So Clean You Can Eat Off It: Dry Ice Cleaning

The process of dry ice cleaning is a kind of abrasive cleaning that uses blasting technique, which in turn uses dry ice in cleaning extremely dirty industrial surface. This method is highly similar to industrial cleaning using plastic head blasting, soda blasting/cleaning or sand blasting.

Benefits of using Dry Ice Blasting

The most important benefits that can get achieved through dry ice cleaning is that cleaned surface will be so clean that it is highly possible to eat off it. That is no exaggeration but rather the truth. Dry ice cleaning leaves no substance and chemical residue, which means that the surface will be totally cleaned and disinfected. The reason for this is because dry ice effectively sublimates and disappears at room temperature.

Sublimation of dry ice is the process, where the solid forms turn directly into gas that evaporates without the necessity to go through being liquid.

Method of Dry Ice Cleaning

Industrial dry ice cleaning involves forcing pellets at tremendously high speeds. Dry ice pellets are actually rather soft and less solid than sand and plastic pellets, which are materials also used for industrial blasting/ cleaning.

As soon as the dry ice pellets hit the target, they immediately sublimates, which will result in the transfer of the smallest amount of kinetic energy directly to the surface, thus producing the most minimum amount of abrasion.

The process of sublimation soaks up a large amount of surface heat, generating shear stresses caused by thermal shock. This process is considered effective in improving the cleaning method because the top layer of contaminant can transfer more heat therefore dirt easily flakes off.

Sublimation, as mentioned, rapidly and directly changes the state form of dry ice from solid to gas. This causes minute shock waves that are responsible for easy contaminant and dirt removal.

Equipment Used for Dry Ice Cleaning

For dry ice cleaning the ice can come in shaved ice block or solid pellet forms. Shaved ice blocks are more delicate and less dense that solid pellets.

There are basically two delivery systems used for dry ice cleaning; the single hose and the two hose technologies.

Single-hose dry ice cleaning is the technology that uses a single hose in the delivery of air blasts together with the dry ice. This dry ice cleaning method makes use of longer hose in pressuring the dry ice out. The longer hose provides more power by producing increased complexity. Single-hose dry ice cleaning systems are effective to use if the surface that needs cleaning contains heavier dirt or contaminant build-up or when the surface is very high or in vertical position.

Two-hose system for dry ice cleaning was the first system developed and used. This method works by one hose delivering the compressor air and the second hose sucking up the dry ice pellets through the venture effects. This method though, delivers the cleaning power of dry ice with less power than what the single hose system can do. Generally, two-hose dry ice cleaning methods have 25 feet limitation when it comes to the vertical distance cleaning between applicator and machine. Technically, this system is less costly and it is offers much simpler and easier dry ice cleaning delivery. With the use of this system finer dry ice particles are delivered through lower velocity, resulting to lower sublimation of the dry ice in the hose, which is considered as the process responsible for better cleaning results.

Dry ice cleaning is the process used by industries if they want totally clean and highly smooth surfaces. This is the process that allows instant cleaning without the need to use too much equipment and components.


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