Sand Blasting VS Dry Ice Blast Cleaning

What is the difference between sand blasting and dry ice blast cleaning?

When choosing a cleaning method for industrial applications, there are a number of things to consider:

– Safety.
– Time efficiency.
– Cost vs Value.
– Waste produced.
– Environmentally conscious.

While most cleaning methods accomplish the same results in the end, the wise operations manager is well aware of how those results are accomplished and what each process really costs in the long run.

Solvent based cleaning methods, for instance, are very time-consuming and labor intensive. Solvents are harmful to the environment, pose a potential safety risk to the employees and require secure storage and disposal. Solvents also create a great deal of secondary waste (i.e. used solvent, rags, hazardous waste disposal issues etc… ).

Media blasting (sand, shells, beads etc… ) also creates secondary waste, is very abrasive, may harm some surfaces, may embed impurities into the item being cleaned and then the media needs to be disposed of or recycled.

Dry ice blasting, on the other hand, does not create any secondary waste because dry ice sublimates on contact. Sublimation is the process by which a solid converts to a gas. Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide, a recycled gas pulled from the environment and extruded into pellets.

Since solvent-based cleaning is so labor intensive, time-consuming and creates the greatest amount of hazardous waste, let’s examine the differences between media blasting and dry ice cleaning.

Sand Blasting:

– Highly abrasive. Abrasives may damage surfaces and can contaminate bearings, slides, guides and interfere with delicate tolerances.
– Grit media added to the environment can drift and cause inhalation hazards.
– Grit media must be contained, captured, disposed of or recycled.
– Grit media is unsanitary and can contaminate surfaces and the environment.

Dry Ice Blast Cleaning:

– Non-abrasive. Does not abrade or damage surfaces.
– No media added to the environment. No inhalation hazard.
– No excess media to contain, capture, dispose of or recycle.
– Sanitizes as it cleans. Surface temperatures are flash frozen to 110 degrees farenheit.

The similarities:

Both methods clean. Both utilize the power of compressed air. And… that’s about it. There really aren’t that many similarities between these two cleaning methods. It’s true that there will always be certain cleaning applications that work best in specific situations. However, be sure that you understand the benefit to cost ratio of whatever method you choose.

Which cleaning method is more economical?
Which method is more efficient?
Does CO2 blasting clean better than sand blasting?

There are no hard and fast answers to these questions. Your cleaning challenge is unique and you should seek the advice of a cleaning professional to assess your unique situation.