Dry Ice Blasting & Cleaning Blog

Dry Ice Blasting Leaves Toll Booth Plazas Clean with Little Disruption

Toll booth

When state highway authorities wanted to bring down the shine of Indiana’s toll booths to prevent glare that could impact visibility, they decided on an anti-reflective vinyl covering.

To ensure good adhesion of the vinyl wrap, they needed the stainless-steel surface of the toll booths to be clean and free of decals and the glue they leave behind.

The contractor wanted something faster than hand cleaning, but abrasive cleaning is often not a good fit for stainless steel because its surface is easily damaged. Project coordinators also didn’t want to use water that could end up getting into the booths. And naturally, they wanted as little disruption as possible to minimize the need to close lanes and divert traffic moving through three busy toll booth plazas.

In short, they wanted a cleaning solution that checked all the boxes dry ice blasting is designed to meet:

  • Fast
  • Non-abrasive
  • Safe for use on stainless steel
  • Water-Free
  • Minimal disruption
  • Effective at removing glue and decal residue

A No-Compromise Clean with Water-Free Dry Ice Blasting

Contractors who haven’t used dry ice blasting before are often pleasantly surprised to learn that they don’t have to compromise on their wish list to get the effective cleaning they need in unusual and challenging settings.

Dry ice works using frozen carbon dioxide (CO2) pellets propelled at high speeds using compressed air, like abrasive blasting, but with a crucial difference. Upon contact with the surface being cleaned, the dry ice pellets sublimate, transitioning directly from a solid to a gas without passing through a liquid phase. There’s no collateral debris or water to reclaim.

The Polar Clean team also uses proprietary nozzles to adjust the force and reach of dry ice blasting to enable the cleaning of even delicate surfaces like electrical equipment without prolonged shutdowns or the use of water or abrasive materials that require additional cleanup.

Unlike conventional methods that rely on physical abrasion that can pose a risk of damage to surfaces like stainless steel, dry ice blasting uses the thermal shock of extreme cold to dislodge dirt and other adherents. The extreme temperature (-78.5°C or -109.3°F) is particularly effective at loosening the grip of decal glues – without the use of chemicals or water.

Dry Ice Blasting at Heights

With additional training and certifications for working at heights, and plenty of experience in challenging settings, the Polar Clean team was able to tackle three toll booth plazas, including overhang areas that required scaffolding and aerial lifts to reach, over four days of mostly uninterrupted traffic.

The project went well, ridding the toll booths of old sticker glue, dust, dirt and old window caulking and leaving the stainless-steel surface smooth, clean and unmarked.

No matter what your industrial cleaning challenge, the Polar Clean team has unmatched expertise for getting the results you need with minimal downtime or disruption. Our solutions are carefully planned to ensure the most effective cleaning method for every job, whether it is dry ice blasting, sponge blasting, abrasive blasting or a hybrid solution.

To learn about our solutions for cleaning in complex industrial settings that include petrochemical refineries, power plants, food production facilities, working at heights, in confined spaces or in settings where specialized containment solutions must be engineered, reach out to a member of our team today.

Contact us to learn more about industrial blasting services