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




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Dry Ice Blasting for Rubber Mold Presses

Clean molds are imperative!

At Cold Jet, we understand the importance that clean mold cavities, open sprues, and clear micro-vents mean to the quality of a rubber product. The buildup of fouling residue and mold release agents cause blemishes and unwanted flash to the final part. It also makes it more difficult to hold today's tolerances on parts, which can lead to increased scrap. Similarly, the molding process will not be under control until the part variance is reduced. The level of build-up in the mold becomes a major variable to the molding process.

Dirty molds affect not only quality but productivity also. The rubber parts will stick to the mold during removal, which increases cycle time, and in some cases, mold build-up can lead to overpacking, which in turn can cause internal strains to the tool.

Dry ice blasting is unlike conventional cleaning methods that are both time consuming and harmful to the mold and the environment. Traditional mold cleaning methods also increase down-time and limit productivity as follows:

  • Wait for mold to cool down
  • Remove mold from the press
  • Transport mold to the cleaning area
  • Clean mold with grit blast, bead blast or wire brushes
  • Remove particles from intricate cavities and grooves
  • Reinstall mold into press
  • Ensure correct alignment
  • Bring mold to correct temperature
  • Produce product
  • Dispose of contaminated waste

Removing and reinstalling the mold may lead to tool wear, as well as risk damage to the tool during out-of-press handling. In addition, grit blasting and wire brushes round corners, open tolerances and roughen the finish of the mold. The use of Cold Jet dry ice blasting eliminates these sources of mold and tool damage.

Cold Jet dry ice blast cleaning is cost effective
Experience has shown a drastic reduction in mold cleaning "press downtime" when the Cold Jet dry ice blasting process is used. The following are examples of productivity improvements for several rubber industries:

Tire Industry
Cold Jet's dry ice blasting answer to conventional cleaning methods results in an 87% reduction in downtime and a 300% reduction in cleaning costs. (see table below and Tire Industry for further details)

   Bead Cleaning  Cold Jet
 Cleaning location  Out of Press  In Press
 Cleaning labor time per mold  2.50 hours  0.33 hours
 Cleaning labor cost per mold (@ $25/hour)   $62.50  $ 8.25
 Cleaning operational cost per mold  $14.97   $10.50 
 Cost per mold cleaning  $77.47   $18.75 
 Average down-time per mold  8 hours   1 hour 

Footwear Industry
An application involving a 3-shuttle plate press resulted in a 91% reduction in downtime. Cold Jet's dry ice blasting process required 20 minutes per mold versus 240 minutes using conventional methods, which corresponds to a cost savings of over $200,000 per year.

Automotive Supply Industry
The Cold Jet dry ice blasting process reduced cleaning time of eleven 36" x 36" (91cm x 91cm) multi cavity plates from 44 hours to only 9.5 hours, a 78% downtime reduction.

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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