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Moisture Content

Content of moisture in products like wood - wet and dry basis

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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 Wet Basis

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

MCw = mh2o / m

    mh2omh2o + 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)

Example - Moisture Content in Birch

The density of air-dried seasoned dry Birch is 705 kg/m3 with 20% (0.2) moisture content. The amount of water can be calculated as

mh2o = (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

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  • Engineering ToolBox, (2012). Moisture Content. [online] Available at: [Accessed Day Mo. Year].

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