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Dry ice blaster popular in cleaning applications

AS DRY AS ICE The use of solid carbon dioxide, or dry ice, reduces wet waste during the cleaning for foundries, forges and die-cast companies

FIGHTING THE FILTH The dirt that accumulates in foundries, forges and die casting can detract from the quality of its products, therefore using a reputable and efficient cleaning process like dry ice blasting is recommended

8th March 2024

By: Halima Frost

Senior Writer

     

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With more than 30 units of the Intelblast (IBL) 3000 having been sold to foundries, forges and die-casting companies across South Africa, blasting machine manufacturer Dry Ice Blasting Services continues to maintain its foothold in the sector.

More than 200 of the industrial-sized dry ice blasters have been sold to industrial sectors in South Africa and wider Southern Africa since the product launched in 2020.

The IBL 3000 was designed by cleaning technology company Intelblast, in Denmark, in close cooperation with a client, specifically for narrow factory spaces.

Consequently, the width of the IBL 3000 was reduced to just 40 cm, compared with other dry ice blasters that are available in the market today.

Size and simplicity, combined with strength and durability, were the key factors in the design process.

“We are the sole agents for the Intelblast brand in South Africa and Africa,” says Dry Ice Blasting Services blasting manager Wynand Schutte.

The IBL 3000 is imported in flatpack form from the original-equipment manufacturer and then built, commissioned and serviced by Dry Ice Blasting Services in South Africa.

“We also keep stock of all spares parts of the IBL 3000 and our qualified technicians carry out the services on the units.”

Schutte adds that dry ice blast cleaning can be done while equipment is hot and in situ, marking a significant departure from conventional methods.

These systems have seamlessly integrated into daily operations, diversifying the approach to the cleaning of equipment on site, he says.

This innovative approach not only saves valuable time but also enhances overall productivity, he says.

How It Works

Foundries, in particular, face the challenge of maintaining clean and functional equipment to ensure smooth operations while preventing the stripping of moulds, and the use of abrasive cleaning methods can cause damage to the surface over a period of time.

The IBL 3000 uses the solid form of carbon dioxide, referred to as dry ice, which is accelerated in a pressurised air stream and directed at a surface to clean it.

Dry ice blasting does not accumulate contaminants in the waste stream and therefore, significantly reduces the amount of secondary waste for disposal.

“The unique technique is transforming the landscape of foundry maintenance in South Africa,” says Schutte.

Traditional cleaning methods often involve significant downtime and labour-intensive processes that often require additional, suitable waste management systems.

“In the context of metal casting operations, dry ice blast cleaning proves especially beneficial for cleaning core boxes – a critical component in the manufacturing process,” he posits.

Core boxes, used in moulding operations to create intricate metal castings, are prone to accumulating contaminants over time. These contaminants can compromise the quality of a casting and impede operational efficiency.

However, dry ice blast cleaning is faster and more thorough, with unwanted contaminants removed more efficiently, allowing for the core boxes to be returned to service in a short period of time.

This process is particularly advantageous for cleaning hot mould cure cores, isocure cores and poured aluminium moulds – all of which are essential elements in various foundry operations.

The adoption of this method by several large foundries in South Africa underscores its effectiveness and reliability, he notes.

These systems have seamlessly integrated into daily operations, diversifying the approach to in situ cleaning.

Schutte stresses that, as the manufacturing industry continues to evolve, embracing more advanced technologies, such as dry ice blast cleaning, will be instrumental in driving progress and competitiveness in the sector.

“Our clients in the foundry sector are greatly satisfied with the results of IBL 3000, owing to its low maintenance, robustness and cost saving compared with other cleaning methods and the fact that it eliminates the need for disassembly and manual cleaning.”

In the realm of industrial manufacturing, efficiency is paramount, he concludes.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor

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