Dry ice blasting - really an alternative?


Dry ice blasting seems to be the better alternative to sandblasting, with its many benefits. In which areas dry ice blasting offers no alternative, and where it can be successfully used against it, read in this article.

Advantages of dry ice blasting

Dry ice blasting offers some major advantages over conventional sandblasting:

  • The method is not abrasive
  • The method leaves no residue
  • Dry ice blasting is easy and without health hazard outdoors, it is no jet box needed
  • There are no requirements of the Environmental Office
  • The method does not cause any current flows (unlike when cleaning with water)
  • The method is food-neutral

Positive effects of dry ice blasting

Dry ice blasting is extremely gentle: even sensitive surfaces are not damaged, only foreign substances on the surface (dirt, deposits) are effectively removed.

Due to the special blasting material, frozen carbon dioxide, no residues remain. After it has warmed up, it literally dissolves into air, leaving only dirt behind. There are no residues of moisture or chemicals on the workpiece that could damage the surface or cause corrosion.

During use, there is also no change in the chemical or physical properties of a surface (conductivity, etc.). It can also be used in devices and machines, even during operation.

Limits of application

However, this advantageous and gentle beam method also has its disadvantages. This is especially noticeable in the areas discussed below.

Dry ice blasting is not abrasive

However, this is expressly desired in some cases. If the surface layer, which has been damaged by corrosion, is to be removed, a blasting material with more or less abrasive effect is required (depending on the material).

Sandblasting fulfills the function of sanding rather than cleaning. In some cases, dry blasting may be blended with dry ice, but the effect is not optimal, it merely represents a less effective compromise.

Dirt is harder than the workpiece

If the dirt deposit on the workpiece is harder than the workpiece itself (eg softwood), dry ice blasting can not be used.

Cold sensitivity of the surface

Some materials tend to change their physical properties under the influence of massive cold. It can lead to embrittlement of the material, which is not desirable, the surface can be permanently damaged, in some materials even the entire component.

Discoloration of the material

When it comes not only to superficial pollution, but also to deeper penetration of the dirt into the material itself, a chemical reaction often takes place between the material and the pollutant. The material changes color. Such discolorations can not be eliminated by means of dry ice blasting.

Accessibility of the workpiece

Dry ice blasting works optimally where the grit hits the workpiece exactly at right angles. Where this is not possible, the effectiveness of dry ice blasting quickly drops significantly, even where the compressed air is no longer sufficient.


Video Board: Blackwells Inc Dry Ice Blasting