How to Use Dry Ice Blasting Clean Surfaces

How to Use Dry Ice Blasting Clean Surfaces


How to Use Dry Ice Blasting Clean Surfaces


Dry ice blasting is a blasting method that uses dry ice pellets as the blasting media. The advantage of using dry ice pellets as blasting media is it does not produce any abrasive particles while in the process. This advantage also makes dry ice blasting become a particularly effective cleaning solution.


How the abrasive creates?

1.     First step: The liquid CO2 produces dry ice under rapid decompression. Then it will be compressed into small pellets at minus 79 degrees.

2.     During the dry ice production process, liquid carbon dioxide flows into the pressing cylinder of the pelletizer. By the pressure drop in the pelletizer, the liquid carbon dioxide turns into dry ice snow.

3.     Then the dry ice snow is pressed through an extruder plate then forms into a dry ice stick.

4.     The last step is breaking down the dry ice sticks into pellets.


The dry ice pellets are normally measured at 3 mm in diameter. During the blasting process, it can be broken down into smaller pieces.


After understanding how the dry ice abrasive is being produced, let us know more about how to use it to clean surfaces.



Dry ice blasting contains three physical effects:

1.     Kinetic energy: In physics, kinetic energy is the energy that an object or a particle possesses due to its motion.

 The dry ice blasting method also emits kinetic energy when the dry ice particle hit the target surface under high pressure. Then the stubborn agents will be broken down. The Mohs hardness of dry ice pellets is approximately the same as plaster. Therefore, it can clean the surface efficiently.



2.     Thermal energy: thermal energy can also be called heat energy. Thermal energy is related to temperature. In physics, the energy that comes from the temperature of the heated substance is thermal energy.


As mentioned previously, liquid co2 will be compressed into small pellets at minus 79 degrees. In this process, a thermal shock effect will be produced. And in the top layer of material that needs to be removed will show some fine cracks. Once there are fine cracks in the top layer of material, the surface will be brittle and easy to crumble away.

3.     Due to the effect of thermal shock, some of the frozen carbon dioxides penetrate the cracks in the dirt crusts and sublimate there. The sublimates of the frozen carbon dioxide cause the volume of it has increased by a factor of 400. The increased volume of carbon dioxide can blast these dirt layers off.


These three physical effects make dry ice blasting able to remove unwanted paints, oil, grease, silicon residues, and other containments away.  And this is how dry ice blasting cleans the surface. 

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