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Dry Ice Blasting Process

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With the dry ice blasting process, dry ice (CO2) particles are propelled to supersonic speed impacting and cleaning a surface. The particles are accelerated by compressed air, just as with other blasting methods. Overall, there are three steps involved in dry ice blasting. It can be better understood in the following example.

Click on the DOWN ARROW in the diagram below to see a depiction of the dry ice blasting process:

The Three Step Process of Dry Ice Blasting

#1 - Energy Transfer

With dry ice blasting, dry ice pellets are propelled out of the blasting gun at supersonic speed and impact the surface. The energy transfer knocks off the contaminant without abrasion. The force of this impact is the primary means of cleaning.

#2 - Micro-Thermal Shock

The cold temperature during dry ice blasting of the dry ice pellets hitting the contaminant creates a micro-thermal shock (caused by the dry ice temperature of -79 C) between the surface contaminant and the substrate. Cracking and delamination of the contaminant occurs furthering the elimination process.

#3 - Gas Pressure

The final phase of dry ice blasting has the dry ice pellet explode on impact, and as the pellet warms it converts to a harmless CO2 gas which expands rapidly underneath the contaminant surface. This forces off the contaminant from behind. The contaminant is then relocated, typically falling to the ground.. Since the dry ice evaporates, only the contaminant is left for disposal.

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