Dry ice is carbon dioxide in solid form, it can be produced as pellets, blocks or slices of various sizes. At atmospheric pressure, the temperature of dry ice is -79c
Dry ice blasting is a revolutionary cleaning method in which dry ice pellets replace traditional cleaning methods like water, sand, soda and solvents. In contrast to these methods, dry ice leaves no secondary waste as the pellets of dry ice sublimate back into a gas leaving only the dislodged coating to be cleaned, which can usually be swept or vacuumed from the floor. The process is dry and non-conductive, it is therefore suitable for use on electronic equipment.
Dry ice pellets are accelerated in a jet of compressed air at the surface to be cleaned, the result forms three effects:
Kinetic: The energy from the dry ice pellets and volume of compressed air cause the surface contaminant to be cracked and loosened.
Thermal: Due to the low temperature of dry ice (-79c) the contaminant on the surface being cleaned becomes brittle, cracks and lifts as a result of the reduced bonding between the coating and the underlying surface, this allows the dry ice to permeate the coating.
Sublimation: When the dry ice penetrates the coating and hits a solid surface, the dry ice immediately sublimates (changes from a solid to a gaseous state) This results in a x700 fold increase in volume, a micro explosive effect then enables the dry ice to lift the coating from the surface being cleaned.
Dry Ice Pellets are what we use for dry ice blasting, they are 100% food grade carbon dioxide compressed into dense 3mm particles similar to grains of rice.
Dry ice blasting is a completely dry process, it is non-conductive, non-abrasive and completely non-toxic.
With dry ice blasting there is no secondary waste material. The only waste is from the contaminant being dislodged by the cleaning method. This enables dry ice blasting to be undertaken in environments where other methods would introduce unwanted media.
Dry ice blasting can be performed while machines are in operation, without the need to shut down or dismantle. This reduces costly machine downtime.
With dry ice blasting the coating will crack into small dry flakes that can be swept or vacuumed.
As the process is dry and non-abrasive, any material can be cleaned using dry ice blasting. Plastics, Glass and Metals can be cleaned without damage.
Machinery can often be cleaned with Dry Ice while it is running, without the need for dismantling and subsequent re-assembly. This is, of course great economic importance as costly downtime can be eliminated or at least reduced.
Costs connected with the disposal of the cleaning materials and solvents are eliminated.
Cleaning and maintenance costs will be reduced by substituting Dry Ice Blasting for traditional cleaning methods.
Often it is unnecessary to dismantle machinery or equipment that is to be cleaned by Dry Ice Blasting. This is because the process is completely dry and leaves no cleaning media or chemical residues.
Temperature changes in equipment being cleaned are generally small in comparison with changes during normal operation. The surface contaminant being cleaned absorbs the initial thermal change causing it to become brittle and begin to lift from the surface.
We use ambient temperature compressed air, which when mixed with the dry ice leaves the underlying surface at a temperature of 2 Degrees Celsius.
This actually helps Dry Ice Blasting become more effective as the warm surface gives a greater temperature variation between the dry ice and the contaminant being blasted off, known as thermal shock.
In many cases it will be possible to clean equipment without shutting it down. In other cases, it will be possible to at least reduce the duration of shutdowns for cleaning purposes, due to dry ice being non-conductive, completely dry allowing equipment to be turned back on instantly after dry ice has been completed.
Unlike some other companies, our Dry Ice Blast machines combined with our large range of nozzles can be changed to suit the material we are cleaning so that coatings can be removed without causing damage to the underlying surface itself. This means that Dry Ice Blasting can also be used on easily damaged materials like Nickel, Chromium and soft Aluminium. This process is safe for sensitive electronics and electrical components.
In the vast majority of cases, Dry Ice Blasting is overall considerably faster than typical cleaning methods.
Advantages can be gained from replacing traditional methods such as sand blasting, high pressure water blasting and manual cleaning (which often requires considerable resources and the use of hazardous chemicals) with Dry Ice Blasting. Our process is also extremely environmentally friendly.
Due to the nature of Dry Ice Blasting being a clean and dry process, it can be used with many advantages over typical cleaning methods. Dry Ice Blasting opens up the possibility to clean things that have been not previously been able to be cleaned.
The speed at which dry ice cleaning can be performed is highly dependent on the type of coating being removed, the nature of the underlying surface material and the temperature of the object being cleaned. To evaluate these factors, tests should be carried out where possible.
Condensation will normally not occur when cleaning warm surfaces, as the temperature of the surface will remain above the dew point. In colder climates, particularly when cleaning stainless steel this can cause condensation.
Dry Ice Blasting is absolutely ideal for the food industry, as the process does not involve the use of water or chemicals. The -79c temperature of the dry ice helps reduce bacteria.
The various applications of Dry Ice Blasting in the food industry clearly illustrate just how versatile our system is. The process is used to remove baked on food deposits from ovens and to clean mixers and moulds.
It can also be used to remove paper and glue from packaging machinery.
Dry Ice Blasting can be used on plastic and metal surfaces irrespective of whether the object is hot or cold.
Dry Ice Blasting can be used to clean dirt, soot and carbon from electronics without making them wet or using chemicals. We can clean electrical switchboards and components while still live.
The Pharmaceutical industry sets very high hygiene standards. Dry Ice Blasting is therefore the ideal cleaning method. It is a clean and dry process that effectively and quickly removes coatings and deposits from moulds, conveyors, containers, mixers and other production equipment.
Steam and water-based cleaning methods can produce health risks. Firstly, steam can provide a breeding ground for bacteria and other micro-organisms. Dry Ice Blasting is a dry process that eliminated this problem.
Cleaning with water and steam can also cause problems when cleaning around electronics.
Due to dry ice vaporising on contact with the surface being cleaned, there is no secondary waste material, Dry Ice Blasting is also non-abrasive, therefore moulds used in production cannot be damaged.
Dry Ice is completely non-toxic and environmentally friendly. Dry Ice is made from recycled Carbon Dioxide which is a by-product of various other industries.
In contrast to typical cleaning methods that use chemical or water, there is no emission of polluted waste to the environment. The dislodged coating can be swept or vacuumed up then disposed of as appropriate.
Dry Ice Blasting produces no toxic fumes from solvents or other chemicals during cleaning.