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Ice Blaster

Ice blaster: Cryogenic cleaning dry ice blasting


Ice blaster: Cryogenic cleaning dry ice blasting
Cryogenic cleaning is a revolutionary method of cleaning which uses dry ice as the cleaning agent. The term “dry ice” is that by which carbon dioxide (CO2) is commonly referred to in its solid state, which at atmospheric pressure has a temperature of – 80°.


These factors determine the success of this cleaning process, which is based fundamentally on three effects:

1.1.MECHANICAL.The pellets of dry ice, with a diameter of 3-16 mm, are accelerated in the air blast (Venturi system), striking the unwanted incrustations at high speed, which are thus removed.


* The pellets of CO2 are non-toxic; they sublimate on impact (returning to their normal gaseous state in the atmosphere) and do not require disposal.
The cleaning process takes place via “the removal of incrustation on impact”; on impact, the pellets penetrate to the surface beneath the waste material, they shatter, creating a high speed flow of dry ice particles which explode at the point of impact – this in turn produces a blast which lifts the contaminant from the object in question, removing it from within.

There is no damage to the substratum, in that there is no abrasive or cutting process.
Since CO2 sublimates, the only residue is the detritus which has been cleaned off.
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2.THERMAL.The thermal shock generated by the extremely low temperature of the dry ice makes the incrustation friable and separates it from the surface to be cleaned in such a way as to make it easily removable.


3.SUBLIMATION.When the dry ice strikes the surface to be cleaned, it passes from the solid state to the gaseous one: as a result, the carbon dioxide expands to about 700 times its original volume, producing an explosion in the encrustations on the surface to be cleaned. Furthermore, during the sublimation from solid to gaseous state, carbon dioxide has a bacteriostatic and fungistat effect, which slows down the proliferation of microbiological flora, thus guaranteeing excellent conditions from the hygienic point of view as well. Another important characteristic of dry ice is the fact that it does not leave any traces of damp on the products with which it comes in contact. In fact, during sublimation, dry ice produces an atmosphere which is saturated with carbon dioxide, which, being a dry gas, tends to reduce the amount of humidity in the atmosphere without leaving a trace of water on the surfaces being treated. For this reason, cryogenic cleaning is advisable both in the food processing industry as well as in the cleaning of electrical installations.




THE ADVANTAGES OF CRYOGENIC CLEANING

  • Dry process – This method of cleaning involves a completely dry process, since dry ice is constituted by CO2 and therefore evaporates on contact with other surfaces.
  • No residue – This process leaves no residue. All that is required is to vacuum up or collect the deposits that have been taken of.
  • Ecological – The dry cleaning method does not involve the use of chemical substances and is absolutely non-toxic. There are no costs related to the disposal of detergents or solvents, and the amount of detritus to be depurated is reduced.
  • Not abrasive – Cleaning with dry ice has no abrasive effect and is therefore extremely delicate on surfaces, thus avoiding the more common use of sandblasting treatment or cleaning with chemical substances, detergents, spatulas and metal brushes.
  • Increase in productivity – The downtime for maintenance is reduced since dismantling and reassembling operations are no longer necessary. Often machinery can be cleaned whilst still operating, in order to increase effective production time.
  • Efficiency – Thanks to jet nozzles and differentiable cleaning speeds, it is even possible to get to parts normally difficult to access, without leaving any trace of detergents on production lines or mechanical parts.
  • Safety – Cryogenic sandblasting, carried out using individual protective measures, substitutes traditional cleaning methods like sandblasting or cleaning using chlorinated or fluoride solvents: it can safely be said that cryogenic sandblasting brings about a major improvement in working conditions for the operator.





APPLICATIONS OF CRYOGENIC CLEANING

  • Removal of carbon residue, secondary smog residues, paint-based graffiti or writing.
  • Printing: efficiently removes dry and humid colour, dust, paper-dust particles and glue residues.
  • Food processing industry: efficiently cleans packing machines, removing glue residues, paper-dust particles and food product remnants without the use of water or chemical substances.
  • Plastics industry: delicately cleans plastic cladding and micro-cellular polyurethane.
  • Machinery: printing presses, live electric switchboard racks, thermo-plastic adhesive and glue distributors, extruders, polymerisation presses, photocopiers, production lines…
  • Production lines: industrial ovens, soldering robots, sugar silos, polymerisation containers, assembly lines, conveyor systems…
  • Dies and moulds: aluminium cast iron, tyres in SBR rubber, epoxy resin, oven hotplates, plastics injection, extrusion dies, seating in PU foam, semi-finished products in PET.
  • Various: mechanized cleaning, reconditioning after fires, removal of asbestos, elimination of paint and varnish, nuclear decontamination, cleaning of the inner parts of high energy alternators, special cleaning of buildings, cleaning with turbine.
 


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