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All about dry ice blast cleaning
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Dry Ice Blasting
Cleaning with dry
ice! This new development is quickly expanding around the world. One system
uses small rice size pellets of dry ice shooting them out of a jet nozzle
with compressed air. It works somewhat like sandblasting or high-pressure
water or steam blasting, with superior results. The frigid temperature of
the dry ice -109.3°F or -78.5°C "blasting" against the material to be
removed, causes it to shrink and lose adhesion from its sub surface.
Additionally when some of of dry ice penetrates through the material to be
removed, it comes in contact with the underlying surface. The warmer sub
surface causes the dry ice to convert back into carbon dioxide gas. The gas
has 800 times greater volume and expands behind the material speeding up its
removal. Paint, oil, grease, asphalt, tar, decals, soot, dirt, ink, resins,
and adhesives are some of the materials removed by this procedure. Only the
removed material must be disposed of, as the dry ice sublimes into the
This method is
superior to sandblasting because the dry ice is soft enough not to pit or
damage the underlying surface. The dry ice sublimes quickly into the air and
only the removed material must be cleaned up. Dry Ice blasting eliminates
equipment damage in two ways. First, dry ice does not erode or wear away the
targeted surface as traditional grit media and even wire brushes do. This
means that surface integrity and critical tolerances are preserved and
equipment will not have to be replaced due to surface erosion common with
sand, glass beads, and other abrasive media. Second, with traditional
cleaning methods, equipment is often damaged (bumped, dropped, etc.) while
in transit to or from the dedicated cleaning area. Instead most equipment
and machinery can be cleaned while in place.
Replaces Steam or Water Blasting
(for more information on water jetting please visit
Dry ice blasting is also an improvement over steam and water blasting for
1) Electrical parts and generators can be immediately put back into service
used without waiting to dry.
2) Radioactive contaminate removal doesn't require large storage containers
for contaminated water.
3) Mildew and mold removal are far more complete with less chance of
regeneration because of water vapor or moisture.
4) Dry ice blasting removes more algae, sea slime, and mussels on boat
hulls, than water blasting, which allows the organic matter to reattach
Replaces Environmentally Damaging Solvents
Finally Dry Ice blasting is used in place of many environmentally damaging
solvents. These chemicals include trichlorethane, methylene chloride,
perchlorethane, orthodichlorobenzene, cresylic acid, and caustic solutions.
Since dry ice evaporates completely as a gas it leaves no wastes. Only the
material being removed must be disposed of. When dry ice cleaning replaces
hazardous chemical cleaners the disposal cost of that chemical is
eliminated. Tinker Air Force Base has reported it eliminated hazardous waste
disposal associated with 17,000 gallons of chemicals they no longer need to
use each year because of dry ice cleaning.
(1) The loud noise produced requires protective ear equipment and may cause
irritation to other people nearby although newer machines are much quieter.
(2) Effective cleaning can only occur in a straight line of sight from the
Dry Ice jet nozzle. Sometimes parts can be dissembled to help.
(3) Large amounts of carbon dioxide are released which can be harmful if not
ventilated out of the space.
Adhesives are easily removed in comparison to alternative methods as the
lowered temperature serves to weaken the adhesive bond. Many companies are
blast cleaning old labels off containers that are being re-used. Abrasive
methods often generate heat and can therefore fail with some adhesive
cleaning is extremely effective in removing toxic residues, soot,
and associated smells after a fire. Independent dry ice blasters
often work with major insurance companies over a large geographic
area to quickly clean fire and smoke damaged locations.
Food manufacturing and processing equipment use
Build up of
surface contaminants such as oils, grease, proteins, packaging
glue and more, that prevents equipment from operating at peak
efficiency and in a sanitary and compliant condition.
Unfortunately, traditional manual cleaning methods are
time-consuming, not fully effective, require disassembly, and
often involve significant amounts of water, chemicals, and
resulting waste water costs. "Dry ice cleaning offers a superior
cleaning process that can reduce cleaning time by up to 80%,
depending on the application, and eliminate secondary waste,
resulting in a significant deduction in overall cleaning costs"
according to industrial leader
Dry ice blast cleaning can be effectively used on food contact
surfaces, adjoining equipment, support equipment (such as
forklifts), and on reducing built-up dirt and loose paint chips in
your facility itself. It is effective in confined spaces, such as
storage bins, silos, tanks, and other hard to reach areas that
must be kept clean and dry.
Dry Ice cleaning of the surface of products will remove mold,
mildew and other fungi, as well as stopping odors at the source by
eliminating unwanted organisms. Dry Ice cleaning is 100%
ecologically safe, USDA rated, biodegradable and harmless to
humans, animals and marine life.
Additional Places Dry Ice Cleaning Has Been Used
Electronic/electrical control panels
Cable trays Motors/Stators
Printed Circuit Boards
Hospitals Nursing Homes
Graffiti Decal Removal
Packaging Areas and Equipment
Oil Field Equipment