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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.
Dry ice cleaning is a dry process that is non-abrasive and non-conductive which means it will not damage equipment and is a safe and clean option for most all surfaces, including electrical components.
Yes, dry ice blasting can effectively remove graffiti from surfaces such as concrete and brick and other surfaces by dissolving the paint. This leaves minimal cleanup as the dry ice evaporates as it reaches room temperature leaving only paint chips to be swept up and disposed of.
The duration of a dry ice blasting project depends on the size and complexity of the surface to be cleaned. However, most projects can be completed within a day or two.
Most dirt and dry debris will fall to the floor where it can be swept or vacuumed up and disposed of. The dry ice blast-cleaning process doesn't rely on chemicals or harsh cleaning solvents to remove the grime. 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.
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.
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.
In addition to being faster and cleaner than traditional sandblasting; using dry ice blasting instead of sandblasting has several benefits including:
These benefits make dry ice blasting an attractive option for decision-makers who need to get the job done quickly and efficiently but don’t want to sacrifice quality in the process.
Dry ice blast cleaning is a safe and effective cleaning process commonly used in industrial, commercial, and even certain residential environments (mold removal, fire restoration etc…).
Pelletized dry ice is a non-toxic, non-abrasive media that changes into a harmless gas (CO2) which then dissipates into the atmosphere. Dry ice simply evaporates and ‘disappears’ as it reaches room temperature, leaving no residue or trace of debris. It simply vanishes!
The concentration of CO2 produced during the dry ice sublimation process is minimal and requires no ventilators or specialized breathing equipment at all. No special precautions are necessary, other than being aware of the extremely cold (-109.3° F/-78.5°C) temperatures of dry ice pellets.
Additionally, because of the ‘softness’ and transient nature of the pelletized dry ice, there is very little danger of collateral damage to any surrounding structures during the cleaning process.
When properly performed, dry ice blasting is safe for the cleaning technicians, employees, and any bystanders wearing proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) willing to follow simple, common sense safety precautions.
Dry ice should always be handled with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) including goggles or face shield, and loose-fitting thermally-insulated gloves. Never handle dry ice with bare hands. Work should always be done in well ventilated areas.