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History of Tramex

Our heritage in moisture detection innovation began with our foundation in 1974. Inspired by our experience and knowledge of building moisture inspection, and working closely with one of the world’s leading research-intensive universities, Trinity College Dublin, Tramex invented, patented and developed the first ever non-destructive moisture meter.

Since then Tramex has been at the cutting edge in innovation in moisture detection, developing non-destructive and in-situ moisture meters, hygrometers, data loggers and remote monitoring systems for specific building materials, climatic conditions within the entire building envelope, focusing on numerous industries including flooring, water damage restoration, roofing, building and home inspection, pest control, as well as the marine industry.

As Andrew Rynhart, Head of R&D and son of inventor and Tramex founder Alan Rynhart, says, ‘Research and development is essential to Tramex. We have a very good team working on R&D, including a rocket scientist. We like to include everyone at Tramex in this process, especially our customers who offer us the best direction possible.’

Tramex’s original non-destructive moisture meter, invented and patented in 1979, featured on the former British BBC television series about contemporary developments in science and technology, ‘Tomorrow’s World’.

This was the Tramex Dec Scanner, designed for non-destructive moisture detection in flat roofing systems. Until then, the only way to test flat roofing systems for moisture without taking multiple destructive samples, was to use a nuclear or radioactive method which required an operator’s license from the Atomic Energy Commission, the evacuation of the building during testing, and included stringent regulatory requirements including special storage when not in use, and restrictive transportation rules. In addition to that, the actual testing was extremely slow.

Tramex’s non-destructive testing method innovation was revolutionary, being safe, easy to operate, economical, instant and exceptionally reliable.

Rapidly following on from the Dec Scanner for flat roofing came further innovative products for moisture detection specifically designed for flooring and building inspection, including moisture meters calibrated for quantitative moisture measurement in materials such as wood and concrete.

The Tramex Moisture Mouse was designed in the early 1980s for pinless, non-destructive moisture detection in and behind multiple building materials such as drywall, plaster, ties, brick and masonry. The Moisture Mouse has since evolved into what is probably the world’s most popular and most used moisture meter, the Moisture Encounter 5, ME5, complete with Wood % Moisture Content measurement, Bluetooth connectivity to the Tramex Meters App for geo-tagged moisture mapping, and a dual-depth feature for comparing the moisture conditions of a floor or wall covering with the moisture condition of the substrate behind those coverings.

The Tramex Concrete Moisture Encounters were once again a ‘world’s first’. The mid-1980s saw the first handheld, non-destructive, quantitative moisture meters specifically designed by Tramex to measure the % moisture content of concrete and cementitious materials using gravimetric testing as a baseline. And once again, Tramex’s innovation revolutionised an industry. Flooring installers and inspectors, as well as water damage restoration professionals, could now instantly and quantitatively measure the moisture content of concrete floors and slabs. Andrew Rynhart says: ‘Our flooring moisture meters are not generic meters, they are made specifically for the flooring industry, and as always, we do our best to understand the needs of the industry we are serving.’

Tramex non-destructive meters detect and evaluate the moisture conditions within materials by non-destructively measuring the electrical impedance of those materials. A low frequency electronic signal is transmitted into the material via the electrodes in the base of the instrument. The strength of this signal varies in proportion to the amount of moisture present in the material. Tramex meters determine the strength of the current and convert this to a quantitative moisture content percentage or an equivalent comparative value.

Although the analogue Moisture Encounters remained a favourite moisture meter among floor installers and restorers, the digital versions of the Tramex moisture meters, first developed in the early 1990s, allowed for the added benefits of the hygrometer mode for relative humidity, temperature, dew-point and humidity ratio measurements, as well as a plug in pin-probe for measuring moisture content in woods.

The latest versions of the Tramex Moisture Encounters released in 2020 – the 5 series – are all equipped with Bluetooth connectivity to allow for moisture mapping, monitoring, recording and reporting through the Tramex Meters app.

Working with industries including flooring, water damage and restoration, roofing, surveying, pest control and building, the level of expertise is specialist, and customers rely on Tramex Meters to ensure they not only purchase the right instrument but that it can withstand the test of time. Andrew Rynhart says: ‘We don’t just sell moisture meters, we offer solutions and service, and as a result, many tradespeople who do choose Tramex Meters feel that they have chosen wisely, and we are very grateful for their support. We often get instruments back for service which are more than 20 years old and they are still working well.’

At Tramex we are the authentic moisture meter company. For over 45 years we have continuously pioneered and originated clear and easy to use moisture meters that provide relevant and consistent results. We pride ourselves in empowering professionals with a dependable piece of kit that simply never quits. We are committed to looking after everyone who purchases a meter from the wide Tramex range with great after sales care and support, leaving our customers convinced they have the finest moisture meter on the market.
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