January 06, 2016

The Pros and Cons of a Dual Hose Dry Ice Blasting Machine

There is no arguing that dry ice blasting is one of the best ways to clean a surface, period, no matter what industry you are in. The first thing we want to say is that ice blasting is very similar to many other types of blasting that you might find in the various industries. Other popular forms include:

While these three are great examples of abrasive cleaning, they are sometimes too abrasive. Sandblasting, for example, is no longer done with sand, but typically by small pieces of metal. Glass bead blasting is also pretty self explanatory. That being the case, there is always a chance that your surface will become damaged, and this will especially come to pass if you prolong the exposure. Finally, once you are finished blasting, you are always forced to clean up the remnants, or at the very least what you can find. It has been stated that the leftovers from these primary forms of blasting are bad for the environment when left alone, though no real proof of this has been found. Regardless, there are plenty of reasons for you try something different and in this case we are of course talking about an ice blasting machine.

Blasting it Up

Ice Blaster MachineAn ice blasting machine differs in that it uses either pellets or an ice block as the cleaning media rather than a typical solid object. As soon as the pellet strikes the intended surface, it will sublimate, becoming a gas. The shock of this event will literally shake any foreign objects free, releasing their adhesive grip on the surface. From here, the floor, wall, or piece of equipment can be cleaned normally, and there will be zero downtime. The lack of any residue leftover from the cleaning, including chemicals, makes this method safe to use on virtually any piece of equipment, which is more than most people can say about  the other blasting methods. The only question now, is why you’re waiting. Before you purchase any ice blasting machine it will be important for you to note that there are several different types on the market, but it all comes down to the type of hose you want to use. There is the single hose system which is touted as the best in the industry, and then you have the dual hose system which has been used for decades, is a bit cheaper, and has some limitations. The big question here, is which one is right for you? We’re going to take a quick in-depth look at the dual hose system, ultimately allowing you to decide for yourself which direction you want to go.

What is the Two Hose System?

All modern technology has to start somewhere and ice blasting was no exception. Dual hose technology uses what is known as the Venturi Effect to ‘blast’ the particles through the hose.

Note: The Venturi effect is reduction in fluid pressure that occurs during flow through a constricted section of a pipe. This term was coined by the Italian physicist, Giovanni Battista Venturi.

The two hose system utilizes compressed air supplied through one of the hoses, and through the other, dry ice. The compressed air creates suction on the second hose which in turn pulls the dry ice from the hopper and into the air stream. This results in the two elements being forced through the nozzle at the same time, blasting the surface that needs cleaned. Now because this is non-abrasive, and because the dry ice sublimates on contact, there is no mess to clean up, it is environmentally friendly, and when it comes right down to it, it saves you money. The sublimation will make it seem as if nothing ever actually happened, and because the substance is non-abrasive, it can be used on even the most delicate of electronic systems. There are a few drawbacks to this, however, which you will need to know about before we go any further.

Understanding the Limitations

There are many limitations with the two hose ice blasting machine system that you would not find in the single hose system, namely the range and the power. The major issue is that feeding the air through one hose and the ice through the other creates severe inefficiency, and as that is the case, the hose length of the unit is actually very limited, meaning you cannot stand far away while you are cleaning. This not only hurts the safety of the unit, it could potentially cost you money.

Finally, because of the way the system is designed, vertical blasting is impossible as the suction is unable to overcome gravity. These are just a few of the disadvantages, though there are always going to be more to fin if you look hard enough. If you’re looking for a simple clean, once in a while, this might be the route that you want to take. If, on the other hand, you need a far deeper clean, then you might want to look closer at the single hose systems. 


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