What is dry ice blasting?

Dry-ice blasting involves propelling pellets at extremely high speeds. The actual dry-ice pellets are quite soft, and much less dense than other media used in blasting-cleaning (i.e. sand or plastic pellets). Upon impact, the pellet sublimates almost immediately, transferring minimal kinetic energy to the surface on impact and producing minimal abrasion. The sublimation process absorbs a large volume of heat from the surface, producing shear stresses due to thermal shock. This is assumed to improve cleaning as the top layer of dirt or contaminant is expected to transfer more heat than the underlying substrate and flake off more easily. The efficiency and effectiveness of this process depends on the thermal conductivity of the substrate and contaminant. The rapid change in state from solid to gas also causes microscopic shock waves, which are also thought to assist in removing the contaminant.

Where can dry ice blasting be helpful?

Dry-ice blasting can be used to clean food processing equipment to effectively decontaminate surfaces of Salmonella enteritidis, E. coli, and Listeria monocytogenes such that these microorganisms are not detectable using conventional microbiological methods. It is also used to clean a wide range of production equipment without disassembly and without producing fire or electrical hazards.  This can be especially helpful with complex production equipment, providing a quality clean without the need for breaking down the assembly line. The EPA recommends dry ice blasting as an alternative to many types of solvent-based cleaning. Dry ice blasting can clean numerous objects with differing, complex geometries at once. Due to the blast media sublimating without residue dry ice blasting finds use in the semiconductor and aerospace industries.

What will dry ice blasting remove?

Dry ice blasting can safely remove a number of contaminants from a variety of surfaces.  Paint, rust, oil, grease, and other common industrial soils.