Dry ice blasting, also known as carbon dioxide or CO2 blasting, is a unique solution to your most difficult maintenance challenges. Dry ice blasting equipment operates at three different levels to safely and efficiently remove surface contamination. This process works through a micro-abrasion effect, significant temperature differentials, and a “lifting effect” through sublimation.
Dry ice blasting equipment operates at three different levels to safely and efficiently remove surface contamination.
Dry ice blasting is frequently compared to sand blasting, and while they are similar in concept, they are actually very different processes. The abrasive effect of CO2 blasting does not damage the substrate because the ice is softer than dry blasting materials and has no cutting edges. This provides an effective media and process to begin to loosen surface oxidation without affecting the substrate.
The delivery of the dry ice pellets under pressure starts a chain reaction. When the dry ice impacts the area to be cleaned, it creates a temperature differential between the surface contaminant (thin, low mass) and the substrate (contaminated surface, high mass). The surface oxidation immediately begins to shrink and contract when fast frozen while the higher mass substrate maintains a higher constant temperature, unaffected by the dry ice. This effectively breaks up the surface contaminant from the substrate.
The third process in CO2 blasting is sublimation, which is a unique physical process that allows a very cold (-109°F) material to move from a solid to a gas without becoming a liquid. This, in effect, is like taking frozen water (ice) to steam without ever becoming water! This is a very powerful process that releases the stored energy and produces a strong lifting effect.
These three combined effects work in a simultaneous way that allows the removal of the toughest surface contaminants with little or no effect to the underlying substrate. Carbon removal, oxidation and the toughest surface contamination all become an easy to remove material with dry ice blasting equipment.