What Is Dry Ice Blast Cleaning?

It's a process in which dry ice pellets are accelerated in a jet of compressed air that strike the coating to be removed at velocities up to the speed of sound. It cleans without the side effects of applications like water jet cleaning, sand blasting or solvents. It is a revolutionary alternative to traditional methods of cleaning. This technology is being utilized in Oil Fields, Power Plants, Mines, and a wide variety of other industrial and manufacturing industries.

Kinetic Effect:
Pellets strike the surface at the speed of sound, coating is cracked and loosened.
Thermal Effect:
The temperature of the dry ice makes the coating brittle, cracking and loosening it as a reduced bonding between the coating and the surface.
Explosive Effect:
Dry ice penetrates the coating and instantly sublimes, resulting in a 700-fold increase in volume, an explosive effect that blows the coating off the surface.
 

What Are Dry Ice Pellets?

Dry ice is carbon dioxide in solid form. At atmospheric pressure, the temperature of dry ice is -78°C (-109.3 F). Pellets are carbon dioxide in solid form shaped into small particles about the size of grains of rice.

Dry Ice Blasting vs. Traditional Blasting Methods?

Dry ice blasting is a completely dry process. Dry ice blasting is non-toxic, non-conductive and non-abrasive. Dry ice vaporizes immediately on contact with treated surfaces. This gives several advantages in comparison with traditional blasting methods. With dry ice blasting there is no secondary waste material (sand, glass, plastic, etc.). The only waste to be swept or vacuumed up is the coating dislodged by the treatment. It is therefore possible to clean objects in which other blasting methods' residual blasting material would collect in every inaccessible corner.

Why Should I Choose Dry Ice Blasting Over Other Media?

Equipment/Machinery, in emergency cases, possibly can be cleaned with dry ice blasting while it is running, without the need for machinery down time. This alone can be of great economic importance as machine down time can be eliminated or drastically reduced.

. Blast Cleaning Comparison

Cleaning Technique 

Good On Most Surfaces 

 Media Waste for Disposal

Abrasive

Toxic

Electrically Conductive 

Performance
Dry Ice 

Yes 

No 

No 

No 

No 

Excellent 
Sand 

No 

Yes 

Yes 

No

No 

OK 
Glass Beads 

No 

Yes  

Yes

No 

No 

OK 
Powders 

No 

Yes 

No 

No 

No 

Limited 
Steam 

No 

Yes 

No 

No 

No 

Poor 
Solvents 

No

Yes 

No 

Yes 

Yes 

Limited 

These materials are toxic waste if used to clean hazardous objects, therefore requiring safe disposal.

Bulleted Benefits Of Using Dry Ice Blasting:

  • Environmentally safe.
  • Cost effective.
  • No media contamination.
  • No mud or sheets of ice from large amounts of water.
  • No chemical hazards or grit contamination.
  • Cleans in crevices that can't be reached by hand.
  • On machinery where heat is an integral part of the production; heat only improves the cleaning performance.
  • No need for extensive dismantling.
  • Downtime can be eliminated/drastically reduced.
  • Electrical parts and generators can be put back into service without waiting to dry.
  • Can be used for regularly scheduled preventive maintenance.
  • Non-abrasive to surfaces. Does not damage substrate.
  • Soft enough not to pit or damage the underlying surface.
  • Coatings can be removed without damaging the underlying material itself.
  • No damage to bearings or integral machinery parts.

Economic Benefits:

  • Non-toxic, non-conductive and non-abrasive.
  • Meets EPA, USDA, FDA standards .
  • Leaves no secondary waste material, with minimal clean up.
  • Dry coatings crack into small flakes and can be swept/vacuumed up.
  • Wet coatings are carried away in a method similar to hosing down a driveway.
  • Disposal costs of blast cleaning material and solvents are eliminated.

Does Dry Ice Blasting Have Thermal Effects On Treated Objects?

No. Temperature changes in machinery during dry ice blasting are generally small in comparison with changes occurring during normal operation.

Can Dry Ice Blasting Be Used To Clean Hot Machinery?

Yes. Faster and more effective cleaning can often be achieved when the object to be cleaned is hot.

Can I Minimize Downtime - Or Avoid It Entirely?

Yes. In emergency cases it could be possible to clean machinery without shutting it down. In other cases, it will be possible to reduce the duration of shutdowns for cleaning purposes, as cleaned surfaces remain dry.

Does Dry Ice Blasting Damage The Underlying Surface?

No. Blasting pressure can be adjusted to suit the material to be treated so that coatings can be removed without damaging the underlying material itself. This means that dry ice blasting can also be used on easily-damaged materials like nickel, chromium and soft aluminum.

Is Dry Ice Blasting As Effective As Traditional Cleaning Methods?

Yes. In the vast majority of cases, dry ice blasting far exceeds traditional cleaning methods.

Can Dry Ice Blasting Be Used In The Food Industry?

Yes. Dry ice blasting is ideal for the food industry, as the cleaning process does not involve the use of water or chemicals. The various applications of dry ice blasting in the food industry clearly illustrate just how versatile the system is. The process is used to remove baked-on food deposits from ovens and to clean mixers and molds. It can remove paper and adhesives from packaging machinery. Dry ice blasting can be used on plastic and metal surfaces irrespective of whether the object to be cleaned is hot or cold.

Can Dry Ice Blasting Be Used On Electronics?

Yes. Dry ice blasting can be used to clean dirt and soot from electronics without making them wet or using chemicals. Dry ice blasting can be used on units of up to 29 kW without disconnecting the power supply. Unexpected power failure and resulting production shutdown can be avoided by periodically cleaning electronic components.

Can Dry Ice Blasting Be Used On Packaging Machinery?

Yes. Dry ice blasting effectively removes adhesive residues and other dirt from packaging machinery. This improves package line flow considerably and can reduce the incidence of unexpected shutdown. Clean adhesive nozzles and chain drives can result in large savings in the purchase of spare parts.

Can Dry Ice Blasting Be Used In Printing?

Yes. Dry ice blasting is an effective means of removing wet and dry ink, powder, paper dust and adhesive residues. This keeps the number of unexpected shutdowns to a minimum, improves product quality and reduces maintenance time.

Can Dry Ice Blasting Be Used On Molds?

Yes. Dry ice blasting can beneficially be used to clean molds during production. This reduces downtime. Mold surfaces are not damaged, as the process is very gentle.

Can Dry Ice Blasting Be Used On Buildings?

Yes. Dry ice blasting can be used to remove soot and dirt from buildings and thus restore surfaces. The method is often used for factory buildings where it is crucial to recommence production as quickly as possible. Because dry ice vaporizes on contact with the building surface, dry ice blasting can be used to clean the insides of buildings without the need to move equipment, machinery or furnishings. Where traditional cleaning methods - involving the use of water and chemicals - are used, it is often necessary to dismantle and move equipment to protect it from damage.

If you have any further questions or concerns please feel free to call using one of the numbers below or email us using the "Contact Us" link to the left.

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