Dry Ice Blasting FAQ

Can the process create condensation?

Condensation occurs when the temperature falls below the dew point, which varies with the amount of moisture in the air. If condensation is of concern, controls can be factored into the engineered cleaning process to reduce or eliminate the problem.

What type of safety measures need to be observed during blasting?

Proper personal protective equipment must be worn by technicians and by those in the work area. This can vary from depending on the factors, but may include hearing protection, eye protection, hand protection, hard hats, face shields, Tyvek suits, respirators, air supply, etc.

Is Dry Ice Blasting expensive?

Depending on the particular application, dry ice blasting is often a cheaper alternative than other forms of media blasting. The cleaning process has a fast turn around time and allows for less to no downtime. The nonabrasive results allow for extra steps to be eliminated, in most cases, such as repainting or reconditioning surfaces. Additionally, there is no need to clean up of secondary waste, after the process is completed since no media (e.g. sand or water) remains after the process.

Can production equipment be cleaned in place (CIP)?

Yes, every effort is made in engineering the cleaning solution to clean in place, with a goal of minimizing lost production and downtime. However, this is determined on a case-by-case basis.

What happens to the residue of the adherents/debris?

The containment of debris can be easy or require a more comprehensive solution. The extent of containment is determined on a case-by-case basis. Typically, as the blasting knocks the adherents off the surface, this debris typically falls to the ground. Depending on the type of substance (wet or dry), the adherent is then removed using a variety of means, including HEPA vacuuming.

Does Dry Ice Blasting cool the surface?

Yes, but the amount of cooling depends on the size of the surface, blasting rate, and dwell time, which is designed into our process prior to the onset. The cooling temperature is rarely an issue and the surface typically reaches ambient temperatures within minutes of being cleaned.

Can dry ice be used to clean hot surfaces?

Yes, in fact the surface is oftentimes easier to clean at a hotter temperature. This is because of the larger difference in temperature and thermal shock upon impact, releasing the bond quicker than on a cooler surface.

Will dry ice blasting damage the surface being cleaned?

Our process is adjusted so that Polar Clean is able to optimize our cleaning process to clean delicate or tough surfaces. These range from cleaning circuit boards to cleaning weld slag, without damaging the surface.

How does the dry ice blasting work?

Dry ice blasting has three dimensions contributing to its effectiveness. First, there is a thermal impact. At a temperature of -109ºF, dry ice causes thermal shock of the surface due to the difference in temperature. This causes the bond between the contaminant and the surface to break leaving a clean surface behind. Second, there is kinetic impact, as the dry ice pellets bombard the surface. Third, as sublimation of the dry ice takes place, it expands in volume 800%, propelling the contaminant off the surface.

What is Dry Ice Blasting?

Dry Ice Blasting is a non-abrasive, nonflammable and non conductive cleaning method that is environmentally friendly. The process uses a variety of sizes of dry ice products, including rice sized dry ice pellets, nuggets, and shaved block ice. Unlike other types of blasting media, dry ice blasting leaves no secondary waste to be cleaned up, and does not utilize water or chemicals in the process.

How is Dry Ice stored?

Dry ice is delivered and stored in insulated containers from the supplier. A typical storage container holds approximately 500 lbs of dry ice, and should be used within 5 days of manufacturing for best results. It is best to store these containers in well ventilated cooler spaces to maintain the quality.

What is Dry Ice?

Dry ice is the solid state of CO2. CO2 is a natural element found in the atmosphere, as well as reclaimed from other processes, and is the “food” that sustains the growth for all plant life. Dry Ice is maintained at -109ºF (-78.9ºC).