Dry ice blasting may not be a common concept to some, but in many industries, it is an essential part of the cleaning and preventative maintenance schedules. Dry Ice Blasting Services is a proudly South African company offering its unique dry ice blast cleaning products and services to several organisations spread across the various industries and sectors countrywide.
What is Dry Ice Blasting and how does it work?
Unlike other blast media, dry ice is solid carbon dioxide (CO2). Dry ice blasting uses 3 mm dry ice pellets, which are accelerated in a pressurised air stream and subsequently directed at the surface to be cleaned.
The dry ice freezes the dirt on impact, then rapidly sublimates while the CO2 gas removes the frozen dirt without causing damage or abrasion to the surface. Because of the temperature difference between the dry ice particles and the surface being treated, thermal shock occurs during the process. This causes a breakdown of the bond between the two dissimilar materials.
The dry ice pellets are accelerated up to 300 m/s (1,080 km/h) by the compressed air and then blasted onto the surface to be cleaned. The second part of the cleaning process is the impact with high kinetic energy.
At its surface temperature of -78.5 degrees Celsius, dry ice pellets transforms directly into a gas, skipping the liquid phase entirely. Because it does not “melt”, and because it can be formed in solid 3mm dry ice pellets, it is already an extremely popular industrial cleaning method worldwide.
What are the Benefits of Dry Ice Blasting?
Dry Ice Blasting is known for its diversity of benefits, including but not limited to:
- Dry ice blasting machines can be used on-site, on any terrain and in narrow factory spaces.
- Cost-effectiveness associated with on-site and in situ cleaning.
- The equipment does not need to be dismantled prior to blasting.
- Reduced equipment downtime.
- Increased production output.
- Dry ice blasting is non-abrasive and will not damage equipment.
- The use of harmful chemicals and disposal thereof is eliminated.
- Dry ice blasting is a viable cleaning method in most industries.
- Dry ice blasting increases the lifespan of equipment due to its non-abrasive quality.
- Dry ice blasting (CO2) is also a disinfectant and is used in pharmaceutical and food grade environments.
- Dry ice blasting offers a dry-cleaning process, without any residue.
- Dry ice blasting meets most local, national, and international safety standards.
Current Industries that benefit from Dry Ice Blasting:
An easy, fast, and cost-effective way to remove ink and grease on printing machines.
- Car Manufacturing (OEMs)
Cleaning can be done in assembly plants, e.g., removal of welding splatter on welding robots. Ideal for cleaning on body panel assembly, spray booths and extraction fans. Welding splatter can be removed from the robots on a daily or weekly basis to prevent unplanned interruptions on production lines.
- Tyre Manufacturing
Ideally used to clean large in-situ moulds to small o-ring cavities. It is the most cost-effective way to keep moulds in production.
- Food Processing
CO2 is also a disinfectant and is used in pharmaceutical and food grade environments. It offers a dry-cleaning process, without any residue.
- Electrical Equipment
Power generators and power plants: i.e., cleaning of transformers, insulators, circuit breakers, switch gears, AC/DC motor cleaning, rotor stators, switch gears, sub-stations etc.
Ideal for the cleaning of heavy mining machinery and equipment, electric and electro-mechanical equipment, surfaces, moulds, and fresh air fans.
- Steel Foundries
Cleaning of permanent moulds, hot moulds, and core boxes without any down-time. It is ideal for cleaning of permanent moulds by removing water and silicon-based release agents, sand and resin in core boxes, screen and slot vents, die-casting machines, mixers, and hydraulic power units.
- Chemical & Petroleum
Cleaning of resins, glues, and deposits on equipment and inside tanks. It is especially useful in volatile environments since the propellant in this application is nitrogen.
- Pharmaceutical Industry
Applications are blast cleaning of stainless-steel containers, reactors, mixers, tablet moulds and separators. It offers some benefits when compared to the traditional methods of steam cleaning and water-based cleaning, e.g., elimination of harmful bacteria and micro-organisms.
- Electrical Motor Windings & Turbines
Increase the in-service life expectancy of electric motors by up to 75% with regularly scheduled cleaning of the cooling fins. Keeping the fins clean and free of contamination will allow energy-robbing heat build-up to escape the motor, thus extending the life of components like rotors and stators.
Dry Ice Blasting Equipment – Industry Favourites!
- Intelblast 3000 – Recommended for Industrial Applications
The Intelblast (IBL) 3000 is a medium-sized dry ice blaster that was designed specifically for narrow factory spaces – its width has been reduced to just 400mm, making it even narrower than the smaller Intelblast Mini.
Visit https://dryiceblasting.co.za/intelblast-3000/ for more information and specifications.
- Intelblast Mini – Recommended for Less Aggressive Cleaning Applications
The ideal choice for those companies, who would like to have the opportunity to clean small parts and surfaces, without having the usual constraint for a high air flow compressor. Daily maintenance on processing equipment and electronics or the occasional cleaning of parts is easily carried out with the IBL Mini.
Visit https://dryiceblasting.co.za/intelblast-mini/ for more information and specifications.