Dry Ice is frozen carbon dioxide, a normal part of our earth’s atmosphere. It is the gas that we exhale during breathing and the gas that plants use in photosynthesis. It is also the same gas commonly added to water to make soda water. It gets its name due to the fact that it changes from a solid to a gas without going through a liquid state.
Dry Ice Cleaning evolved as a direct response to the need for cleaning airplanes and plane parts. The challenge was to develop a cleaning process that did not cause any profile to the metal and leave behind any blast media residue. CO2/Dry Ice Cleaning technology filled these requirements. 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. The gas has 800 times greater volume and expands behind the material speeding up its removal. Only the removed material must be disposed of, as the dry ice sublimates on impact.
Dry ice has numerous applications. It saves time in a majority of applications because equipment does not need to be power downed before it can be cleaned. With no additional waste cleanup time and cost are reduced dramatically compared to traditional methods. Since its FDA/USDA approved it is usable in almost types of production and manufacturing plants.
Some Common Applications for Dry Ice: