Why Dry Ice Blasting?
Together with our main activity of installing Resin Flooring & Whiterock Wall Cladding, BIF began blast cleaning with dry ice 3 years ago when a key customer contacted BIF with a difficult problem they needed to address. Within their production areas, a paint coating had started to flake from steel ceilings, leading to concerns of contamination of their production line output. To obviate the risk of contamination, the paint coating would need to be removed.
Whilst we considered & tested several methods of paint removal, it was the client's engineering team who suggested we look into Dry Ice Blasting.
A little over a week later we had identified a reputable supplier, organised an on-site trial. The trial was successful so we agreed costs and a suitable programme to complete the works, had our team trained with safe use of the equipment & completed the first 350m2 area. The project completed on time and at an agreed final cost.
How Does it Work?
As with all blast cleaning applications, an ‘abrasive’ is accelerated in a stream of compressed air.
Dry ice blasting works by using solid carbon dioxide (CO²) and is a better choice than many other media in areas where contamination or residual abrasive granules may cause concern. Dry Ice provides a non-abrasive, ecological alternative to traditional methods.
Dry Ice is fired at surfaces through a compressed air fed lance, hitting surfaces and causing thermal shock, with temperatures instantly dipping as the freezing media reaching (CO² pellets have a temperature of -79°C). This sudden change in temperature causes many materials to become brittle and shrink, detaching from bonded surfaces cleanly and quickly.
Whilst the paint, dirt or whatever else you're removing falls to the ground, the dry ice pellets dissolve and are dispersed into the air.
Here are a summary of benefits;
Eliminates the need for chemical storage on site
Chemical handling issues removed from personnel
No post-cleaning chemical residues
Reduced wear as process is gentle and non-abrasive
Highly effective in reaching areas other methods miss
Ideal for moulds and dies that need accurate surfaces
Saves water consumption in water sensitive areas
Dry ice sublimes (changes into gas) on contact so no wet floors are left behind
No evaporation means no change in relative humidity to affect other processes
In-situ cleaning with mobile units reduces non-operational time significantly
No drying out time required
Reduced dismantling of machinery means less downtime