There are many different types of cleaning services that an industrial company can use to clean their machinery and equipment. Besides a rag, a cleaning spray, and some elbow grease, there exist forms of blast cleaning that simplify and expedite the process.
There are two forms of non-abrasive blast mediums, known as dry ice and wet ice. Non-abrasive means that the surface being cleaned is unscratched or marked during the cleaning process, effectively prolonging the lifespan of the equipment. Dry ice blasting, which uses pressurized CO2, differs from regular, or wet, ice blasting, which simply uses frozen water. Ice blasting was patented in 1955 as a cleaning and polishing method and has many benefits.
There are many reasons to choose ice blasting, such as:
- Reduces operating costs
- Can virtually last forever if properly stored
- Reduces the levels of airborne contaminants in comparison to other types of blasting media
- Provides the only non-hazardous blasting media
Whereas other forms of industrial blasting techniques have high operating costs due to waste removal and high media inputs, both ice blasting and dry ice blasting produce no secondary waste. This lowers operating costs and provides environmentally sustainable cleaning methods. Ice blasting is also non-toxic compared to dry ice, sand, and other types of media which can pose health hazards. Dry ice sublimates upon contact, and ice blasting doesn’t use chemicals, creating no secondary waste or harsh environmental impacts.
Although dry ice can be hazardous if the operation area isn’t properly ventilated, both dry and wet ice blasting offer viable cleaning methods that won’t damage machinery. Ice blasting also helps with employee safety. When cleaning the equipment, employees are exposed to airborne contaminants that can be extremely hazardous, especially if they contain lead. Using ice blasting methods, the contaminants are trapped in the media and the number of airborne contaminants is significantly reduced.
Ice blasting uses chunks of ice to remove the majority of contamination from the surface of a machine. Solid pieces of ice are used rather than water due to the ability of a solid to displace the contamination easier than a liquid can. The ice transfers its momentum to the contamination, which then leaves the cleaned surface. After this happens, water is used to rinse away the remaining contaminants, leaving a fresh, factory finish.