For many years sandblasting has been used in a variety of industries for its ability to clean, smooth, and remove surface finished quickly and efficiently. Recently, there has been some speculation over its effectiveness. It is very successful in fast removal of surface contaminants such as dirt, grit, paint and other coatings. Also, it is more eco-friendly than the use of acids or sodas that could also be used in these circumstances.
The disadvantages of sandblasting provide more info about why this method may be overcome by some of its new competitors. Sandblasting is very abrasive, which can cause problems if precautions are not taken while performing the operation. If you focus too long on one spot, the form of the material may be changed or even damaged. Also while sandblasting, the sand hitting the object at such high speeds creates heat which causes sparking and static electricity. Thus, preventative actions need to be taken in order to avoid a fire. While blasting the object with dry sand, the area around the object will need to be enclosed to help control the amount of dust in the air. These airborne particles can be harmful to humans if inhaled. The size of the sand particles causes problems during cleanup. These particles can collect in crevices and other areas hard to reach, which requires thorough cleaning after the process is complete.
These disadvantages led to the research and production of a new product called Dry Ice Blasting, also known as Dry Ice Cleaning. Cryogenis developed this product as a safe, clean alternative to bead, grit and sand blasting. Dry Ice Blasting is an industrial cleaning process in which particles of solid carbon dioxide are propelled at high velocities at a surface to clean and remove contaminants in the same way as sandblasting. It is a non-abrasive material which cleans without eroding the surface of the object. It is a fast and cost effective way to remove surface contaminants. The carbon dioxide particles are not left behind after the process of cleaning, they simply evaporate into the air, which eliminates the secondary waste stream. While removing the secondary waste stream, the only thing left to clean up is the surface contaminants that were removed from the object. Dry Ice Blasting reduces or eliminates employee exposure to the use of dangerous chemical cleaning agents. It can also be safely used on food processing equipment since the equipment will not be covered in dangerous chemicals or sand particles.
While sand and soda blasting leave toxic secondary waste to be cleaned up in addition to the substrate removed from the surface, Dry Ice Blasting is a safer alternative in that it only leaves behind the surface substrate. This allows for a safer and faster cleanup. Dry ice is approved by the EPA, FDA & other authorities and is non-toxic, non-hazardous and inhibits mold and bacteria growth. Additionally, dry ice is obtained as a byproduct of other industrial processes. It is formed from reclaimed CO2, and does not produce or generate any extra CO2 to the atmosphere and does not contribute to the greenhouse effect.