March 15, 2016

Sand Blaster vs Ice Blaster - Who Wins?

When choosing a method for industrial cleaning that requires abrasive methods, it can be difficult to decide what method is best. You have the choice between sand and ice blasters, and now you even have a choice between crystalline ice and dry ice (CO2). We at Daimer are dedicated to making tools that are safer to use and make your job easier. It isn’t even a fair competition when comparing our revolutionary crystalline ice blaster to the traditional abrasive media blasters. Ice Blast is easily one of the best sand blaster alternatives, and here is a breakdown of all of the reasons why we believe that.

Eco-Friendly = Wallet-Friendly

Ice BlasterIce blasting is a great solution for companies who want to reduce their waste, as well as reducing the consumption of materials. It is a simpler, non-abrasive process, and it is because of this that it reduces waste by up to 95%. It uses only 27 gallons per hour water converted into ice crystals. It also does not leave a profile on most substrates, as opposed to some abrasive methods. This eco-friendly blaster works without high water consumption, toxic chemicals, or expensive and dangerous media such as dry ice and sand. Instead, it uses three simple ingredients – regular old tap water, compressed air, and electricity – to create a much less expensive and environmentally-friendly way to tackle industrial cleaning jobs.

The Difference In Dust

Most traditional blasters use abrasive media, such as sand, which produces a significant amount of dust. Ice blasting does not create dust, which is especially important in jobs where it is imperative that dust particulate levels remain low such as those involving lead paint or asbestos abatement.

Operation At Optimum

Depending on the substrate, the handling of Ice Blast may require more or less care. For example, when ice blasting glass, the blast pressure is turned down and the user must stand farther away from the substrate to avoid shattering it.

 For the best results, the hose length used should be no more than 70 meters. At the maximum hose length, Ice Blast offers a 140-meter use radius around the machine.

The original Ice Blast was designed for use by the Canadian Navy, which means it has been designed to hold up well to extremely cold environments. It has been successfully operational in temperatures as low as -20C with only some additional set-up required. Our personnel will be happy to provide simple solutions to keep the equipment running smoothly and continuously should you need to use it in extreme cold.

The best thing, though, is the minimal maintenance. The unit is designed to run 24 hours per day, 7 days per week without much service so you can work longer without having to work harder.

Can It…?

Ice blasting uses the energy released on contact to break the cohesive bond between a coating and object. If the bond cannot be broken then ice alone will not be effective. This means that while in many cases it can’t strip paint, it is still useful on many other surfaces.

 Ice has been used successfully on wood with lead-based coating and paints that needed to be removed. Unfortunately, wood is one of the few substrates that ice blasting will erode. In deciding whether to use this method on wood, consideration of waste and dust production must be taken into account.

Rust is difficult to remove by any method, and because ice blasting is a non-abrasive process, it is likely to only be effective against rust that is not deep-seated. However, a profile will not be generated on the substrate under the rust.

On glass, ice blasting has been successful in removing paints, grease oil, grime, and more from a variety of surfaces from windows to gauge panels to controls. With glass, though, care must be taken to avoid shattering.

Crystalline Ice vs. Sand

The first difference is the necessity of buying media for sand blasters whereas one simply connects a ¾” hose – quite literally a garden hose – to the water tap to obtain the water for a crystalline ice blaster. Strike one for sand! Sand blasting creates dust which severely limits the versatility of the blasters, making strike two for the abrasive method. Unlike sand, the ice particles explode upon impact and approximately half of its solid mass into vapor while the other half into liquid. It is because of this that waste and dust are so significantly reduced. That’s three strikes for sand blasting, and it means the same thing here that it means in America’s favourite pastime.

Winner Takes All

Three strikes and you’re out! Ice blasting wins by a landslide against sand blasting and other abrasive methods. While proper precautions are still necessary, Ice Blast is safer, simpler, and cheaper. It also produces significantly less waste, making it much more eco-friendly than its competitors. Originally designed for the Canadian Navy, Daimer’s crystalline ice blasting machine was tough enough for their jobs and it’s tough enough for yours!

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