In part one and part two, we covered many uses of dry ice. In the last article, some of the applications of dry ice included preserving a kill or catch for hunters/fishermen, a mosquito repellent for outdoor gatherings, a means to transport emergency medical supplies, and a way to safely repair or clean containment tanks.
In this last article, a few more uses for dry ice will be explained.
Dry ice can be used to remove certain dents from the body of a vehicle. As long as the sheet metal isn’t bent and there’s no significant crease, then it can be done relatively easily. First, you must let the dent heat up either by placing your car in the sun or using a hairdryer. Once the dent is warm, place a chunk of dry ice directly over the dent. The dry ice will rapidly cool the dent, which will cause the metal to condense. The dent should pop right out. There is a slight chance of scratching the paint, but very small.
Maybe the most notorious use of dry ice outside of industries who use it to obtain a factory finish via dry ice blasting. When dry ice is mixed with hot water, the result is a large quantity of “fog” that is often used for special effects in movies, plays, and Halloween displays. Crews will typically use a fan or fog machine to then manipulate the fog further.
Similar to how dry ice is used to remove flammable vapors from containment tanks, welders also use this method to expel the oxygen before welding a gas tank.
In the case of a plumbing emergency and you are unable to access or use the main shut off valve, dry ice can be used to flash freeze the pipes. If a particular section has a substantial leak and needs to be replaced or repaired, placing dry ice on the pipe will freeze that section only, allowing for quick repairs to be made.
While dry ice can be used for a variety of purposes, it can also be dangerous if used improperly. In a well-ventilated area, the carbon dioxide can be generally harmless. However, if in a poorly ventilated area, the CO2 can actually change atmospheric conditions since it’s 40% heavier than breathable air. This is often a worry for dry ice cleaning services when they attempt to give a piece of equipment a factory finish in a poorly ventilated area.
There are many other uses for dry ice, especially since it produces no secondary waste and can be used as an environmentally sustainable cleaning solution. The aforementioned applications should be used at your own discretion and with caution.