How to Clean Big Machines With Dry Ice

Posted On August 5, 2015


Dry Ice is being used more often to clean bigger machines, thus making Dry Ice Blasting a more popular alternative to cleaning than sandblasting. It is very similar to sandblasting in that pressurized air streams to clean a surface. The difference between Dry Ice Blasting and sandblasting is that the former does not leave waste behind. It vaporizes upon impact with the surface, which is an improvement for several reasons, such as not having to wait for the electrical parts of the machine, or the generators, to dry. Mildew and mold removal is also a lot more complete and has a lesser chance of regenerating since the dry ice vaporizes and moisture isn’t trapped inside. But how do you clean these big machines with Dry Ice?

You use a Dry Ice Blasting machine. There are two types of systems, which are the single-hose system, and the dual-hose system.

The Single-Hose System: mix high-pressure air and the dry ice from the time it leaves the machine. Can be a better choice when in need of a more aggressive clean.

The Double-Hose System: dry ice travels in one, and the high-pressure air travels in the other, thus, they do not mix until just before exiting the nozzle.

Whichever one you decide to use, the cleaning process itself is still similar. Each system uses small pellets of dry ice, which is then shot out of a jet nozzle along with compressed air. You can have the option of using smaller shaved particles—they are better at removing paints or cleaning oddly shaped equipment or tiny openings—or pellets, which is the aforementioned option (and regularly used).

The best thing about it is that it will not damage the substrate, as the size of the dry ice pellets being used, along with their velocity, can be adjusted in order to remove whatever contaminant you wish to get rid of while still staying on the non-abrasive side. It is completely safe to use outside, and it is portable enough that one person can roll it over without any use of special equipment. With the proper ventilation system, it is also safe to use in an enclosed area, as dry ice is made of CO2 and the gas is known to displace oxygen. This can be dangerous for you, so it is recommended that vents are placed or are located near the machine.

Of course, everything involving the use of machinery should carry a reminder that safety is the most important thing and should be prioritized. One of the biggest safety issues you should keep in mind with using Dry Ice Blasting Equipment is to be careful of the moving parts, and to watch out for the temperature of the dry ice. Of course, one should never go for the dry ice with bare hands and should always be wearing gloves with coming into contact with dry ice.

Also, keep in mind that the equipment and machinery can be especially noisy, so it is important to protect yourself from visual impairment and to wear ear protection at all times when using the Dry Ice Blasting Equipment.

With the proper protection, the system can be safely operated all day.