A form of CO2 cleaning where its solid form (dry ice) gets accelerated at a pressurized air stream and then directed on any surface for cleaning is what this is all about!
The dry ice blasting process cleans surfaces with a media accelerated in a compressed air stream, like plastic bead blasting, sandblasting, or soda blasting. Dry-ice blasting employs dry ice as the blasting medium. The process is nonflammable, nonconductive, and non-abrasive.
One can do cleaning effectively with this process. The FDA, EPA, and USDA approve of using dry ice as a medium because it is manufactured from recycled CO2 from other industrial operations. Employee exposure to chemical cleaning agents is also decreased or eliminated.
This process does not produce chemical residues or secondary waste compared to other media blasting techniques. Cleaning up a blasting media is not necessary when using dry ice. The waste products can be vacuumed, swept up, or washed away based on the containment.
Dry-ice blasting propels pellets at high speeds. The dry ice pellets are softer and less dense than other media (i.e., plastic or sand pellets). The particle sublimates instantly upon impact, imparting little kinetic energy and minor abrasion to the surface. Removing a large amount of heat from the surface during sublimation causes thermal shock and shear strains.
As the top layer of dirt or contamination may transfer more heat than the underlying substrate and peel off more readily, this may aid cleaning. The substrate and contamination’s thermal conductivity impacts the process’s efficacy and efficiency. Additionally, the quick transition from a solid to a gas generates minuscule shock waves believed to help remove the contamination.
Advantages of Dry Ice Blasting
Unlike traditional blasting techniques that use glass beads or sand, the cleaned surfaces are not harmed or changed. For instance, gravity dies closure surfaces are not rounded, preventing burning from happening.
There is no need to disassemble anything because the system/molds can use the procedure. This method allows for the natural cleaning of hot gravity dies with no discernible cooling effect, allowing for the fast restart of production after cleaning.
No residues from blasting material:
No abrasive residues are left behind after washing because the dry ice pellets evaporate as soon as they make contact with the surface.
Blasting with dry ice is used in a wide range of industries. Dry ice’s unique qualities make it the perfect cleaning solution in many industrial and commercial environments.
Cleaning rubber and plastic molds is a practical use for dry-ice blasting since it can efficiently clean several items simultaneously with various complex geometries. Dry ice replaces traditional cleaning techniques that rely on labor-intensive physical scrubbing and the application of chemical cleaners. Dry-ice blasting can clean the molds while still in use and at operational temperature, negating the need to halt production.
Equipment used in the food processing sector can be cleaned by dry-ice blasting. Additionally, it can be used to clean some machinery without requiring disassembly or creating fire or electrical risks. In place of numerous solvent-based cleaning methods, the EPA suggests dry-ice blasting.
Remediation of disaster:
Mold, fire, smoke, and water damage can all be remedied following a disaster using the cleaning method.
Preservation of historical objects:
Dry-ice blasting is employed in historic preservation and conservation projects because of the non-abrasive properties of dry ice and the lack of secondary waste from the cleaning procedure.
Fabrication of semiconductors:
The manufacturing of semiconductors, aircraft, and medical devices uses dry-ice blasting since the blast media sublimates entirely without leaving any trace.
The cleaning procedure is also applied to other manufacturing environments, including the production equipment cleaning on composite tooling, automated weld lines, molds, industrial printing presses, and equipment used in foundries and tooling in offshore and onshore environments in the gas and oil industry.
This modern cleaning technique has gained popularity across numerous sectors. In this technology, dry ice particles are accelerated using compressed air. Because no water or toxic chemicals are used, it is superior in many applications to traditional cleaning techniques (such as hydroblasting, sandblasting, and employing solvents), enables sustainable cleaning, and supports the Cleaner Production idea.