En­vi­ron­men­tally re­spon­si­ble clean­ing process with­out haz­ardous, sec­ondary waste

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - HEALTH & SAFETY -

Dry Ice Blast­ing

is a ground­break­ing, non-toxic, non-abra­sive clean­ing method that pro­duces zero sec­ondary waste (e.g. sand/glass, dirty wa­ter, dirty cloths and chem­i­cal con­tain­ers), says provider Presco En­vi­ron­men­tal. Dry ice pel­lets (made of CO2) re­place tra­di­tional blast­ing ma­te­ri­als such as steam, wa­ter and chem­i­cals, and va­por­ize im­me­di­ately on con­tact with the sur­face be­ing cleaned. Only the soil that has been dis­lodged re­mains to be disposed of. The process is, reck­ons Presco, the fu­ture of clean­ing.

Dry ice is the solid form of re­cy­cled car­bon diox­ide (a nat­u­ral part of the at­mos­phere). At at­mo­spheric pres­sure, dry ice is -78 ˚C. It is odour-free, non-toxic, and in­com­bustible.

Dry ice has a great benefit over tra­di­tional ice. When dry ice melts, it goes through a process called Subli­ma­tion. Subli­ma­tion is the trans­for­ma­tion from solid state to gas state with­out going to a liq­uid state. This means that dry ice does not pro­duce liq­uid, where reg­u­lar ice would pro­duce wa­ter. When dry ice melts, it merely turns in to a gas and dis­ap­pears. This is where dry ice gets its name… when it melts, it is dry.

The very low tem­per­a­ture, -78˚C, means dry ice clean­ing has a sani­tis­ing ef­fect on the sur­faces be­ing cleaned. Al­ler­gen con­tam­i­na­tion is elim­i­nated, sur­faces are ster­ilised and mould and bac­te­ria growth is in­hib­ited.

Dry ice blast­ing is rec­og­nized as an en­vi­ron­men­tally re­spon­si­ble clean­ing process be­cause it doesn’t pro­duce any haz­ardous, sec­ondary waste. Dry ice is made from Car­bon Diox­ide (CO2) that would nor­mally have been re­leased into the at­mos­phere. It gives CO2 emis­sions a “sec­ond life” in per­form­ing a clean­ing task be­fore be­ing fi­nally re­leased. Dry ice blast­ing has no ozone de­plet­ing po­ten­tial.

Most other blast me­dia leave sec­ondary waste be­hind. Dry ice sub­li­mates (va­por­izes) upon im­pact with the sur­face. All that re­mains is the con­tam­i­nant you are re­mov­ing, dis­placed from the sub­strate. Also, since dry ice va­por­izes on im­pact, the process can be used to clean com­pli­cated cav­i­ties where typ­i­cal grit blast me­dia will be­come trapped.

The dry ice blast­ing process will not dam­age the sub­strate. The size of the dry ice pel­lets and their ve­loc­ity can be op­ti­mized to re­move the con­tam­i­nant while re­main­ing non-abra­sive to the sub­strate. The process can clean del­i­cate chrome or nickel plated tools, soft alu­minum or brass al­loys, wire in­su­la­tion and even cir­cuit boards – all with­out caus­ing dam­age.

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