Whilst dry ice blasting with 3mm pellets is the staple of our works, sometimes we have to change away from conventional blasting in order to complete a job.
Optimum have a variety of tools at our disposal to do this. The main option is using ‘splitter’ discs in our ice flow to perform, what is known as, snow blasting or Cryosnow blasting. This is a very gentle abrasive that uses a lot less air. It is ideal when blasting oak beams or delicate electricals.
If we are needing to remove a brittle surface or mineral away from a substrate, then we will apply heat to the substrate. This has the effect of creating a greater kinetic energy impact and therefore loosening the material a whole lot quicker. This form of Cryogenic Cleaning or Cryoclean is often underused by a lot of dry ice blasting contractors. A recent example of this was to remove calcite from process washing machinery. The sheer cold of dry ice blasting was hardening the mineral making it difficult to remove. Once we added some heat to the process the calcite literally flew off.
There are more and more specialist cryogenic machines that are now coming to market. These machines are not cheap so making sure your choice is fit for purpose is extremely important.
Dry ice blasting, cryogenic blasting, cryoclean, cryosnow, snow blasting, call it what you will, the fact is they all use extreme cold to achieve the same result. Contamination removal. As I mentioned above, our preferred method is to use 3mm dry ice blasting pellets but have an armoury of surface removal techniques to work around our primary process.
So far so good for Optimum Dry Ice Blasting. Our client base continues to grow so we must be doing something right!
By Ian Reynolds