Dry ice blasting is a cleaning technique that is often similar to sand blasting, soda blasting or even bead blasting, where there are 3mm dry ice pellets accelerated in a pressurized air stream in order to impact the surface to be cleaned. Once it gets in contact with the surface that needs cleaning, it evaporates.
Sublimation is what this process is called and it is a very unique characteristic of dry ice, which also makes it perfect for cleaning a wide variety of industrial equipment in the form of electrical motors, generators, stators, electrical panels that are affected by fire or flash damage, as well as for the removal of welding splatter, mold, glue, ink, food, paint, grease, dirt, oil and many other contaminants.
How Does Dry Ice Blasting Work?
Unlike many other blast media, dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide (CO2) at a temperature of -78.5 °C. With dry ice blasting, 3mm dry ice pellets are used and accelerated in a pressurized air stream and then subsequently directed at the surface to then be cleaned.
The dirt is frozen on impact by the dry ice and then rapidly sublimated while the CO2 gas removes all of the now frozen dirt without causing any damage to the surface. There is quite a big temperature difference between the surface that is being treated and the dry ice, which is why thermal shock will occur during this process. This will then cause a breakdown of the bond between the two materials. These dry ice pellets are accelerated up to 300 m/s (1,080 km/h) by the compressed air and then they are blasted onto the surface to be cleaned. The impact with high kinetic energy is the second part of the cleaning process.
Reasons to Consider Dry Ice Blasting
• A much faster and tougher clean, which includes complicated cavities where typical grit blast media could become trapped.
• More safety – The process is non-conductive and dry and therefore more suitable for use on electrical circuitry and electric motors.
• It can eliminate equipment damage, as a result of no abrasion.
• It can reduce or eliminate the use of permanent blast media, acids, solvents or chemical detergents.
• It is safe and non-toxic for food applications.
• It can decrease the down-time, increase productivity and savings.
• It can reduce waste disposal and improve environmental friendliness.
At ITS Africa we specialize in many different types of industrial and commercial cleaning equipment and services. For more information, visit our website on www.its-africa.co.za.

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