Dry Ice Blasting & Cleaning Blog

The Most Effective Gas Turbine Cleaning Available: Dry Ice Blasting

Gas Turbine Dry Ice Cleaning & Blasting

Power generation professionals know that natural gas turbines require proper cleaning to maintain peak performance. But the pressure to keep these turbines running can lead to deferred cleaning, unexpected and expensive downtime and reduced efficiency.

There is no faster, more effective, or more consistent cleaning method for natural gas turbines than dry ice blasting. Effective cleaning helps prevent unplanned outages and reduces planned outage time by 60-90% for turbine OEMs (including GE and Siemens), turbine servicing companies, and power plant maintenance managers.

Dry ice blasting reduces cleaning time from several days to a few hours. What can take up to a week with other cleaning methods typically takes Polar Clean two shifts to complete. Dry ice blasting can also be performed with the turbine in place and does not require full disassembly.

Note: if you need steam turbine cleaning, then aluminum oxide, sponge blasting, and other abrasive blasting options are typically better for cleaning steam turbines than dry ice.

Removing Carbon Buildup without Blade Damage

Damaged blades can break off, causing millions of dollars in damage within a gas turbine. To prevent this, inspectors conduct non-destructive testing (NDT), using a combination of dye penetrant and eddy current testing to identify microcracks in blades. Before this inspection can be done, the carbon build-up on turbine blades must be removed.

Traditional hydroblasting and other forms of abrasive blasting – sometimes referred to as “sandblasting” although sand is no longer used – can’t be used on turbine blades because moisture and abrasives can cause blade damage. Water can also lead to rusting, and abrasive blasting eats away at the surface material and can leave it weakened and with a shorter life span. Without additional clean-up, abrasive blasting can also leave behind damaging particulates.

Both methods require diligent and time-consuming cleaning afterwards to ensure that moisture and abrasive material is not left behind.

Dry ice blasting is often the better choice for gas turbine cleaning because it’s thorough and effective without the risk of abrasives or water and leaves nothing behind. It’s also non-conductive, environmentally responsible and the safest form of blasting.

Dry ice blasting can also be used to clean turbine discs, rotors, cases, stators, and windings.

Gas Turbine Dry Ice Blasting Video

Gas Turbine Dry Ice Cleaning Example

The annual cleaning of the carbon-blackened buildup on an 8,000 kilowatt turbine used to propel a gas transporting pump was reduced from 5 days to four hours by switching to dry ice cleaning, using dry ice pellets propelled at high pressure through a specialty nozzle.

Gas Turbine Dry Ice Cleaning: Before & After
Dry Ice Blasting: Gas Turbine Before & After

Benefits of Dry Ice Blasting in Power Generation

  • Reduces catastrophic failure
  • Improves megohm readings
  • Increases polarization indices
  • Improves thermal dissipation
  • Reduces outage time for cleaning by 65%
  • Eliminates secondary waste
  • Cleans in-place; no cool down or disassembly
  • Is non-conductive
  • Is non-abrasive
  • Is environmentally responsible
  • Is the safest form of blasting

Choose Polar Clean

Polar Clean provides high quality dry ice blasting to ensure the most effective, efficient, consistent, safe, and environmentally-sound results for cleaning gas turbines, among other critical equipment.

Our work minimizes outage time and restores gas turbines to a like-new clean – without requiring you  to manage the project, clean up the mess or perform additional cleaning afterwards. Contact us for a quote today.

Contact us to learn more about dry ice blasting for turbine cleaning