Dry Ice Blasting

Dry Ice Blasting: Frequently Asked Questions

How did dry ice blasting technology originate?

It orginated at Lockheed in the 1970's when a coatings engineer, Calvin Fong, was researching ways to strip paint from aircraft. The technology did not become commercially available until Alpheus bought the licence and patents from Lockheed and introduced it into the US marketplace in 1987. CryoGenesis UK Ltd were the first company in the UK to introduce this new cleaning technology into the United Kingdom in 1994.

Are dry ice blasting systems noisy?

Yes. Noise is a function of air volume and air velocity. Within the blasting nozzle, the stationary air is sheared by the high velocity air causing turbulence which creates noise. The levels can range from 85 - 130 db.

How much dry ice should I expect to use?

The amount of dry ice needed to clean effectively can vary dramatically within the industry, but a 210 kg box of dry ice pellets should provide about 8 hours of continuous dry ice blasting in most industrial applications.

What happens to the contaminant?

People sometimes think as with the dry ice, the contamination itself disappears too, but it does not. All cleaning involves the relocation of dirt. When you use a mop on a floor, the dirt is transferred from the floor to water in the bucket. With dry ice cleaning, the dirt moves from an undesirable area to an area where it can be easily dealt with. If it is a dry substance, it generally falls to the floor where it can be swept or vacuumed away. If it is a wet substance like grease you take a methodical approach similar to hosing a driveway with water, you start at one end and guide the grease to the other end where it is vacuumed or squeegeed up. However, pre treatment of grease or oily substances with an applied powder allows the grease to 'leech itself' into the powder thus changing its molecular structure for effective removal using the dry ice blasting method.

Can dry ice blasting be used to clean hot online?

Dry ice blasting cleans most effectively when the contaminates and substrates are hot. Most contaminants have a weaker adhesive strength when hot. In many applications, you may be able to clean three to five times faster hot than cold. In addition, as dry ice sublimates on impact, entrapment of the blasting media is not an issue. Grit entrapment is an important reason those who blast with sand, walnut shells or other grit media cannot clean online.

Can dry ice blasting be used to remove paint?

Yes. however, the removal rate is dependent on a great many factors including: the underlying surface profile of the substrate, the thickness of the coating, the adhesive bond strength of the coating, and the cohesive strength of the coating (generally a function of age).