Similar to sand blasting, bead blasting or soda blasting, dry ice blasting service provider Dry Ice Blasting Services underscores the advantages to dry ice blast cleaning, which it says is “not well known”, although it is a time-saving, green and cost-effective cleaning method.
The modernized cleaning method is a non-abrasive, non-toxic and innovative method through which the company can reduce a customer’s downtime and increase production output.
However, the innovative method is still largely unknown in the industry, which is why Dry Ice Blasting Services will be exhibiting at this year’s Electra Mining Exhibition, in September.
The company will introduce the Intelblast 3000 and Intelblast Mini Dry Ice Blasters at the event.
Unlike other blast media, dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide (CO2) at a temperature of -78.5 °C and sees 3 mm dry ice accelerated in a pressurised air stream to impact the surface to be cleaned. Once in contact with the surface, it freezes the dirt on impact and rapidly sublimates, making it more environment-friendly than other methods, as it does not require a secondary waste clean-up.
Because of the temperature difference between the dry ice particles and the surface being treated, thermal shock occurs during the process. This causes a breakdown of the bond between the two dissimilar materials.
The dry ice pellets are accelerated up to 300 m/s (1 080 km/h) by the compressed air and then blasted onto the surface to be cleaned, the company explains, adding that the second part of the cleaning process is the impact of high kinetic energy.
The method also removes frozen dirt without causing any damage or abrasion to the surface.
This process is called sublimation and is a unique characteristic of dry ice, which “makes it ideal for cleaning a variety of industrial equipment”, the company tells Mining Weekly.
As a result of zero abrasion, customers are able to increase safety, ensure a faster and more thorough clean, reduce or eliminate the use of permanent blast media, reduce waste disposal and decrease downtime while simultaneously increasing productivity and bottom-line savings.
The innovative cleaning method can be used in a variety of industries and applications, including mining, electrical power generation, and chemical and petroleum, as well as in the electrical (including power generation) and mining industries.
In addition, equipment (including electrical panels, breakers, busbar, CT’s, VT’s, monoblocks, isolators, cables and cable trays, transformers, transformer structures, transformer radiators, rotors and stators) can be cleaned effectively with dryice without causing any damage to the components.
Specific to the mining industry, the company notes that lime plants, plant machinery, and mining truck engines can be cleaned via this method, resulting in “spectacular results”.
“We also strongly recommend preventative maintenance through dry-ice cleaning on the abovementioned equipment, as this will prolong the life of the equipment and prevent carbon and dust build-up on busbars that causes flashes,” the company elaborates.
It adds that dry-ice cleaning has also been proven to increase the insulation resistance in a rotor by up to 40%.
Dry Ice Blasting Services is the sole supplier of Europe’s best available blasting equipment in South Africa and Africa, namely the Intelblast 3000 and Intelblast Mini dry-ice blasters.
“We have well-trained professional teams that can do the dry ice cleaning in any industry and on a variety of equipment. What sets us apart is the combined experience of more than 28 years in dry ice cleaning in most industries,” the company states.
It also has emergency response teams that can attend to a substation, where time to reinstate the substation is of the essence.