C02 Technology Dry Ice Blasting Process

Energy Transfer

Dry ice (CO2) particles are propelled to supersonic speed on to a contaminated surface. The particles are accelerated by compressed air, just as with other blasting methods. The energy transfer cleans the contaminant without abrasion. The force of this impact is the primary means of cleaning.

Micro-Thermal Shock

The cold temperature of the dry ice pellets hitting the contaminant creates a micro-thermal shock (caused by the dry ice temperature of -79º C) between the surface contaminant and the substrate. Cracking and delamination of the contaminant occurs, furthering the elimination process.

Gas Pressure

In the final phase of blasting, dry ice pellets explode on impact, and as the pellet warms it converts to a harmless CO2 gas which expands rapidly underneath the contaminant surface. This forces the contaminant off from behind, where it then typically falls to the ground. The remaining dry ice evaporates, with only the contaminant left for disposal.

Advantages of Dry Ice Blasting

Dry ice blasting can increase profitability through improved productivity, reduced waste and lower costs. Today, dry ice blasting is being effectively used in a wide array of applications from oilfield contaminant removal to delicate semiconductor and circuit board cleaning. Imagine a process that can be used on-line without damaging equipment or requiring a machine "teardown".

Unlike conventional toxic chemicals, high-pressure water blasting and abrasive grit blasting, dry ice blasting uses dry ice particles in a high velocity air stream to remove contaminants from surfaces without the added costs and inconvenience of secondary waste treatment and disposal.

With a low temperature of -79° C, solid CO2 (dry ice) has an inherent thermal energy ready to be tapped. At atmospheric pressure, dry ice sublimates directly to vapor without going through a liquid phase. This unique property means that the blast media simply disappears, leaving only the original contaminant to be disposed of. In addition, blast cleaning in water sensitive areas is now practicable. Of equal importance, CO2 is non-poisonous, non-conductive and non-flammable.

CO2 is a natural by-product of several industrial processes such as fermentation, petro-chemical refining and gas processing. The CO2 given off by these processes is captured and stored 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 back into the atmosphere.

Summary

1) Cost Reduction

Sometimes the "clean-up" from your current cleaning method can be worse than the problem itself. With dry ice blasting there is no secondary waste. This saves time and money. Dry ice does the job and then disappears.

Because dry ice blasting systems provide on-line maintenance capabilities for production equipment (online cleaning), time consuming and expensive detooling procedures are kept to a minimum. This will reduce downtime. With an Alberta oilfield background, we are well aware that time is money. Service is one of the main contributors to our success. You will find our 24-hour service second to none, at your convenience.

2) Will NOT Damage Equipment

Unlike sand, walnut shells, plastic beads and other abrasive grit media, dry ice particles are non-abrasive. Cleaning with dry ice will not wear tooling, texture surfaces, open tolerances, or damage bearings or machinery. In addition, on-line cleaning eliminates the danger of equipment being damaged during handling from process to cleaning area and back.

3) A Dry Process

Unlike steam or water blasting, dry ice blasting will not damage electrical wiring, controls, or switches. Dry ice (frozen CO2) is transformed from a solid phase directly to a gas, eliminating the liquid phase and all associated problems. Rust formation after cleaning is far less likely with dry ice blasting.