Dry Ice Blasting

  • What is Dry Ice Blasting?

    The dry ice blasting process is similar to that of sandblasting but the science behind the technique this medium uses to lift contaminants makes it a unique and efficient way to clean and prepare surfaces. Dry ice pellets are propelled at a surface at supersonic speeds. The accelerated speed of the dry ice creates the kinetic effect. The solid CO2 is a cool -109 degree Fahrenheit so when it impacts the surface, which is much warmer, it sublimates. As a result, thermal shock occurs and the bond is broken between the contaminant and the surface it was adhered to. The rapid change in the composition of CO2 from a solid to a gas, known as the thermal kinetic effect, causes microscopic explosions to further assist in lifting away the contaminants.

  • How does Dry Ice differ from Sand Blasting

    Both dry ice and abrasive blasting “blast” media at high speeds using compressed air and can get in hard-to-reach areas. However, they go about accomplishing the same goal in very different ways. Sandblasting relies on friction. The grinding of the abrasive is what removes the contaminant and typically causes etching on the substrate. This friction can also create heat which can warp delicate metals. Dry ice pellets are softer and less substantial than other media abrasives like sand, coal slag, glass beads, or garnet. Therefore, dry ice depends on the thermal conductivity of contaminants and substrate to determine effectiveness. This reaction is gentle and does not damage the surface.