Dry ice cleaning technology

The dry ice cleaning technology provides a complete, entirely dry (no water) and efficient cleaning process for products, machinery, equipment, or production.

The process is customisable to the working area. The cleaning technology is subdivided into dry ice and dry snow cleaning. Dry snow is used for cleaning delicate surfaces. Dry ice is crushed into smaller pieces (size from 0.2 mm to 1.6 mm) and lower pressure is used (from 1.5 bar to 6 bar).

Dry ice cleaning technology

Dry ice is used for cleaning stubborn dirt on less delicate surfaces. The particle size of 3 mm and pressure from 5 to 14 bar is used. In the most demanding cleaning processes, the dry ice particles are accelerated by means of compressed air (up to 14 bar) to the ultrasonic speeds (1300 km/h). The particles hit the surface covered in dirt, providing highly efficient cleaning with three effects.

Dry ice cleaning effects

  • Kinetic effect. The energy is transferred the moment the dry ice hits the surface covered in dirt with a high velocity. The dry ice pellets break through the dirt, while the energy transfer causes non-abrasive dirt removal from the surface. 
  • Thermal shock. A micro thermal shock occurs between the surface and the dirt at the point of impact, causing the dirt to crack and flake off, and thus increasing the cleaning effect.
  • Sublimation. After the impact, the dry ice pellets transform into gas. The process is called sublimation. The dry ice volume expands (increasing by 800%), causing micro explosions that further remove the dirt layers.

Dry ice cleaning shortens the cleaning process, having a direct impact on costs and productivity, since the production lines and devices usually do not need to be disassembled, protected, and reassembled. In most cases, the equipment is cleaned on the spot.

Given that the process is completely dry, it can be used for all electrical and mechanical devices. These can be immediately restarted after the cleaning. The method is non-abrasive. No secondary or chemical waste is produced in the cleaning process, so the method can be used on delicate and vital device/machine components.

What is dry ice?

  • Dry ice is carbon dioxide (CO2) in a solid state, with a temperature of -78.5°C.
  • Dry ice is produced in a standard size of 3 mm in diameter and various lengths.
  • For sensitive and demanding surfaces, the ice is transformed into dry snow by crushing it down to 0.2 mm granulation in a dedicated machine.
  • It is an odourless and tasteless, and contains no bacteria.
  • It already sublimates at -78.48°C, quickly transforming into gas at room temperature.
  • Typical sublimation of dry ice in boxes suitable for storage, is from 0.05 to 15%/day.

Dry ice usage possibilities

  • Maintenance cleaning
    We provide the specialised cleaning of production facilities and lines, mobile and fixed machinery, industrial robots, electronic devices, etc. Maintenance cleaning is required to ensure uninterrupted operation of machinery and lines, easier servicing, and in case of overheating or for fire safety reasons.
  • Cleaning in chambers
    A dedicated cleaning chamber with suction is installed at your production facility. Cleaning can be performed by us or your employees, to whom we provide the appropriate training for efficient and safe work with dry ice.
  • Recovery cleaning
    Recovery cleaning is required in case of accidents in production (spillage, fire, etc.). In such unwanted events, it is important to recover the facilities and equipment quickly and efficiently.

The dry ice advantages

Dry ice has many advantages compared to other blasting media:

  • It is non-abrasive, non-flammable, and electrically non-conductive;
  • Dry ice transforms into gas in the cleaning process, leaving the surface clean and dry;
  • It is environmentally friendly and does not contain secondary pollutants;
  • Because it is clean and a disinfectant, its use is recommended in the food, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries;
  • Economically favourable, since the equipment, device, or machinery elements can be cleaned without disassembly and on the spot;
  • Also suitable for cleaning sensitive surfaces - electronic circuits.

Dry ice usage case studies

See the case studies by clicking on the individual images.

Environmentally friendly and safe technology

The dry ice cleaning process is the most environmentally friendly technology. Recycled carbon dioxide (CO2), a by-product of chemical processes, is used in the production of dry ice. Dry ice is used for cleaning purposes and it does not pollute our environment in the process.

Dry ice cleaning method vs. other methods

The dry ice cleaning method, with its specific characteristics, is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution.

Cleaning Method Abrazivi Secondary Waste Environmentally Responsible Toxic Electrically Conductive
Dry Ice Cleaning NO NO YES NO NO
Sandblasting YES YES NO * NO
Shot Peening YES YES YES * NO
Laser cleaning NO NO YES * YES
Preasure Washing NO YES NO * YES
Solvents/Chemicals NO YES NO YES N/A
Hand Tools YES NO N/A N/A N/A
* Classic materials absorb impurities, when used to clean hazardous materials and items. These materials are then separated as toxic waste, requiring a special and safe removal. Being aware of the importance of protecting our environment, we have committed to the ISO 14001 environmental certificate.
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