Dry Ice Blasting: Effective Preparation for Industrial Surfaces
By Painters USA Team
— Last updated December 04, 2022
In a highly active industrial setting, it’s only a matter of time before your surfaces and equipment get filthy. Letting grease, chemical residue, and other materials build up can permanently damage these parts of your facility, impede your operations, and put the health and safety of your workers and customers at risk. So, regular maintenance is required, but when it comes to cleaning in sensitive or tightly controlled applications, standard industrial cleaning solutions won’t do. You need a method that’s powerful enough to do the job thoroughly but versatile enough to get it done safely and precisely.
Dry ice blasting may be the cleaning solution you’re looking for. Let’s explore this effective sanitizing method for industrial surfaces and its many benefits.
What is Dry Ice Blasting?
Dry ice blasting falls under the umbrella of abrasive blasting, a technique that pressurizes a stream of particles and blasts them toward a surface at high velocity. Abrasive blasting can be used to clean surfaces and/or smooth them out. Different materials may be used for blasting purposes, such as glass beads, baking soda, or sand. Naturally, dry ice blasting uses small particles of frozen carbon dioxide (also known as dry ice) to sanitize a surface. While dry ice blasting is considered a form of abrasive blasting, it is less rough and cleaner than, say, sandblasting, as the particles vaporize on impact.
As for how this technique works to clean surfaces, the extreme pressure and cold temperature of dry ice blasting create a small shock wave as the particles reach their target. This sudden fluctuation in temperature and pressure helps loosen any stubborn paint or contaminants. You can think of dry ice blasting as a method of extreme sanding, except instead of sandpaper, the material is dry ice, and rather than rubbing a surface up and down, the friction comes from the highly compressed blast.
How We Perform Dry Ice Blasting
Abrasive blasting methods fall within our industrial cleaning offerings at Painters USA, including dry ice blasting. This cleaning method is especially useful and popular for food production facilities. Whenever performing dry ice blasting (or any other form of industrial cleaning), our first priority is keeping the project contained and protecting all nearby machinery and surfaces. So, to prepare, we hang coverings in doorways and openings around the work area, as well as over equipment, floors, sprinkler heads, and other objects that could get hit by mistake. Then, our trained team will methodically blast the surfaces in question until all unwanted materials have been safely removed from the surface.
The Benefits of Dry Ice Blasting
While dry ice blasting isn’t the only effective option for sanitizing surfaces and preparing them for new coatings, its many benefits have made it one of the best. First, dry ice blasting is, well, dry-- unlike high-powered pressure washing and other water-based cleaning methods. As such, this method can be used to safely clean sensitive electric equipment, and painters don’t have to wait as long to start applying new coatings after the blasting is complete.
Next, dry ice blasting is versatile, offering variable power settings to accommodate the strength or delicacy of a given surface and making it possible to clean complex machinery without taking it apart. Dry ice blasting is also highly effective at eliminating bacteria and other hazardous contaminants that may be found in food processing equipment. And, as mentioned earlier, dry ice blasting is clean, leaving no residue behind after the fact. The same can’t be said for sponge blasting or sandblasting.
If you’re looking for an effective, versatile, fast, and safe cleaning solution for your industrial surfaces, hire a contractor that offers dry ice blasting. Painters USA has helped maintain many facilities and their equipment using this efficient technique, and we’re happy to answer any questions regarding it.
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