Dry Ice Blasting with Cold Jet
[Web Information Archive - circa 2004]




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Dry Ice Blasting for General Maintenance

Plant and Equipment:
Cold Jet dry ice blasting is capable of cleaning, without damage, most industrial equipment, machinery, machine tools, curing presses, and assembly line equipment.

Cold Jet dry ice blasting can also clean on and around hydraulic power units, and it can be used to clean electrical power, control and distribution components without a thought, whereas high-pressure water blasting is known to cause significant start up and downtime problems.

Painted equipment may be dry ice blasted - without removing the paint - for aesthetics, ease of maintenance, and to decrease its operating temperature, which in turn can reduce downtime. Or, the same factory painted equipment can be cleaned without paint removal in preparation for repainting.

Production Fixtures
Extruders: (Screws) Often used to assist in mixing or to create pressure behind dies. Dry ice blasting application difficulty depends on the material being extruded, but the potential of cleaning on-line and without chemicals makes it attractive to manufacturers.

Misc. tooling: There are many names and types of production fixtures, but virtually any item that is part of a production process and is difficult to clean on-line or during production hours by traditional means may be an excellent Cold Jet dry ice blasting application. Examples would be:

  • Conveyor Components - Mixers
  • Hoppers - Oven Bands
Part Carrying Fixtures (paint hooks): a thick (1/4" to 3/4" - 0.64cm to 1.9cm) coating often forms from layers of overspray. (This combination allows differing coefficients of expansion to play a significant role in the removal process.)

Generally speaking, the larger the device the better, since it is more difficult to remove from the line and/or the plant to be cleaned by less expensive means. Also, a paint hook may have critical areas, such as electrostatic ground contact or product contact areas, which, if cleaned often, will provide significant quality and production benefits.

Adhesives: Adhesives are easily removed by dry ice blasting compared to alternative methods as the lowered temperature serves to weaken the adhesive bond. Abrasive methods often generate heat and can therefore fail with some adhesive removal.

Resins & polymers: Generally these are similar to adhesives as far as the results of Cold Jet dry ice blasting vs. alternative removal methods is concerned.

Oil, grease, petroleum: Cold Jet dry ice blasting readily removes viscous materials. There is, however, a potential for redeposition. Light oil on an accessible flat surface may be removed at up to 20 sq. ft. (1.86 m2) per minute while heavier "pure" grease may be limited to approximately 4 sq. ft. (0.37 m2) per minute. That being said, grease that is being removed from a surface is seldom "pure." Generally, it has been mixed with dust and production debris and further "cured' by friction and/or heat. Removal of this "impure" material may be in the range of 1 sq. ft. (0.09 m2) per minute.

Tar: Asphalt tar and related materials tend to contract and loose their bond quickly, particularly when on a smooth surface. In some cases tar maybe removed faster that grease. Examples:

  • Tar Bottoms, Asphalt Loading Racks, Asphalt Trucks
  • Removal from concrete and steel substrates up to 2" (5.1cm) thick.

Deflashing, deburring, etching, and "SOFT PARTS" cutting: Plastic parts requiring trimming may be trimmed with the Cold Jet dry ice blasting process, rather than with extensive handwork. 

Cold Jet dry ice blasting removes algae, sea slime, and mussels better than water blasting, as water blasting removes only 80%, allowing for the organic matter to reattach. Examples:

  • Ship Hulls
  • Sea Water Intake Valves
  • Engine Room, Mechanical and Electrical Equipment

Nuclear/Hazardous  waste
Hazardous waste reduction and disposal can be considered an industrial classification. Since dry ice sublimates, the volume of hazardous materials (and their related disposal cost) does not increase with dry ice blast cleaning as it does with grit blasting, water blasting, or chemical methods. This is particularly important to nuclear decontamination because the grit used to clean radioactive items becomes contaminated as well and is then much more expensive to dispose of.

When dry ice blast cleaning replaces hazardous chemical cleaners the disposal cost for those chemicals is eliminated. Furthermore, decontamination is often performed in a containment chamber, in which airborne contamination is collected by H.E.P.A. filters. Examples:

  • Asbestos
  • Dioxin
  • PCB Contamination
  • Heavy Metals
  • Removal of Radioactive Surface Contamination

Fire remediation
Cold Jet dry ice blasting is extremely effective in removing toxic residues, soot, and associated smells after a fire. Examples:

  • Smoke Damage
  • HVAC Systems - cleaning and decontaminating

To calculate your potential savings click here to access our calculator.
And for more specific and technical information see our technical papers.


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