What is dry ice blasting?
Dry ice blasting is non-abrasive blasting, as the process uses dry ice pellets which sublimate upon impact into CO2, a harmless gas that dissipates into the atmosphere. No specialized ventilation or breathing equipment is required, and the biggest precaution is the extreme cold temperatures (-109.3° F/-78.5°C) of dry ice pellets.
The only real requirement to operate the necessary dry ice blasting equipment is a consistent voltage supply, which may necessitate a direct connection to a standard 120-volt electrical outlet. In some cases, an extension cord can be used, provided that it meets safety requirements for length and wire gauge.
Dry ice blasting is a relatively fast, safe, and efficient method. Any residual dirt and debris can be swept or vacuumed away for proper disposal. Greasy and oily areas can be pre-treated, though in most cases the contaminants get pushed to a specific area where they can be mopped up or absorbed by oil-absorbent material.
Pelletized dry ice is soft and transient, posing very low risk of collateral damage to surrounding areas. Yet it can be powerful enough to remove unwanted coatings like peeling paint or rust and other forms of corrosion.
How does dry ice blasting work?
Tiny particles of dry ice (which is frozen CO2) are blasted at a high pressure from a specialized compressor. Upon impact with the surface, the CO2 immediately vaporizes, creating a tiny shock wave that quickly cools the top layer of the surface. The rapid change in surface temperature creates thermal stress, which loosens and removes unwanted contaminants.
Minimal downtime, fast return to service
As much as we’d love to hang out with you, rest assured we’ll be out of your facilities asap. Our uptime is your downtime / slow time for scheduling that meets your needs. And detailed work plans, proven processes, large skilled crews, and diligent project management ensures on-time completion every time.
Benefits of dry ice blasting
- No water, no grit, no chemicals, so it can be used to clean sensitive or complex equipment.
- Non-conductive and non-flammable to reduce fire and explosion risks.
- Non-toxic and less dangerous overall to worker health and safety.
- Non-abrasive and non-destructive to safely clean with no etching, delamination, or other surface damage.
- Less clean-up and no drying time like other abrasive blasting methods.
- Environmentally responsible as no media is left behind to flow into sewer systems, waterways, or soil.
- Food industry safe with USDA and FDA approval.
- Reduced maintenance downtime and lost production time.
How and where is dry ice blasting used?
Dry ice blasting can be used for many different industrial and commercial cleaning and surface preparation needs. Because it is non-abrasive and non-destructive, it's a good choice for sensitive equipment and surfaces.
Applications for dry ice blasting include:
- Food and beverage processing tables, conveyors, ovens, packaging and other equipment.
- Heat exchangers.
- Molds of all kinds.
- Milling and tooling.
- Semi-solid casting and forging.
- Aircraft and automotive components.
- Generators, compressors, engines and compartments.
- Pipes, hoses, and fittings.
- Turbines and turbine shafts.
- Solar energy and hydroelectric power structures.
- Complex robotics, hydraulics, and electronics.
- Historical buildings and artifacts.
The power of the spray can be adjusted to safely clean the most delicate surfaces on one hand, or to remove stubbornly resilient contaminants on the other. Dry ice blasting can also be used to clean complex machinery without disassembly, another cost- and time-saving feature.
Remember Painters USA for dry ice and other blasting methods
As paint and coating experts, Painters USA is also an expert in surface preparation and industrial cleaning methods like dry ice blasting. Our safety record is exemplary, and no matter what the project entails, we get in and out as soon as possible, leaving no trace behind except for enhanced facilities.