What is Dry Ice?
Dry Ice is solid carbon dioxide (CO2). It is -79°C and is made by pressurising, cooling and compressing gaseous & liquid CO2.
The Dry Ice we use is reclaimed and recycled CO2 therefore is carbon neutral and not harmful to the atmosphere. Dry Ice is totally moisture free (contains no water), is non-conductive and non-toxic therefore as a media it is ideal for cleaning sensitive high value assets. Furthermore, the Dry Ice media we use is manufactured in a BRC certified / regulated ( food grade) facility making it ideal for use in the Food & Beverage, Pharmaceutical, Medical Device & Semiconductor industries. It makes this unique process idea cleaning equipment and surfaces including direct product contact surfaces.
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What is Dry Ice Blasting?
Dry Ice Blasting is an efficient and cost-effective way for industries to maximize production capability, reduce carbon footprinting and extend the life-span of hi value capital equipment.
Also know as Cryogenic Cleaning, Dry Ice Cleaning or CO2 Cleaning, Dry Ice Blasting is the process of cleaning / decontaminating surfaces with Dry Ice. We are the only Irish company providing this service to industry since 2005. The image opposite demonstrates how it works:
1. Kinetic Energy: Dry Ice is accelerated through a compressed stream of air at the speed of sound.
2. Microthermal Shock: The speed and temperature of the Dry Ice Blast causes the primary contaminant to crack.
3. Rapid Gas Expansion: The Dry Ice instantly convert to gas and expands breaking up the already cracked primary contaminant.
Dry Ice Blasting is a 3 step process:
- Kinetic– When Dry Ice Pellets are accelerated in a jet of compressed air & strike a surface at the speed of sound, they crack & loosen the coating of dirt on the surface being treated.
- Thermal – The low temperature of the Dry Ice Pellets (-79°C) makes the coating brittle, cracks it & loosens it. This allows Dry Ice to permeate the coating.
- Sublimation – Dry Ice penetrates the coating & immediately sublimates (passes directly from solid form to vapour state). This results in a 540 fold increase in volume which creates an explosive effect which lifts the coating off the treated surface while producing no secondary waste.
Key Features of Dry Ice Blasting
- Non-Conductive: meaning it can be used on electrical control panels, circuit boards
- Non-Abrasive: does not damage the surface of equipment being cleaned
- Non-Toxic: contains no chemicals
- Generates No Secondary Waste: changes from solid to gas form so only waste to be collected is the original contaminant
- Carbon neutral product: meaning it is environmentally responsible
As the process is completely dry, non-conductive and non-abrasive, surfaces are therefore treated very gently. Dry Ice Cleaning can therefore be used on easily-damaged surfaces like nickel, chromium, soft aluminium, graphite, rubber, plastics and even paper.
Why is Dry Ice Blasting Considered to be Lean & Cost Saving
Dry Ice Blasting has the following features which, when used, is efficient, time saving, equipment saving and cost saving.
• NON CONDUCTIVE – Dry Ice is non conductive therefore is safe to clean all equipment (including electrical equipment) without the need for wrapping the electrical equipment, disassembly or removal of certain equipment. Therefore this saves significantly on pre and post clean preparatory work.
• NON ABRASIVE – The process is safe to work on abrasive sensitive equipment and, unlike chemical cleaning or manual cleaning with hammers and chisels, no damage is caused to the equipment or surface therefore the equipment has a longer lifespan. This reduces scrap rates, increases equipment efficiency and cost saving.
• NO SECONDARY WASTE – Many companies have significant costs associated with the removal or treatment of secondary waste streams when cleaning including water, sand, chemicals etc. As an example, some Irish industries use up to a 1million litres + of water per annum in their cleaning process. This water needs to be treated or removed which is a significant cost both financially and in time. The implementation of Dry Ice Blasting eliminates the need for this cost.
• NON TOXIC – Dry Ice is a natural sustainable media which is very environmentally friendly. Traditional cleaning with chemicals is hazardous and, over time, causes damage to equipment. The chemical is often used with water and this wastewater then needs to be treated and/ or removed. Furthermore a wiped down with wipes after cleaning is often necessary. Dry Ice Blasting eliminates the cost of the wastewater treatment/ removal, surface damage to equipment and need for additional time spent on cleaning (downtime and labour). Dry Ice is also much safer for employees.
• CLEANS IN PLACE – Reduces downtime as no need for pre-clean disassembly. There can a significant time cost in disassembling equipment.
• FASTER CLEAN – Dry Ice Blasting is a more efficient process in terms of time spent cleaning. Is can be up to 80% faster than traditional cleaning methods.