This very topic primarily focuses on the industrial cleaning aspect which is considered very important by maintenance departments. Today you need to keep all your industrial machines and applications in perfect order to maximize the production capacity and also reducing the accidents occurring due to poor maintenance. In order to keep your equipment and machines clean traditional cleaning methods such as sand blasting, solvents and high pressure water blasting have been used. But all these methods have become a thing of the past since modern fast paced companies need quicker and more efficient ways to keep their equipment clean. A revolutionary new cleaning process called Dry Ice Blasting uses pellets of CO2 (dry ice). It is primarily used for a variety of applications to reduce downtime and waste generation. The pellets sublimate (convert directly from a solid blast pellet to a vapor CO2) leaving no residue.

So what exactly is Dry Ice Blasting?
It is a process in which dry ice particles are propelled to supersonic speed impacting and thus breaking free the debris on a surface. The particles are accelerated by compressed air just as with other blasting systems. The micro-thermal shock (caused by the dry ice temperature of -79º C), the kinetic energy of dry ice pellets and the air pressure break the bond between the coating and the substrate. It pops off the coating from inside out and the air stream removes it from the surface. Industries can utilize the CO2 blasting method through equipment that fires the pellets through a blasting gun. It is called instantaneous sublimation. Upon impact the dry ice sublimates (vaporizes). When the dry ice impacts the surface being cleaned it emits ambient heat that causes the separation of dirt particles from the contaminated area and thus making the surface clean. The dry ice blasting is very advantageous as compared to some traditional methods. Some of the issues that traditional cleaning systems face are listed below:

• Disassembly/reassembly; drying time required.
• Solvents become a secondary contaminant and must be disposed of.
• Intensive hand scrubbing; lengthy cleanings and follow-up cleaning-up can be lengthy.
• Poor to average results.
• Grit abrasions; grit contamination; movement of equipment to and from cleaning area
• Health and environmental threats from solvents; water-based cleaning pose hazards around electrical equipment.
• Cleaning agent becomes additional hazardous waste; expensive solvents; additional labor and personal protective equipment is required.

Whereas Dry Ice Blasting has the following advantages:
• Equipment can be cleaned in place; dry process; can clean while equipment is hot with no down-time.
• No additional contaminant; dry ice sublimates when contacting the targeted surface so only clean-up of the removed contaminant is necessary.
• Dramatically reduced labor - often completed in half the time or better.
• No equipment damage; preventive maintenance very realistic as labor hours are significantly less.
• Standard safety precautions; dry process - safe around electrical equipment
• Minimal - cost of dry ice.

The Dry Ice Blasting process is accentuated with the environmental benefits because companies today want to minimize their industrial waste. When all benefits of Dry Ice Blasting are added up Dry Ice Blasting is the perfect solution to reduce environmental waste, production downtime and plant maintenance concerns.

Some of the industries where Dry Ice Blasting is widely being used are:
Historical Restoration
Mold Remediation
Contract Cleaning
Fire Restoration
Power Generation
Food and Beverage
General Maintenance

The process is used in almost any type of industry that has equipment which regularly needs to be cleaned. It is safe to be used where there are smoke particles and residues of mold. Dry Ice Blasting for ink presses is a rapidly sought-after process for the printing industry. Build-up of ink causes production quality and safety concerns. Dry Ice Blasting ink presses are beneficial because it takes away the need for manual labor, solvents and down-time. It has certainly been a revolution for not only the printing industry but also almost all industries that use equipment. Dry Ice Blasting is the tried and true method against obsolete cleaning technologies and is gaining in popularity with plant maintenance crews.

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Author's Bio: 

Smith Mossan
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