A popular, non-abrasive, and environmentally friendly cleaning method, dry ice cleaning is an effective way of removing contaminants from various surfaces without using water or chemicals.
But what exactly is it, how does it work, and is it suitable for all environments? This article explains all.
What Is Dry Ice Cleaning?
Also known as dry ice blasting or CO2 blasting, dry ice cleaning is a process that uses solid carbon dioxide pellets accelerated at high speeds to clean surfaces.
The pellets sit at around -78.5°C and are about the size of a grain of rice. A specialised dry ice blasting machine uses compressed air to blast the pellets through a hose at high speeds.
When the dry ice pellets collide with a surface, they convert from a solid into a gas. This phase change causes a rapid expansion of the CO2, creating micro-explosions that loosen and lift the contaminants from the surface. The dry ice will then immediately sublime (disperse into the atmosphere.).
What Is Dry Ice Cleaning Used For?
Dry ice replaces traditional cleaning methods that rely on chemical and laborious manual removal.
It is used in various industries, including food manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, medical, and pharmaceutical for the following:
- Rust removal
- Surface preparation
- Paint and graffiti removal
- Breaking down grease and lubricants
- Removing mould Printing presses
- Cleaning equipment, machinery, and parts without disassembling
The unique benefits of dry ice make it an ideal solution for cleaning in many commercial and industrial settings.
What Are The Benefits of Dry Ice Cleaning?
Dry ice cleaning is commonly used in various industries, including manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, and food processing. It offers several advantages:
- Environmentally Friendly: It doesn’t use chemicals or produce wastewater, making it an eco-friendly cleaning method.
- Non-Abrasive: Dry ice is gentle and doesn’t damage substrates, meaning it can be used on highly delicate components and surfaces.
- Efficient: It can reduce downtime since it doesn’t require drying time like traditional wet cleaning methods.
- Deep Cleaning: Dry ice can effectively clean difficult-to-reach areas that cannot be accessed using brushes or other traditional cleaning methods.
- Reduced Disassembly: In many cases, equipment can be cleaned in place without disassembly.
- Moisture-Free: Suitable for use on electrical equipment and components.
- No Secondary Waste: Unlike steam cleaning, dry ice blasting does not produce secondary waste streams.
- Non-Toxic: Dry ice is a food-grade media safe for commercial use.
Overall, dry ice blasting is an effective, safe, and quick cleaning method suitable for almost any industry.
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