Dry Ice Blasting with Cold Jet
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INDUSTRIES

DRY ICE BLASTING IN THE PLASTICS INDUSTRY

Dry Ice Blasting of Plastics Mold Press

Clean Molds are imperative!

The importance of clean mold cavities for HDPE, PET, PEN, PP, PU or molders of one of the many other plastic product formulas is a major concern in maintaining today's high quality standards. The build-up of unwanted surface residues from either the product mix itself, mold releases or the labeling process can create various problems, ranging from product release ("knock out") to inferior product quality and possible damage to tools from over-packing and straining. In addition to maintaining the cleanliness of the molds, the Cold Jet dry ice blasting process also reduces and in many cases eliminates the need to disassemble the molds from the press as is needed for grit blasting.

Problems associated with conventional cleaning methods

  • Production shutdown to allow for mold cooling
  • Mold removal (Unbolt, disconnect and remove molds from press)
  • Pickup and transport of molds to blasting site
  • Mold cleaning with grit blasting that erodes molds
  • Inspection of molds for grit remaining in vents and for wear on mold surfaces
  • Installation, alignment and reconnection of the molds
  • Reheating of the molds to correct temperature
  • Running of trial samples to assure compliance with product quality standards

Removal and reinstallation of molds can also cause mold cavity damage, resulting in costly repairs and longer production downtime.

Cost Effective Cold Jet Dry Ice Blast Cleaning

- High Density Polyethylene bottle industry
By using the Cold Jet dry ice blasting process, HDPE bottle mold cavities can now be cleaned in the wheel of the press. All the hassles associated with mold removal are now eliminated. Cold Jet dry ice blasting removes the waxy, paraffin build-up that can lead to blemishes (orange peel effect) on the bottles while the molds are hot and on-line. The use of solvents is greatly reduced and the time spent grit blasting is nearly eliminated. One Customer saw an increase of three production days (at $5,000 worth of bottle production per day) per line per year at his facility. Eight lines were being cleaned and the extra 24 days of production time resulted in an increased throughput of $120,000 worth of product. Labor savings due to reduced clean up time were in excess of $20,000. All this was accomplished using the Venturi Dry Ice Blasting System. The revenue increase represents a fourteen hundred percent return on investment to this Cold Jet customer.

- Polyurethane Molded Product for Automotive Applications
The manufacturing of a polyurethane foam product used in sound dampening for autos and vans leaves the manufacturer with molds coated with an isocyanate/wax mold release. Mold release build-up eventually causes "knock out" problems, and, in extreme cases, the wax release agent becomes encased in the polyurethane foam product, making the product unusable. Due to the delicate nature of the molds, sand blasting is undesirable as it abrades the entire mold cavity surface. An alternative method of cleaning is hand scraping. However, scraping is labor intensive and it requires some 5 to 6 cleaning hours per mold. By using the Cold Jet dry ice blasting system, molds are cleaned in only 15 to 20 minutes and the cavities are more thoroughly cleaned. One particular customer has 20 molds to clean and the entire job can now be completed in 5 to 6 hours. Bottom line: twenty times as many molds are cleaned with dry ice blasting versus conventional methods. Production up time is increased by 100 to 120 hours and maintenance crews are now free to attend to other duties.

BLOW MOLDING

Cold Jet has a series of 45 and 90-degree micro nozzles, which, combined with our Radial Feed Series dry ice blasting units (Cold Jet AeRO 75-DX and Cold Jet AeRO 75), clean entire blow and injection mold cavities completely and effectively.

The thorough on-line clean provided by the nozzles, which were specially designed for the bottling industry, has virtually eliminated clouding in PET bottle ribbings and the "orange peel" defects that occur in HDPE bottles when molds are not free of residue.

"With the growing trend towards hot fill bottling, clearing pre-form tooling quickly is becoming more critical", says the plant engineer of North America's largest HDPE and PET bottle manufacturers. The special PET compound used to withstand the hot temperature fouls easily and molds must be cleaned daily. Cold Jet dry ice blasting is ideal because the molds can be blast cleaned hot and in place, and the blasting units are portable and easy to use.

Many of the leading blow molding bottle manufacturers have discovered that dry ice blasting systems cut their daily mold cleaning time by about 80% simply by cleaning molds hot and in place. Today, even the back 1/3 of the blow-mold surface and the entire deep-cavity injection molds used to make test-tube shaped slugs are cleaned by dry ice blasting whereas it used to have to be cleaned by hand.

Cold Jetting is also a great solution for many of your general maintenance needs.

  • Clean conveyors without damaging pneumatic devices, bearings or electrical equipment.
  • Remove glue and inkjet overspray from packaging equipment.
  • Clean excess grease and dust from machinery.

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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