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How Dry Ice Blasting Works

  • Dry ice pellets are accelerated in a jet of compressed air and strike the coating to be removed at velocities up to the speed of sound. Cleaning results from three effects:

  • 1. Kinetic Effect:

    When dry ice pellets strike a surface at the speed of sound, any coating on the surface is cracked and loosened.

  • 2. Thermal Effect:

    The low temperature of dry ice pellets makes the coating brittle, cracks it and loosens it as a result of reduced bonding between the coating and the underlying surface. This allows dry ice to permeate the coating.

  • 3. Explosive Effect - Sublimation:

    Dry ice penetrates the coating and immediately sublimes (passes directly from solid to vapor state). This results in a 800-fold increase in volume, an explosive effect that lifts the coating off of the surface.

  • 4. Final Product:

    The end result is a squeaky clean product. No secondary waste to dispose of and no carbon footprint!

    Need more information? View our Frequently Asked Questions.

  • CO2 is a natural medium, which serves many life-sustaining purposes. It is a key element involved in the carbon cycle; it is the only source of carbon for the carbohydrates produced by agriculture; it stimulates plant growth; and it helps to moderate the overall temperature of the earth. Animal respiration is believed to add 28 million tons of carbon dioxide per day into the atmosphere. By contrast, the U.S. CO2 industry can supply only 25,000 tons per day and 95% of this amount is from by-product sources, or less than 0.04% of the other sources combined.

  • With a low temperature of -109° F, dry ice solid has an inherent thermal energy ready to be tapped. At atmospheric pressure, solid CO2 sublimates directly to vapor without a liquid phase. This unique property means that the dry ice blast medium simply disappears, leaving only the original contaminant to be disposed of. In addition, cleaning in water sensitive areas (e.g. near electrical cabinets) is now practical. The grade of carbon dioxide used in blasting is the same as that used in the food and beverage industry and has been specifically approved by the FDA, the EPA and the USDA. Carbon dioxide is a non-poisonous, liquefied gas that is both inexpensive and easily stored at work sites. Of equal importance, it is nonconductive and non-flammable.

environmentally safe

How It Works