What is dry ice?

Dry Ice is the solid form of Carbon Dioxide (CO2). CO2 is a colorless, tasteless, odorless gas found naturally in our atmosphere.

What is dry ice blasting?

Dry ice blasting is similar to sand blasting, bead blasting, or soda blasting where a media is accelerated in a pressurized air stream (or other inert gas) to impact and clean a surface.

How do I store dry ice?

Dry Ice should be stored in an insulated container. The thicker the insulation, the slower it will sublimate. Depending on the climate and thickness of your container, typical dry ice sublimation is approximately 2% to 10% per day.

Why would I use dry ice instead of a traditional blast media?

Most other blast media leave secondary waste behind. Dry ice sublimates (vaporizes) upon impact with the surface. All that remains is the contaminant you are removing, displaced from the substrate. Also, since dry ice vaporizes on impact, the process can be used to clean complicated cavities where typical grit blast media will become trapped.

How does the process work?

Unlike other blast media, dry ice has a temperature of -109°F (-78.3°C). Because of the temperature difference between the dry ice particles and the surface being treated, thermal shock occurs, breaking the bond between two dissimilar materials.

What happens to the contaminate?

Contaminants can be dry, wet, hard or soft. Dry contaminants will break up into small chips and can be swept up or vacuumed. If the particles are large enough, they do not become airborne. If the contaminant is wet such as grease or oil, the Cold Jet stream will move or push the liquid away much like a high pressure water stream would, except that the surface where the contaminant was will be dry and clean. To prevent re-deposition, the operator should work in a methodical way, from the top down

Does the contaminant or dry ice pellets ricochet?

Upon impact, dry ice pellets sublimate to a gaseous state and therefore dry ice particles typically do not ricochet. The removed contaminant is usually washed away by the blast jet stream and does not come directly back into the blast gun vicinity; however, safety glasses must be worn at all times during the operation of the machine.

Will dry ice blasting damage the substrate?

The Cold Jet dry ice blasting process will not damage the substrate. The size of the dry ice pellets and their velocity can be optimized to remove the contaminant while remaining non-abrasive to the substrate. The Cold Jet process can clean delicate chrome or nickel plated tools, soft aluminum or brass alloys, wire insulation and even circuit boards – all without causing damage.

Can you use Cold Jet® dry ice blasting to clean hot tools online?

 Yes. In fact, dry ice blasting cleans faster when the substrate is hot.

Does dry ice blasting cool the substrate?

·            Yes, but not dramatically. The amount of cooling depends on the substrate material, the dwell time of the dry ice blast stream, and the dry ice usage. For example, a 30 inch (76.2 cm) by 30 inch (76.2 cm) rubber mold may have an initial temperature of 325°F (162.8°C). After the tool has been blasted clean (approximately 12 minutes), the temperature of the mold is about 300°F (148.9°C).

Will the temperature reduction damage the hot mold?

Generally, no. The temperature change of the surface being cleaned is small and the corresponding tensile stress will be well below the point of what most molds will encounter during normal heat treatment.

Will the process create condensation?

Condensation occurs when the temperature of the substrate falls below the dew point. The dew point varies with climate and the daily weather patterns. When cleaning hot substrates, condensation will rarely occur because the temperature of the surface will stay above the dew point. If condensation does form, you can control it by using heaters, heat lamps or blow off devices.

What equipment will I need for my cleaning application?

·            The dry ice blast system will come complete with blast and air hose, applicator and nozzle best suited for your application and a training CD to reference and train staff. The only other items needed to operate your Cold Jet Dry Ice blast system are plant air, electric power from a common wall receptacle, and dry ice pellets or block (depending on the system).

How much air will I need?

A typical Cold Jet dry ice blast system operates at 80 psi (5.5 bar) with 150 scfm (4.25 m3/min), however your needs wil depend on your application. Low flow nozzles are available, which require only 50 scfm (1.42 m3/min) at 80 psi (5.5 bar).

Where can I find dry ice pellets, nuggets and/or block?

Dry ice pellets, nuggets and/or block are available worldwide. In the United States, call +1-800-SEND-ICE (+1-800-736-3423) or +1-513-831-3211, and in Europe call +32 (0)2 467 4101 for the location nearest you.

How portable are the dry ice blasting machines?

One pearson can easily roll any of the machines around the plant floor without any special equipment

Is it safe to use dry ice blasting outside?

Yes. CO2 dry ice is safe to use in outdoor blasting applications. In fact, many organizations have given Cold Jet® their stamp of approval for the use of dry ice in outdoor blasting applications, including the California Environmental Protection Agency.

How much dry ice should I expect to use?

·            The amount of dry ice needed to clean effectively can vary dramatically with each dry ice blast system and cleaning application. The average ice consumption for Cold Jet dry ice blast equipment is approximately 2 1/2 lbs (1.1 kg) per minute.

Will I need an after-cooler?

·            After-cooler may be useful if you are a Contract Cleaner or Restoration Contractor using a portable diesel compressor as your air source. An after-cooler provides assurance that the Cold Jet dry ice blaster will not blast any moisture from the diesel compressor being used. This is primarily dependent on humidity levels.

Your sales representative will be able to assess your needs and recommend the proper system configuration to ensure your productivity is maximized with moisture-free delivery of dry ice from your Cold Jet dry ice blast system.

How much maintenance is required to maintain my system?

Very little. Cold Jet dry ice blast systems are designed to provide years of trouble-free use with a minimum amount of maintenance. Each system comes with an operator manual that outlines recommended routine maintenance - periodically checking filters and examining hoses for cracks are two examples.

Is it okay to blast in an enclosed area?

Yes, with proper ventilation. Because CO2 is 40% heavier than air, placement of exhaust vents at or near ground level is recommended when blasting in an enclosed area. In an open environment, existing ventilation is sufficient to prevent undue CO2 buildup. Even though CO2 is non-poisonous, it does displace oxygen in the atmosphere.

What are the primary safety issues when dry ice blasting?

 One safety issue is to protect workers from moving parts. Cold Jet equipment is designed so that workers do not have access to moving parts without shutting down the system. Another concern is the temperature of the dry ice. At -109°F (-78.3°C), we recommend wearing gloves when coming in contact with the dry ice. Eye and ear protection should be worn at all times.

How loud is the system?

Noise is a function of air volume and air velocity. Within the nozzle, the stationary air is sheared by the high velocity air, causing turbulence and creating noise. With appropriate hearing protection, an operator can safely operate the system all day.

What is the difference between a single-hose system and a dual-hose system?

With a dual-hose blast system, the dry ice travels in one hose and the high pressure air in another. They are not mixed until just before they exit the nozzle. Single-hose blast systems mix the high pressure air and the dry ice from the time it leaves the machine. Single-hose systems can at times be the better choice when needing a more aggressive clean.

How do I know if I want pellets or shaved block particle blasting systems?

The smaller shaved particles have an advantage when removing most paints or when cleaning equipment with intricate geometries or tiny openings such as microvents or screens. Pellets are more suitable when removing thick contaminants - as the larger mass behind each individual pellet is better able to penetrate the contaminant and create the shockwave necessary to disband it.

What is Dry Ice Blasting (Cleaning)?

Dry ice blasting is known by several names: dry ice blasting, dry ice cleaning, CO2 blasting, dry ice dusting, and even environmentally sustainable cleaning. Cold Jet dry ice blasting is an efficient and cost-effective way for industries to maximize production capability and quality. Dry ice blasting is similar to sand blasting, plastic bead blasting or soda blasting where media is accelerated in a pressurized air stream to impact a surface to be cleaned or prepared. But that’s where the similarity ends.

Instead of using hard abrasive media to grind on a surface (and damage it), dry ice blasting uses soft dry ice, accelerated at supersonic speeds, and creates mini-explosions on the surface to lift the undesirable item off the underlying substrate

Dry ice blasting has many unique and superior benefits over traditional blasting media.

Dry ice blasting:

  • is a non-abrasive, nonflammable and nonconductive cleaning method
  • is environmentally responsible and contains no secondary contaminants such as solvents or grit media
  • is clean and approved for use in the food industry
  • allows most items to be cleaned in place without time-consuming disassembly
  • can be used without damaging active electrical or mechanical parts or creating fire hazards
  • can be used to remove production residue, release agents, contaminants, paints, oils and biofilms
  • can be as gentle as dusting smoke damage from books or as aggressive as removing weld slag from tooling
  • can be used for many general cleaning applications

Cold Jet dry ice blasting uses compressed air to accelerate frozen carbon dioxide (CO2) "dry ice" pellets to a high velocity. A compressed air supply of 80 PSI/50 scfm can be used in this process. Dry ice pellets can be made on-site or supplied. Pellets are made from food grade carbon dioxide that has been specifically approved by the FDA, EPA and USDA.

Carbon dioxide is a non-poisonous, liquefied gas, which is both inexpensive and easily stored at work sites.

How does CO2 Blasting Work ?

CO2 blasting works because of three primary factors: pellet kinetic energy, thermal shock effect and thermal-kinetic effect. Cold Jet optimizes blast performance for each application by combining these forces and adjusting:

  • compressed air pressure
  • blast nozzle type (velocity distribution)
  • CO2 pellet size and density
  • pellet mass rate and flux density (particles per unit area per second)

Pellet Kinetic Energy

The Cold Jet process incorporates high velocity (supersonic) nozzles for surface preparation and coating removal applications. Since kinetic impact force is a product of the pellet mass and velocity over time, the Cold Jet delivery system achieves the greatest impact force possible from a solid CO2 pellet by propelling the pellets to the highest velocities attainable in the blasting industry.

Even at high impact velocities and direct head-on impact angles, the kinetic effect of solid CO2 pellets is minimal when compared to other media (grit, sand, PMB). This is due to the relative softness of a solid CO2, which is not as dense and hard, as other projectile media. Also, the pellet changes phase from a solid to a gas almost instantaneously upon impact, which effectively provides an almost nonexistent coefficient of restitution in the impact equation. Very little impact energy is transferred into the coating or substrate, so the Cold Jet blasting process is considered to be nonabrasive.

Thermal Shock Effect

Instantaneous sublimation (phase change from solid to gas) of CO2 pellet upon impact absorbs maximum heat from the very thin top layer of surface coating or contaminant. Maximum heat is absorbed due to latent heat of sublimation.

The very rapid transfer of heat into the pellet from the coating top layer creates an extremely large temperature differential between successive micro-layers within the coating. This sharp thermal gradient produces localized high shear stresses between the micro-layers. The shear stresses produced are also dependent upon the coating thermal conductivity and thermal coefficient of expansion / contraction, as well as the thermal mass of the underlying substrate. The high shear produced over a very brief expanse of time causes rapid micro-crack propagation between the layers leading to contamination and/or coating final bond failure at the surface of the substrate.

Thermal-Kinetic Effect

The combined impact energy dissipation and extremely rapid heat transfer between the pellet and the surface cause instantaneous sublimation of the solid CO2 into gas. The gas expands to nearly 800 times the volume of the pellet in a few milliseconds in what is effectively a "Micro-explosion" at the point of impact.

The "Micro-explosion," as the pellet changes to gas, is further enhanced for lifting thermally-fractured coating particles from the substrate. This is because of the pellet's lack of rebound energy, which tends to distribute its mass along the surface during the impact. The CO2 gas expands outward along the surface and its resulting "explosion shock front" effectively provides an area of high pressure focused between the surface and the thermally fractured coating particles. This results in a very efficient lifting force to carry the particles away from the surface.

Environmentally Sustainable Non-Destructive Cleaning

Whether you need a dry clean, are trying to reduce the amount of water or chemicals used or are trying to enhance sanitation or cross-contamination prevention programs, dry ice blasting provides the environmentally sustainable answer.

Dry Ice Blasting is Clean and Safe

·            Dry ice is an approved medium by the EPA, USDA & FDA, and is non-toxic, non-hazardous and inhibits mold & bacteria growth

·            Dry ice blasting has been effectively used in EPA, USDA, FDA, AIB and GFSI inspected/certified facilities

·            Dry ice blasting is safe to use with food processing equipment

·            Dry ice blasting does not release harmful gases into the atmosphere

·            Dry ice blasting does not generate secondary waste

·            Dry ice blasting is safe and non-toxic. Once particles impact the surface, they dissipate into the atmosphere.

·            Dry ice blasting reduces or eliminates employee exposure to (and corporate liability from) the use of dangerous chemical cleaning agents

Other cleaning methods can be toxic

·            Sand, soda, or water blasting can leave toxic secondary waste to be cleaned up in addition to the toxic substrate

·            Sand, soda, or water blasting can create downstream contamination that effects surrounding installations

·            Soda blasting can kill surrounding vegetation

·            Chemical and solvent cleaning methods are toxic, which creates toxic waste to be disposed of

·            Workers are exposed to potentially harmful substances through the use of chemicals and solvents

Completely Environmentally Responsible

In addition to being clean and safe, it is also important to remember that dry ice is obtained as a byproduct of other industrial processes - i.e. it is made from reclaimed CO2. It does not produce CO2 or add CO2 to the atmosphere and therefore does not contribute to the greenhouse effect.

Dry ice blasting is truly, and completely, environmentally friendly!

Top 10 Reasons Dry Ice Blasting is superior:

1.     Superior clean: Fewer cleaning cycles = Less downtime

2.     Machines can be cleaned in place: Dry ice blasting is a dry process and requires no disassembly or reassembly, which means much less downtime

3.     Quicker clean: Less resource = More runtime = More profits

4.     Non-abrasive, nonflammable and nonconductive: Dry ice blasting won't damage most substrates and can be used safely on electrical components

5.     No secondary waste clean up: This not only saves additional cleanup labor and expense, but also means temporary containment areas can possibly be reused, which is an additional cost savings

6.     Can get into tight spaces that many other methods can not

7.     Environmentally friendly: Meets USDA, FDA and EPA guidelines

8.     Operator safety: No exposure to chemicals or grit media

9.     Operator efficiency: Not as labor intensive as traditional cleaning methods

10.  Clean enough for the food industry, strong enough(1) for everything else

What is Dry Ice? And how is it made ?

Cold Jet's high-density dry ice products are optimized for all industrial and commercial applications, including food freezing and shipment, metal fitting, dry ice blasting and many other uses. To ensure optimum results, Cold Jet developed patented technology that produces high-quality, high-density dry ice products.

CO2 is a natural media, which serves many life sustaining purposes. It is a key element involved in the carbon cycle; it is the only source of carbon for the carbohydrates produced by agriculture; it stimulates plant growth; and it helps to moderate the overall temperature of the earth. Animal respiration is believed to add 28 million tons of carbon dioxide per day into the atmosphere. By contrast, the U.S. CO2industry can supply only 25,000 tons per day and 95% of this amount is from by-product sources, or less than 0.04% of the other sources combined.

With a low temperature of -78° C, dry ice solid has an inherent thermal energy ready to be tapped. At atmospheric pressure, solid CO2 sublimates directly to vapor without a liquid phase. This unique property means that the dry ice blast media simply disappears, leaving only the original contaminant to be disposed of. In addition, cleaning in water-sensitive areas (e.g. in the vicinity of electrical cabinets) is now practical.

The grade of carbon dioxide used in blasting is the same as that used in the food and beverage industry and has been specifically approved by the FDA, the EPA and the USDA. Carbon dioxide is a non-poisonous, liquefied gas that is both inexpensive and easily stored at work sites. Of equal importance, it is nonconductive and non-flammable.

CO2 is a natural by-product of several industrial manufacturing processes such as fermentation and petrochemical refining. The CO2 given off by the above production processes is captured and stored without losses until needed. When the CO2 is returned to the atmosphere during the blasting process, no new CO2 is produced. Instead, only the original CO2 by-product is released.

Contract Cleaning

Contract cleaners worldwide tackle a multitude of cleaning applications. The time efficiency and cleaning effectiveness of Cold Jet dry ice blast cleaning enables contractors to grow their business and increase profit because they no longer have to spend countless man-hours sanding, scraping or scrubbing with solvents. In addition, there is no secondary waste with dry ice cleaning, which allows for additional time and clean-up cost savings.

Dry ice blasting systems use less ice and air than any other blasting system on the market, require minimal maintenance and allow the contractor to depend on cleaning performance time after time. No other  blasting company can outfit a contract cleaner with the vast array of nozzles and accessories to enhance their blasting system, allowing the contractor to meet all of their customer's unique cleaning needs.

Cleaning with Cold Jet Dry Ice Blasting in the Contractor Industry Provides:

·            No secondary waste

·            Reduced cleaning time (up to 80%)

·            Clean in-place, no cool down, with minimal disassembly

·            A non-abrasive clean that won’t damage substrates

·            Non-conductive process

·            Media entrapment elimination

·            Increased operator safety

·            An environmentally responsible clean

A Few Proven Contractor Applications for Cold Jet Dry Ice Blasting Include:

Restoration Projects

·            Fire Restoration (soot & smoke removal)

·            Mold Remediation

·            Historic Preservation

Facility/Plant Maintenance

·            Walls & Ceiling clean-up

·            Electric Motors

·            Tanks & Vessels

·            Production & Manufacturing Equipment

Power Generation

·            Hydro Electric Facilities

·            Combined Cycle Facilities (Gas & Steam)

·            Coal & Mining Facilities

·            Sub Stations

·            Oil & Gas Plants

·            Nuclear Decommissioning

Food & Beverage

·            Bakeries

·            Bottling Plants

·            Dry Ingredients

·            Confectionaries

Industries and Applications

With so much savings and efficiency built in, it’s no surprise Cold Jet has teamed with industry leaders as diverse as Aerospace and Automotive to Food Service and Utilities.

Many companies have requested that all of their locations worldwide use Cold Jet dry ice blasting due to the benefits they have realized. For more details on how Cold Jet Dry Ice Blasting has helped a specific industry, pick one of the links below.

Power Generation

Restore rotating and stationary electrical equipment to peak performance

Power Generation professionals know one key to peak performance is clean electrical equipment; however, the demand to keep the equipment running often leads to deferred cleaning and maintenance, reduced efficiency and in some cases, outages caused by flashover. Cold Jet dry ice blast cleaning provides a non-conductive, environmentally responsible cleaning process that allows equipment to be cleaned in-place, without cool down or disassembly. In addition, the outage time typically needed for cleaning can be reduced up to 65%.

Cleaning with Cold Jet Dry Ice Blasting in the Power Generation Industry Will:

• Reduce catastrophic failures
• Increase Polarization indices
• Improve thermal dissipation
• Eliminate secondary waste
• Reduce outage time by 65%
• Clean in-place, no cool down or disassembly

Proven Power Generation Applications for Cold Jet Dry Ice Blasting Include:

·            Turbines

·            Compressors & Generators

·            Substation Isolators & Bushings

·            AC/DC Motor Cleaning

·            Circuit Breakers

·            Switch Gears

·            Transformers

·            Rotors Stators

·            Insulators

·            Armature

·            Field Frames