are applied for longer term storage, the RH is kept to only 30-40%. Dry air storage solutions improve the efficiency, operational life and availability of aircraft while decreasing maintenance and operating costs. Ideally the entire storage space, including the interiors of aircraft, should be dehumidified by using movable units.

In this way, the mean time between failures (MBTF) and mean time between arisings (MTBA) of aircraft can be considerably increased. Alternatives to dehumidification, such as heating, are not necessarily effective and tend to be more costly to operate. In short, proper humidity control of aircraft and equipment saves money. Contact our sales engineers for further information.

Marine Equipment Storage

CFW designs and implements humidity control solutions for equipment storage in the marine industry. We provide a wide range of temperature and humidity control equipment according to customer specifications. This includes a range of air dryers equipped with humidistats, as well as monitoring equipment. We also undertake turnkey projects. Bespoke fans can be provided for ventilation if required.

Climate control in marine storage is a demanding application because of the high humidity levels involved. The moisture and salt in sea air presents a constant challenge to the marine industry and owners of boats. Interiors can be damaged during sandblasting, cargos can be harmed, and corrosion begins to affect vessels even during construction. Rusting, also known as blushing, “sweating” objects (as a result of condensation) and poor coating adhesion during application are some of the effects of moisture-laden air. For steel, corrosion sets in when the air that is in contact with the metal surface reaches a relative humidity (RH) of 50%.

Weather conditions are rarely such that marine equipment will stay adequately dry on its own. Given these challenges, dehumidification is a key concern in storing marine equipment. Effective humidity control saves the trouble and cost of replacing, maintaining or refurbishing components more than is absolutely necessary, ensuring that delays are minimized. Desiccant dehumidifiers are an efficient solution that will help keep surfaces clean and condensation-free, so that corrosion problems are minimized and electrical equipment is protected. They can also dry equipment much faster than it would otherwise.

In ships, many areas can benefit from dehumidification: cargo holds and tanks, engine rooms, pump rooms and living areas. For these purposes, a humidity level of about 40% RH and an air change once in five hours is recommended. The necessary rating of the dehumidifier can be gauged by dividing the volume of the space by 300, which will yield a rough estimate of the amount of air that needs to be moved per minute. To maintain existing conditions, the equipment will only need to run for a couple of hours per day, but an extended period of drying may be necessary to establish dry conditions initially.


Contact Us


Cape Town, South Africa (HQ)

3 Parin Road, Parow Industria, 7500, Western Cape

Johannesburg, South Africa

4 Chilworth Road, Founders View North, Modderfontein, Edenvale, 1645, Gauteng


Cape Town, South Africa (HQ)

T +27 (0)21 931 8331
F +27 (0)21 931 3165

Johannesburg, South Africa

T +27 (0)11 452 5830 / 5146
F +27 (0)11 452 5132


Cape Town, South Africa (HQ)

 Johannesburg, South Africa

Mailing address:

P.O. Box 1542, Parow, 7499, South Africa