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What You Should Know About Dry Ice Blasting

Thursday, June 14th, 2018
dry ice blasting

One industrial cleaning technique that is gaining popularity around the world is dry ice blasting. This is a simple process that uses dry ice, and shaves it to smaller particles that are shot out of a jet nozzle onto a surface. Dry ice blasting can be compared to sandblasting, high-pressure water, or steam blasting, but has more favorable results as there is no extra residue left behind. If you are considering using the method to clean your equipment, it is important to know exactly how it works and why it is better than other methods. You should also know its benefits and downsides, as well as how to use dry ice safely.

How dry ice blasting works

This method of cleaning is effective because it uses a lower temperature (-109 degrees Fahrenheit) grade to remove dirt and other hazardous materials off surfaces. The key to its success is that dry ice penetrates through the waste, cools it, and removes it without damaging the underlying surface.

The warmer temperature of the surface area causes the dry ice to turn into carbon dioxide gas. The gas has greater volume and expands underneath the materials before removing it from the surface. The only task remaining is disposing of the waste, as the dry ice quickly sublimates into the atmosphere. This cleaning method works best to remove paint, oil, grease, decals, sea barnacles, soot, fire residue, and many adhesives.

Why dry ice is better than sandblasting

Experts have proclaimed that dry ice blasting is a more effective way to clean a work area than sandblasting. This is because the pellets are soft enough not to stain or damage the surface area. Upon impact, the pellets quickly sublimate into the air. Also, this type of blasting removes all threats that could damage the work equipment, as it will not erode the targeted surface area. Abrasive cleansers or wire brushes used in sandblasting could harm your equipment. Rarely does dry ice blasting damage any equipment during the cleaning process.

Why dry ice replaces steam or water blasting

Dry ice blasting offers several advantages over the use of steam or water blasting when cleaning several different surfaces. Most business have decided to use this method when cleaning all electrical machinery because it allows them to use the equipment almost immediately afterwards.

Cleaning with dry ice becomes far less complicated because it reduces the chances of water vapor or moisture causing mildew or mold growth over time. Blasting is ideal for cleaning algae, sea residues, and paint off the bottom of ships and boats.

Dry ice blasting is replacing environmentally-designed cleaners

Many companies have replaced “green” solvents with dry ice blasting because it will sublimates quickly into a gas rather than leave more waste to clean up. The only material that needs to be removed is the original waste itself. Often, using environmentally-designed solvents requires large storage containers to remove the used solvent and waste simultaneously from the location. With dry ice, you only need to dispose of the container carrying the material.

The drawbacks of using dry ice blasting

One of the biggest drawbacks with using dry ice blasting is the loud equipment noise. All workers will need to wear protective headphones to prevent any hearing damage. Too often, the protective gear is worn incorrectly and temporary hearing loss is suffered by workers nearby the blasting equipment. Sometimes, work equipment will need to be disassembled in order to be thoroughly cleaned. The carbon dioxide that is released during the dry ice blasting process could also be harmful if the space isn’t properly ventilated. Proper air pressure is also required, talk with a Coldjet associate to find out what your particular machine needs to run correctly.

The advantages of using dry ice blasting

Most recycling companies are using dry ice blasting to remove labels off containers because the lower temperatures weaken the adhesive bond. Another industry where this cleaning method has great success is land remediation because it removes toxic residue and soot after major fires. Insurance companies use this approach to clean up large geographical locations that have been destroyed by fires and other disasters.

Food manufacturers will use blasting to remove the buildup of surface contaminants such as oil, grease, and proteins from work equipment and cooking areas. Dry ice blasting also removes any threat of mold, mildew, and fungi growing in confined areas where food is being processed.

Dry ice safety precautions

Anyone who is operating blasting equipment should wear protective gear for their eyes and ears, as well as gloves. All equipment including hoses, blasting guns, nozzles, and the cleaning unit itself should be inspected before each use. When operating the unit, be sure to never aim it an any person in the area. Those who have pacemakers should not operate this machinery.

You should also be careful that any area you are cleaning is well-ventilated. When dry ice sublimates, it produces carbon dioxide (CO2), which is toxic to breathe. You should also never handle dry ice without gloves and other safety equipment, because it can create dangerous burns.

Looking for a reliable wholesale dry ice supplier near you?

Dry ice is a versatile product that can be used in a wide variety of commercial and industrial applications, especially Dry Ice Blasting. If you are looking for dry ice in large quantities, contact the experts at Reliant Dry Ice today. We’re passionate about providing high-quality and safe products for all of your needs. Call us at (714) 330-4281 or Contact Us by email to learn more About Us or our Products, Gel Packs, and how to use this material Safely.