Dry Ice Blasting FAQ
Dry ice is the solidified form of Carbon Dioxide (also known as CO2), consisting of two carbon atoms and one oxygen atom. Naturally, Carbon Dioxide is a colorless, odorless gas, but when frozen to -78.5°C or -109.3°F, it becomes solid — dry ice.
Dry ice blasting is a form of media cleaning, meaning that pellets of dry ice are shot out of a pressurized air stream and directed at a surface to remove residue from industrial equipment.
Why dry ice hits a surface, the solid pellets evaporate immediately into gas. This process is known as sublimation, and it leaves behind no residue, except for the contaminant you want to remove. Dry ice is non-abrasive, and does no damage to equipment.
When dry ice pellets hit a surface, they sublimate, and create miniature, gentle explosions. The solid dry ice converts back into CO2 gas, and lifts away from the surface, and the process forces the surface contaminate to fall away. Once the process is complete, all that’s left is the contaminate.
Depending on the contaminant, it can be easily swept, wiped, or sprayed away, leaving the surface dry and clean.
No. The size of the dry ice pellets and the velocity that it hits the surface with can be adjusted, so that it can remove contaminants without damaging delicate surfaces or equipment.
Yes; the process actually works better when surfaces are hotter. In most instances, contaminants have weaker adhesive strength when the surface is hot.
Yes, but not by much. The change in difference depends on the surface, the duration of the dry ice blast, and the intensity of the blast.
No. The temperature change will be small, and stress should be minimal enough that most equipment will not be affected.
That varies on the substance, and on the climate. Condensation typically occurs when the temperature of a surface stays above a dew point. In a pinch, heaters or heat lamps can be used to prevent condensation.
With proper ventilation, yes. CO2 is non-poisonous, but it is heavier than and will displace oxygen. Existing ventilation is typically adequate for indoor blasting.
That depends on the surface being clean, the duration of the dry ice blast, and the intensity of the blast. Appropriate hearing protection should be used at all times.
A dual hose system splits the process in half: one hose for compressed air and another hose for dry ice. Generally, dual hose systems are gentler, though they are limited by distance and force. Single hose systems are idea for removing more difficult buildup, or if the blast is occurring at a lower elevation.