1. Superior clean
Dry ice blasting is a more effective and efficient cleaning process in many applications. By cleaning equipment and machinery in less time, facilities are able to get more production cycles from existing equipment. Preventive maintenance or spot cleaning can also be done more frequently without affecting production.Alternative cleaning methods can involve time consuming disassembly and can be ineffective, costly, damaging to expensive assets and can also be environmentally harmful. Dry ice blasting eliminates secondary waste and the resulting downtime of traditional cleaning. By decreasing production downtime, it maximizes asset utilization rates and asset life.
Dry ice cleaning also results in improved product quality. Removing contaminants that accumulate on production equipment, such as resin the builds up on plastic molds, ensures that final products are free of defects. This helps maintain proper machine alignment and results in reduced scrap.
2. Clean in-place
Dry ice cleaning does not use aqueous or chemical solutions and does not produce any secondary waste, which allows tooling and equipment to be cleaned in-place without time-consuming disassembly and reassembly. Dry ice blasting is used to remove contaminants, such as production residues, release agents, paints, oils and biofilms from equipment while it is still online.
By cleaning equipment in-place, facilities are able reduce shutdowns and increase productivity.
Dry ice is a very soft media and can clean most surfaces without damaging them. It is around 1.5 – 2 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness (see below). Dry ice can clean sensitive surfaces, such as electronic equipment, printed circuit boards and plastic molds, without etching, profiling or changing surface dimensions. This prolongs the life of the equipment and decreases the risk of damage to machinery during the cleaning process.
Operators of dry ice blasting machines can further control the aggression of dry ice by changing the particle size and the velocity of the dry ice exiting the system. Smaller particles, combined with lower acceleration equates to a gentler clean.
(photo credit: National Park Service)
4. Increased efficiency
Dry ice blasting reduces the time, labor and resources needed for cleaning projects and allows facilities to more efficiently allocate their resources.
Manual cleaning processes that require abrasive tools, such as chisels and scrapers, or harmful chemicals are tedious, time consuming and require multiple people to be allocated to the cleaning project. Operators often need to wait for equipment to cool down before they can begin the cleaning process, and need to disassemble machinery in order to reach tight spaces.
Dry ice blasting allows facilities to clean quicker and easier with only one person needed to perform the cleaning.
5. No secondary waste
The dry ice cleaning process does not generate secondary waste. Dry ice sublimates (returns to gaseous state) upon impact with the surface being cleaned, which results in no secondary waste, no residue, and no moisture introduced. This eliminates extra cleanup, disposal of secondary waste streams and additional cleaning preparation, such as masking delicate sensors or wrapping electronic components before cleaning. Elimination of secondary waste allows equipment to be cleaned while online and still operating.
When using solid grit media or water for cleaning hazardous materials, the cleaning media also becomes hazardous, requiring special handling, disposal and regulatory reporting.
6. Environmentally responsible
The dry ice used in the dry ice cleaning process is made of reclaimed CO2. This CO2 is created as a byproduct of other industrial processes and is then collected and recycled. Dry ice blasting does not produce CO2 or add additional CO2 to the atmosphere and therefore does not contribute to the greenhouse effect.
Dry ice is also an approved medium by the EPA, USDA and FDA. It is non-toxic, non-hazardous and is approved for use around food. Dry ice is colorless, tasteless and odorless.
Whether you need a dry clean, are trying to reduce the amount of water or chemicals used or are trying to enhance sanitation or cross-contamination prevention programs, dry ice blasting provides the environmentally sustainable answer.
7. Enhanced operator safety
Dry ice blasting is a preferred cleaning method for employees who perform the cleaning. Methods, such as manual cleaning, can be tedious and back breaking work. Dry ice cleaning eliminates the need to manually scrape and scrub the contaminated areas.
Other methods that use toxic materials, such as sand blasting and chemical cleaning, can be harmful to both the employee and the surrounding area. Dry ice cleaning is non-toxic and eliminates the need for chemical cleaning solutions.
8. Access and clean tight spaces
Traditional methods are often ineffective when cleaning small or inaccessible areas.
9. Clean faster
Dry ice blasting will provide a faster clean that alternative methods in most cleaning applications. When the time and resources dedicated to waste containment and collection are considered, these cleaning methods can consume many more hours than dry ice cleaning.
Dry ice blasting also achieves time savings by allowing for equipment to be cleaned online and still at operating temperature. This reduces time associated with allowing the machinery to cool down, disassembling, moving the machinery to an area to be cleaned and then reassembling.
10. Variety of cleaning applications
From oil rigs to bakery equipment, dry ice blasting provides a faster and more effective cleaning solution in any manufacturing environment. Click here to see all the industries that benefit from dry ice blasting.
Dry ice cleaning systems can help many types of facilities support quality, service and productivity goals, while also meeting industry and government regulatory standards.