January 05, 2016

Everything You Need to Know About Ice Blasting Machines

There are many ways to clean a surface, but the most popular method today involves sandblasting which is precisely what it sounds like. In addition to that, you also have a few other methods which involve chemical spray. The downside to both of these methods is that they tend to leave behind residue that needs to be cleaned or at least allowed to dry. The other downside is that chemical sprays, while effective, can be toxic, and therefore unusable in the food industry. Recently, a new method known as dry ice blasting has begun to pick up steam, and the results cannot be argued with. Let’s take an in-depth look at the process of ice-blasting and what it can do for you, no matter what industry you happen to be in.

Dry Ice Blasting – The Method

Dry ice blasting is a cleaning method similar to sandblasting that involves propelling frozen pellets at high speed, and the benefit here is that they are softer and less dense than other blast cleaning materials. This of course includes plastic, sand, or glass pellets, so bear that in mind. Now, they are softer, and that is a benefit, but there is another advantage that you shouldn’t overlook when you are considering this cleaning method. This final benefit, of course, is that the pellet sublimates at the moment of impact, meaning it converts into a gas, thereby causing minimal abrasion to the surface.

The above benefit might not seem significant, but compare it to a sandblaster that when left on and pointed at a particular surface can cause significant damage. Sandblasting is a process that can easily cut through metal or concrete if given enough time, but dry ice blasting poses no such risk.

Along with that, the sublimation process serve to absorb a considerable amount of heat from the surface which improves cleaning  and raises efficiency. Finally, the change in state, solid to gas, causes shockwaves that help to loosen dirt from the surface, and ultimately make the cleaning process more efficient. For this reason, dry ice blasting is becoming considerably more preferred over other methods. In this instance, it really is a matter of brains over brawn.

Examining the Equipment

Ice BlastingThere are a few different ways the process can be completed, and the first item we will look at is the ice itself. It can be disperse in a solid pellet form, or it can be shaved from an ice block. The benefit of the ice block is a less dense ice which is a bit more delicate than the other option.

One less used method for delivering dry ice is the two-hose system. It involves delivering compressed air through one hose, and ice through the second. This is differs from the single hose method in that it delivers ice particles with a little less force, and has a shorter vertical distance (about 25 feet, generally). Whether or not this delivery method is superior ultimately depends upon the person using it, but two-hose systems are definitely cheaper.

With the single hose method, the dry ice and the air blast is delivered by a single hose, obviously, and is able to blast a surface with greater intensity. These systems are used where the cleanup job is particularly nasty, and allows for moderate buildup to be moved rapidly. It’s more expensive, but it’s also a great way to get the job done.

A Cleaner Cleaning Method

Finally, as we mentioned before, this cleaning method is less problematic due to the sublimation process that occurs on impact. This process guarantees that there will be no liquid left over to interrupt the operation of machinery, or potentially damage electronics. In the end, this translates to less downtime for cleaned surfaces, and a much better chance of getting the job done without incident.

Obviously there is more to learn about ice blasting systems, but these are the basics, and you will quickly find that abrasive cleaning is not only one of the most efficient, but also one of the quickest methods of cleaning particularly tough surfaces. This cleaning technique is being used in factories around the world, and has also been instrumental in swimming pool cleaning as of late, for good reason. As we mentioned before, the method does not tend to result in damage to the surface being cleaned, making it the first choice of homeowners and commercial entities alike. It’s a new, icy world.

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