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Dry Ice Blasting - What is it & What is it for?

Posted by Sam Caruso | Jan 11, 2019 10:41:00 AM

Untitled design (12)Do you have an industrial blasting job that needs to be done, but not sure exactly of what kind of media blasting would be best to use? Many times an owner or manager does not have the time within their schedule to take the needed parts off-site for blasting. If this sounds familiar, then there is an excellent solution for your blasting needs.

Industrial painters know that dry ice blasting is a fantastic option when it comes to preparing your surface, so lets first go through what it is and why it can be so useful for your industrial needs.


What is Dry Ice Blasting?

The definition of dry ice blasting according to Corrosionpedia is as follows:
"a form of abrasive blasting, where dry (the solid form of carbon dioxide) is accelerated in a pressurized air stream and directed at a surface in order to clean it.”

With dry ice being made from carbon dioxide, it is entirely environmentally sustainable and considered a non-damaging cleaning method. Since it is ecologically friendly, you will be able to use it in 'green' areas, which can be a huge plus.

Since dry ice maintains a temperature of minus seventy-eight degrees, it causes the substrate's covered surface to shrink, making it easier for removal. Once the dry ice hits the substrate, it evaporates - so you will not have to worry about having extra time for cleaning up of both the blasting and the contaminate, as there would be with most other media blasting.

Dry Ice Blasting Benefits

Industrial painters know there are many benefits to the use of dry ice blasting. These benefits include:

  • Dry ice blasting machines can be used on-site
  • Costs can be much lower due to on-site blasting
  • There is no need for taking the substrate apart before blasting in many cases
  • It is non-abrasive
  • Only eliminated waste products need to be cleaned
  • No other mixture is required with the dry ice
  • Able to use on many types of surfaces
  • Can be used within the food industry
  • Can be used on wires
  • Can extend the life of your substrate
  • Can help reduce possible bacteria growth when compared to water blasting
  • More time efficient
  • Less downtime required
  • Meets EPA, FDA and the USDA guidelines
  • Not harmful to workers (with proper ventilation)

 

What you can use ice blasting for

The many places that dry ice blasting can be used include:

Within the Food Industry – This includes use on such things as machines, ovens, conveyor belts, processors, walls, floors, tanks, and packaging just to name a few.

For Industrial Cleaning Purposes – The wide range of uses includes blades, equipment, ducts, conveyor belts, machines, tanks, transportation equipment, ships, decontamination, parts, and vehicle restoration.

There are many other uses for dry ice blasting - the opportunities can seem endless.

Contamination Elimination Types

Ice blasting can eliminate many harmful substances. These substances include:

  • Chemical evaporation
  • Coatings
  • Dirt
  • Dyes
  • Fat & Oil
  • Glue
  • Grease
  • Inks
  • Paints
  • Rubber
  • Rust
  • Toxic Buildups
  • Various Deposits
  • Various Dust
  • Various Residues
  • Varnishes
  • Waxes

Outcomes

It should be noted the outcome  of cry ice blasting your substrate can fluctuate due to varied reasons, such as:

  • The type of substrate
  • The temperature of the substrate
  • How coarse the substrates exterior
  • The amount of pressure that is used to blast the substrate
  • The shape of the nozzle that is used to spray the dry ice with
  • The makeup of the contamination on the substrate

Negative Aspects

You might wonder if there are any negative aspects of using dry ice blasting. There are only a few and they can be very minor as long as you prepare your project properly. They are:

  • Ear equipment should be used, due to the noise levels
  • There needs to be adequate ventilation within the area that is being worked within
  • The blast can only be done within a straight line of sight

As you can see, there are a large number of reasons why you should strongly consider dry ice blasting. There are minimal disadvantages, but just like any other major industrial or commercial project, all aspects must be considered and planned for in advanced by a trained professional. 

If you are still unsure if it is what you need or want, you can contact an industrial painter with experience in this type of surface preparation. Many should be more than happy to go over the different types of media blasting that can be done and find the right method that fits your needs.

 

Topics: Industrial Projects, Commercial Painting

Written by Sam Caruso

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