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|What is dry ice?|
Dry ice is the solid form of CO2. It has a temperature of –79° C. At atmospheric pressure it evaporates into the air. It is called “dry ice” because it doesn’t contain water. For dry ice cleaning purposes dry ice in the form of granulates of 3 mm diameter, called pellets, is most commonly used.
|Dry ice blasting: how does it work?|
Dry ice cleaning is a blasting technique similar to sand blasting. The advantage of using solid CO2 or dry ice pellets as blasting material is twofold.
Firstly the very low temperature of the dry ice pellets causes the contamination to freeze and contract resulting in the easy detachment of the contaminant from the base material.
Secondly the dry ice pellets vaporize to carbon dioxide gas, which means that only the original contaminant is left for disposal. This natural evaporation of dry ice pellets is a major advantage of the dry ice cleaning method.
|What happens to the contaminant?|
The contaminant can be solid, viscous or liquid (paint, carbon deposit, glue, grease, sugar, ink, dirt, …). Solid contaminant will be blown away during blasting and fall down close by. Viscous or liquid contaminant will loosen and pulled forward by the blasting air force. The operator can direct the contaminant in a certain direction. In specific cases the contaminant is removed in a controlled way with an extraction system.
|How does dry ice blasting compare to other methods?|
The advantages of dry ice blasting as compared to other blasting methods with sand or grid are:
• Cleaning in the production environment
• No need to strip down the production machines
• Short or no production stop
• Fast cleaning method
Powerful but less aggressive
• Leaves the base material intact
• Suitable in food industry
• Pellets do not conduct electricity
• Generates no additional waste
• No decontamination nor disposal of blasting media needed
|In what kind of applications has Dry Ice Cleaning proven to be very effective?|
The advantages of cleaning in place and the evaporation of the blasting media makes dry ice cleaning very effective in following industries/applications:
General Maintenance of Machines & Production Lines
• degreasing chains
• cleaning conveyor systems
• renovating printing presses
• cleaning of glue modules (paper industry)
• paint stripping
• removal of resin
• control panels and fans
Automotive & Aerospace Industry
• removing weld slag from robots
• cleaning tyre moulds
• reconditioning motor blocks
• cleaning engine parts
Plastic and Foundry Industry
• cleaning of injection moulds
• cleaning of extrusion moulds
• cleaning of casting moulds
• foundry core boxes
• cleaning of tanks & silos
• cleaning of industrial ovens
• cleaning of forms (pastry, waffles, ...)
• cleaning of production lines (chocolate, ...)
• nuclear decontamination
• removing asbestos
• removing graffiti
• removing epoxy paint
• restoration of facades
• removing carbon deposits after fire
|What kinds of applications are not suited for dry ice cleaning?|
There are three categories of applications where dry ice cleaning is not the right technique:
• The base material is too soft and can be damaged by the high impact of the pellets. Examples are soft wood and some softer plastics.
• Thick coatings of very hard material that have a strong bond with the underground.
Examples are baked-on enamel on cast iron, primers in car parts, …
• Soft contaminants, like oil, tend to splatter and may require special procedures or collection system.
|What do I need to clean with dry ice?|
• A mobile blaster of type CAB series or VSU.
• Adequate compressed air and AC power.
• Pellets in dry ice container.
If desirable, a production site of pellets consists of:
• Optional: pelletiser
• Optional: a storage tank of liquid CO2
|What is the economical benefit of dry ice cleaning?|
- Dry ice blasting allows to clean machinery without dismantling or removing the parts from the production area. The reduction of down time of the equipment because of “cleaning in place” creates a significant economical benefit.
- Dry ice cleaning is non abrasive. The lifetime of the machine parts are increased when maintained with dry ice cleaning.
- Dry ice cleaning is for a lot of applications a faster cleaning method than conventional cleaning methods.
- Dry ice cleaning doesn’t require expensive decontamination nor disposal of the blasting or cleaning media.
|How are the dry ice pellets made?|
Dry ice pellets are made from liquid CO2 stored in a pressurised tank. When expanding the liquid CO2 it forms snow. This snow is compressed and extruded through an extruder plate giving the final dimensions of the pellets. The equipment producing the pellets is called a pelletiser.
|How can dry ice be stored and transported?|
Dry ice pellets are stored and transported in well isolated containers. Good quality containers will limit the evaporation of the pellets to a few percent per day.
|How is CRYONOMIC® Equipment different from competitors?|
Recently the Cryonomic® dry ice cleaning equipment contains two series. The well known CAB series are two hose machines. The COB is new and is a one hose machine.
The comparison of both series with its competitors will be explained separately
The CAB series are two hose systems, powerful equipment, ideal to clean large surfaces without excessive pellet consumption.
1. The CAB series operate as a two hose system, which – when compared with a one hose system – offers considerable savings on the use of dry ice pellets. Meanwhile the pellets come only into contact with compressed air and not with ambient (humid) air as with two hose suck systems, resulting in a very reliable system.
2. In our machines air and pellets are pushed through the hoses as opposed to being sucked out of the machine through a venturi which many other machines use. The advantage of our two hose system is that here again, less dry ice pellets are used and we can clean equipment over 100 metres away from the unit with not much loss of effectiveness!
3. With our machine there is continuous pressure regulation between 0.5 bar and 16 bar with the same machine, gun and nozzle, which is without equipment adaptation often not applicable in other machines.
4. CRYONOMIC® introduced two very helpful features on the CAB machines: the integrated light on the gun illuminates the workspot, resulting in more efficient cleaning; the full remote control allowing adjustment of pellet rate, pressure and speed of pellets on the gun during blasting, is a major advantage for most of the cleaning applications.
5. Our machine is compact and easy to manoeuvre, set up and operate with one person.
6. Pellet consumption rate is indicated digitally and is very accurate.
The COB dry ice blaster is a compact one hose system, ideal for focused cleaning and excellent manoeuvrability.
1. The COB series is a one hose system, but due to its unique design, it is nevertheless economical with respect to dry ice consumption when compared to other one hose systems.
2. This machine is intended for low to medium pressure applications giving high cleaning performance with low air consumption.
3. The small and ergonomic blasting gun, combined with the focused cleaning beam, makes it ideal for applications with poor accessibility. A large range of different nozzles is available on the gun, and these nozzles are easily exchangeable due to its unique fixing concept.
4. The COB allows setting of dry ice consumption and blasting pressure on the control panel.
5. Because the gunlight is such a valuable tool, all the available nozzles can be used in combination with the gunlight!
Convince yourself by requesting a demonstration. We will be happy to organise it for you.
|Does dry ice blasting cool the base material?|
Some local cooling takes place at the surface of the base material. The amount of cooling seldom exceeds -40° C below its initial temperature because a small portion of ice is projected during a short time at the same spot.
|Can I use dry ice on hot tooling?|
In general dry ice blasting cleans faster when the base material is hot (higher thermo shock). Experience in cleaning hot moulds shows that the cooling does not cause any harm.
|Can I use my shop air for operating the system?|
Yes, the CAB series are specially designed for use with shop air, but there are certain conditions that must be met.
• Typical shop air is delivered at 5 to 7 bar. This pressure is sufficient for many applications.
• Sufficient airflow must be available. At 6 bar, the CAB units consumes 3–5 m³/min depending of gun type and nozzle.
• In case of less available air volume, adapted guns and nozzles should be selected.
• Shop air is dry in most cases. Drying up to a dew point of 0° C is sufficient in most cases. Drying up to -20° C is optimal.
Feel free to contact us for more information.
|What kind of air system is recommended for contract cleaners?|
To take advantage of the full power of CRYONOMIC® Equipment capabilities ARTIMPEX recommends a screw type, oil free compressor that provides 6 to 12 m³ per minute at 6 to 12 bar.
Drying up to a dew point of 0° C is sufficient in most cases. Drying up to -20° C is optimal.
Feel free to contact us for more information.
|What are the safety issues relating to dry ice blasting systems?|
The operator should be wearing ear protection, protective clothing, gloves and safety glasses.
The operator should be aware of the effects of the CO2 to the human body.
|Is blasting in an enclosed area possible?|
Depending on the pellet rate set on the CRYONOMIC® CAB the cleaning process converts between 20 kg/hr and 105 kg/hr of solid pellets into CO2-gas. This implies that adequate ventilation and proper fresh air supply has to be supplied to the operator and other personnel when cleaning to remain the CO2 level below the MAK value of 0,5 % (5000 ppm or 9,1 g/m³) under all operating conditions.
When working in a sound enclosure it is recommended to use a CO2 detector, which takes action when concentrations exceeding 3000 ppm CO2 are detected (sound alarm, shut off equipment, etc.).
|Is dry ice blasting noisy?|
Blasting at a pressure of 6 bar can create noises up to 115 dB. When the pressure and air volume are increased to improve the cleaning performance, the noise level will always increase. Blasting with less noise at 6 bar is possible when using noise reducing nozzles, however speed of cleaning will also be lowered.
Ear protection for the operator is needed. Sound cabinets surrounding the cleaning booth in large production area’s are commonly applied.
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