8 Questions about Dry Ice Blast Cleaning
Looking to effectively clean surfaces without the hassles of water, chemicals, and secondary waste? Turn to the power of dry ice cleaning. Cleaning by dry ice blasting provides a nonabrasive, nonflammable, nonconductive, and nontoxic option — it’s the ideal cleaning solution for an incredibly broad range of projects. Ready to learn more? Here are the 8 most common questions about dry ice blast cleaning:
Q: WHAT IS DRY ICE BLASTING?
A: Dry ice blasting is an industrial cleaning method, most similar to sandblasting, power washing, bead blasting, or soda blasting. Dry ice blasting uses dry ice as the media which is accelerated via a pressurized air stream to impact and clean a surface.
Q: WHY WOULD I USE DRY ICE INSTEAD OF A TRADITIONAL BLAST MEDIA?
A: Dry ice blasting is dry, more effective, and less messy than other blast media methods. Unlike traditional blasting, dry ice blasting leaves no secondary waste behind since dry ice sublimates (vaporizes) upon impact with the surface. That means all you need to clean up is the contaminant you are removing, and you do not need to wait for the surface to dry. This is also ideal for cleaning complicated cavities where a traditional blast media will become trapped. In addition, dry ice blasting has a wide range of applications – it can be delicate enough to remove ink from an egg shell or tough enough to blast asphalt off a concrete paver.
Q: HOW DOES THE PROCESS WORK?
A: A dry ice blaster is connected to an aftercooler and compressor, which work together to blast the dry ice on the contaminated surface. Unlike other blast media, dry ice has a temperature of -109°F (-78.3°C). Because of the temperature difference between the dry ice and the surface being treated, thermal shock occurs, breaking the bond between two dissimilar materials.
Q: WHAT HAPPENS TO THE CONTAMINANT?
A: Dry contaminants will break up into small chips and can be swept up or vacuumed. If the particles are large enough, they will not become airborne. If the contaminant is wet, such as grease or oil, the dry ice blasting stream will move or push the liquid away much like a high-pressure water stream would, except that the surface where the contaminant was will be dry and clean. To prevent re-deposition, the operator should work in a methodical way, from the top down.
Q: DOES THE CONTAMINANT OR DRY ICE RICOCHET?
A: Upon impact, dry ice will sublimate to a gaseous state and therefore dry ice particles do not ricochet. The removed contaminant is usually washed away by the blast jet stream and does not come directly back into the blast gun vicinity; however, safety glasses must be worn at all times during the operation of the machine.
Q: WILL DRY ICE BLASTING DAMAGE THE SUBSTRATE?
A: No. Dry ice blasting will not damage the substrate when the appropriate pressure is used. The size of the dry ice pellets and their velocity can be optimized to remove the contaminant while remaining nonabrasive to the substrate.
To test this, we dry ice blasted ink pen off of a farm fresh egg. Watch the video here.
Q: I DON’T SEE MY INDUSTRY OR APPLICATION LISTED ON YOUR WEBSITE, IS THAT ALL YOU CAN CLEAN?
A: No, dry ice blasting is widely applicable in multiple industries. Our website lists the current industries we serve, but we are always looking for new opportunities. At Emory Industrial Services, we’re here to help customers get their toughest jobs done. If you have a custom application, we’d love to discuss how we could be a solution for you.
Q: WHERE CAN I SEE DRY ICE BLASTING IN ACTION?
A: Call Emory at 1-800-910-5835 or email email@example.com to schedule a demo. Know what you want blasted and aren’t sure if dry ice blasting will work? You can bring a sample with you right to our warehouse and we’ll test it on-site.
If your question wasn’t covered in our list of the 8 most common questions about dry ice blast cleaning – give us a call or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have.