Why should I use Dry Ice Blasting instead of Traditional Blasting Methods?

Dry ice blasting is a completely dry process.  Dry ice blasting is non-toxic, non-conductive and non-abrasive.  Dry ice vaporizes immediately on contact with treated surfaces.  This gives several advantages in comparison with traditional blasting methods.  With dry ice blasting there is no secondary waste material (sand, glass, plastic, etc.).  The only waste to be swept or vacuumed up is the coating dislodged by the treatment.  It is therefore possible to clean objects in which other blasting methods' residual blasting material would collect in every inaccessible corner.  Dry ice blasting allows cleaning to be performed while machines are running, without the need for dismantling.  This is, of course, of great economic importance as costly downtime can be eliminated or drastically reduced.

What materials can withstand Dry Ice Blasting?

As the process is dry and non-abrasive, any material can be cleaned by dry ice blasting without ill effects.   For example, highly polished aluminum can be treated without the surface becoming matt.

What is Dry Ice?

Dry ice is carbon dioxide in solid form.  It can be produced as pellets or blocks of various sizes.  At atmospheric pressure, the temperature of dry ice is -79°C in solid form.

What is Dry Ice Blasting?

Dry ice blasting is a revolutionary blasting method in which dry ice pellets replace traditional blasting materials like sand, water, glass and plastic.  In contrast to sand blasting, etc., the process leaves no secondary waste material.  The only waste to be disposed of is the coating that has been dislodged, and this can normally be swept or vacuumed from the floor beneath the treated object.  The process is dry and non-conductive, and it is therefore suitable for use on electric motors and electrical circuitry.

What Industries can be served by Dry Ice Blasting?


What happens to the "blasted-off" coating?

1)  Dry coatings crack into small flakes that can be swept or vacuumed up after dry ice blasting.
2)  Moist coatings (e.g. oil or grease) are carried away in the compressed-air jet in a fashion similar to that seen with high-pressure hosing. The treated surface is left dry and clean.  


What are Pellets?

Pellets are carbon dioxide in solid form shaped into small particles about the size of grains of rice.

How quickly can various objects/materials be cleaned?

The speed at which cleaning can be performed is highly dependent on the type of coating, the nature of the underlying material, the temperature of the object to be treated, the air volume etc.  To evaluate these factors, tests must be carried out in the actual situation.

How does Dry Ice Blasting work?

Dry ice pellets are accelerated in a jet of compressed air and strike the coating to be removed at velocities up to the speed of sound. Cleaning results from three effects: 

Kinetic Effect:
When dry ice pellets strike a surface at the speed of sound, any coating on the surface is cracked and loosened. 

Thermal Effect:
The low temperature of dry ice pellets makes the coating brittle, cracks it and loosens it as a result of reduced bonding between the coating and the underlying surface. This allows dry ice to permeate the coating. 

Explosive Effect – Sublimation:
Dry ice penetrates the coating and immediately sublimes (passes directly from solid to vapor state). This results in a 700-fold increase in volume, an explosive effect that lifts the coating off the surface.

Does Dry Ice Blasting have economic benefits?

Machinery can often be cleaned with dry ice blasting while it is running, without the need for dismantling and subsequent re-assembly.  This is, of course, of great economic importance as costly downtime can be eliminated or drastically reduced.  Costs connected with the disposal of blasting material and solvents are eliminated.  Cleaning and maintenance payroll costs will often be reduced to a fraction of present levels by substituting dry ice blasting for traditional cleaning methods.  Dry ice blasting treats material surfaces very gently.

Does Dry Ice Blasting have any Environmental Consequences or Benefits?

Dry ice is completely non-toxic.  In contrast to cleaning methods that use water or high-pressure hosing, there is no emission of polluted water to the environment.  The dislodged coating can be swept or vacuumed up and disposed of as appropriate.  Dry ice blasting produces no toxic fumes from solvents and other chemicals during cleaning.

Does Dry Ice Blasting damage the underlying surface?

No.  Blasting pressure can be adjusted to suit the material to be treated so that coatings can be removed without damaging the underlying material itself.  This means that dry ice blasting can also be used on easily-damaged materials like nickel, chromium and soft aluminum.

Does Dry Ice Blasting cause condensation?

Condensation will normally not occur when cleaning warm surfaces, as the temperature of the surface will remain above the dew point.  To prevent condensation occurring in connection with intensive cleaning or when cleaning is performed in cold locations, the use of heat lamps, fan heaters or heated compressed air is recommended.

Do dry ice pellets rebound?

When they hit a surface, dry ice pellets change from solid to vapor form. Therefore, in general, they do not rebound. As a rule, removed material is carried away by the compressed-air jet. Safety goggles should however always be worn when dry ice blasting.