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What is Dry Ice Blasting?

Dry ice blasting is similar to sand blasting, plastic bead blasting, or soda blasting where a medium is accelerated in a pressurized air stream to impact a surface to be cleaned or prepared. But that's where the similarity ends.

Instead of using hard abrasive media to grind on a surface (and damage it), dry ice blasting uses soft dry ice, accelerated at supersonic speeds, and creates mini-explosions on the surface to lift the undesirable item off the underlying substrate.

Dry Ice Blasting Has Many Unique And Superior Benefits Over Traditional Blasting Media.

Dry Ice Equipment - Air Detectives
  • Is A Non-Abrasive, Nonflammable And Nonconductive Cleaning Method
  • Is Environmentally-Friendly And Contains No Secondary Contaminants Such As Solvents Or Grit Media
  • Is Clean And Approved For Use In The Food Industry
  • Allows Most Items To Be Cleaned In Place Without Time-Consuming Disassembly
  • Can Be Used Without Damaging Active Electrical Or Mechanical
  • Parts Or Creating Fire Hazards
  • Can Be Used To Remove Production Residues, Release Agents, Contaminants, Paints, Oils And Biofilms
  • Can Be As Gentle As Dusting Smoke Damage From Books Or As Aggressive As Removing Weld Slag From Tooling
  • Can Be Used For Many General Cleaning Applications

Dry Ice dry ice blasting uses compressed air to accelerate frozen carbon dioxide (CO2) "dry ice" pellets to a high velocity. A compressed air supply of 80 PSI/50 S.C.F.M. can be used in this process. Dry ice pellets can be made on-site or supplied. Pellets are made from food grade carbon dioxide that has been specifically approved by the FDA, the EPA and the USDA.

Carbon dioxide is a non-poisonous, liquefied gas, which is both inexpensive and easily stored at work sites.

How Does CO2 Blasting Work?

CO2 blasting works because of three primary factors: pellet kinetic energy, thermal shock effect and thermal-kinetic effect. Dry Ice optimizes blast performance for each application by combining these forces and adjusting:

  • Compressed Air Pressure
  • Blast Nozzle Type (Velocity Distribution)
  • CO2 Pellet Size And Density
  • Pellet Mass Rate And Flux Density (Particles Per Unit Area Per Second)

Pellet Kinetic Energy

The Dry Ice process incorporates high velocity (supersonic) nozzles for surface preparation and coating removal applications. Since kinetic impact force is a product of the pellet mass and velocity over time, the Dry Ice delivery system achieves the greatest impact force possible from a solid CO2 pellet by propelling the pellets to the highest velocities attainable in the blasting industry.

Even at high impact velocities and direct head-on impact angles, the kinetic effect of solid CO2 pellets is minimal when compared to other media (grit, sand, PMB). This is due to the relative softness of a solid CO2, which is not as dense and hard, as other projectile media. Also, the pellet changes phase from a solid to a gas almost instantaneously upon impact, which effectively provides an almost nonexistent coefficient of restitution in the impact equation. Very little impact energy is transferred into the coating or substrate, so the Dry Ice blasting process is considered to be nonabrasive.

Read more about Dry Ice Blasting in our Crawlspace section.

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