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Dry Ice / CO2 Blasting Questions



(-----) 2006

Q. Hi, my company is looking for different methods of removing a non-stick coating off our stainless steel dies and are seriously considering pursuing dry ice blasting as our method of choice. We have tested it and found it is able to clean the dies to our needs. I was wondering if anyone had any first hand experience with this method. Are there any drawbacks that aren't well known? Is the CO2 release in a an open facility a concern? How does stainless steel react to repeated exposure to the CO2 (experience with CO2 interaction with other metals would also be insightful)? How long do CO2 blasters last? Any other insights would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Archy Manalel
aerospace - Lansing, Michigan
^


2006

A. Operation in an open facility poses no problem to human respiration. Now, CO2 is almost inert (remember it is used as a protecting atmosphere for weldments) so it poses no harm to metals. Only complaint in our opinion would be its very low efficiency to remove very adherent soils or stains and its high noise and cost.

Guillermo Marrufo
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
^


2006

A. When investigating dry ice blasting, keep in mind there are different types of this technology. It's very similar to water blasting in that there are small units like pressure washers and big units like hydroblasters .... and everything in between.

Rather than dealing with GPM and PSI, dry ice blasting deals with CFM and PSI.

I watched a demo comparing a smaller unit (125 psi) and what I'd consider a monster at 300 psi/350 cfm, if memory serves me correctly. The test was to clean a tar pot on a trailer used for roofing tar. In the time it took for the small unit to clean a patch not much bigger than your hand, the bigger unit cleaned the rest of the trailer.

Dry ice blasting is a loud and somewhat expensive. Other than that, I think it has a lot of merit and is worth a look. Just be sure you are comparing apples to apples in pressure and flow.

Todd Turner
- Monroe, Louisiana
^


2006

thumbs up signThank you Mr. Marrufo and Mr. Turner for your input.
We would be looking at a smaller dry ice unit (125 psi).
Has anyone who operated the equipment complained of, or had any back or shoulder issues?

Archy Manalel
aerospace - Lansing, Michigan
^


2006

Reading between the lines it seems that maybe you should go first on that one, Archy :-)

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^


2006

Q. Mr. Marrufo, how long have you had your dry ice blaster? Is it expansive to maintain?

Mr. Mooney, I am not sure I follow your reply. I am assuming it is in regard to my question on back or shoulder injuries. Our company has had only one demo so far using the equipment, but one of our employees had expressed concern that repeated usage would strain the back or shoulders. I have only briefly handled the equipment myself and cannot say that was a concern I shared, but it is plausible.

Archy Manalel
Barnes Aerospace - Lansing, Michigan
^


2006

Thanks, Archy; that's exactly the kind of response I was hoping for.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^


2006

A. We offer dry ice blast cleaning (or CO2 Cleaning) as a service business in the New England Region. We have not had any problems with injuries from using the system. Extended periods of operation do require that the operator take breaks, and care should be taken to ensure that the operator is not in unnatural positions for extended periods of time.

Protective equipment is a must, including ear, face and hand protection. The blasting noise is quite loud, (around 200 db) and ice pellets and debris often fly back in the face of the operator. Depending on what is being cleaned, a respirator may be advisable.

Steel molds generally clean quite well. Dry ice is NOT abrasive so the integrity of the mold geometry is protected. Molds can be cleaned in the press, while still hot, or after removal.

You may elect to begin trying this technology on a service basis before actually purchasing a machine. This will give you a good chance to learn about the technology, evaluate the results and see it in use before investing in the equipment. There are a number of service companies across the country, like us, that will come to your facility and clean your molds for you.

Dry ice must be ordered in advance and pricing and delivery can vary considerably from region to region and also based on the volume that you consume. It is wise to identify ALL sources of local supply before you order a machine so that you fully understand the costs, lead times and options available to you in your local market. Remember, dry ice is a perishable commodity.

Robin Rhodes
Worcester, Massachusetts
^


2003

RFQ: We sometimes use dry ice for cleaning minor areas, but we would like to hear if someone knows of the existence of gear usable on greater areas (cleaning rates of more than 5-10 m2/hour).

Ralph Nielsen
surface treatment contractor - Roedovre, Copenhagen, Denmark
^

^- Sorry, this RFQ is outdated
     View Current RFQs



2004

Q. We are in the business of blasting and painting. Can we use our regular Pressure blast hopper for Dry Ice Blasting? Can we feed dry ice pallets directly to hopper?

Sudhir Shinde
- Surat, Gujarat, India
^


2004

A. It is not possible to use the usual Hopper that is used for generalized blasting when blasting with dry ice as the pellets have different chemical and physical properties as when compared to maybe sand or grit.

What you will need is a specially designed pneumatic hopper to blast with dry ice.

Regards,

Shantanu Newar
- Kolkata, West Bengal
^


March 12, 2009

A. You cannot add dry ice directly to the hopper. There needs certain engineering in mixing dry ice and compressed air. In India, generally pellets are not available. Even if available locally the density would not be enough. Dry ice blasting is non abrasive. It removes coating or contaminants. Removing paint is one of the applications while cleaning without removing the paint is another. If paint is loosely held it normally peels off while blasting.

Prasad MS
dry ice blasting - Bangalore, Karnataka
^


+++++

Q. I am a student studying in Final Year of Mechanical Engr. at Pune University. I want to do a seminar on Dry Ice Blasting. I want to know REFERENCE BOOKS or PAPERS on this topic.

Yashodeep Dilip Lonari
- Pune, Maharashtra, India
^


+++++

A. Hello, Yashodeep. Good luck with your project. You could conduct a computerized literature search of the published literature. Alternately, if you know a likely journal, and I think the "Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings " is a good one, you could contact them about relevant articles. I have a copy of their Technical Information Packet Service, TIP-38, "Specialized and Novel Methods of Surface Preparation" and it includes the following three papers: "Ice Blast Technology"  and "Perspectives on Surface Preparation with CO2 Blasting", both from the Dec. '90 Proceedings;  and "Ice Blasting is One Step in Restoring Historic Site" from JCPL Column Innovative Practice Oct. '93.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^

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