Dry ice blasting is a method of cleaning which uses solid co2 pellets, or dry ice, in order to clean surfaces such as brick, wood or metal. This is a powerful method of cleaning that is thought to be more environmentally friendly than other abrasive cleaning techniques
Dry ice is actually formed when carbon dioxide gas is pressurised and cooled at the same time, until it forms into small, solid pellets. These can reach incredibly cold temperatures and emit a white smoke-like vapour.
These pellets are used to clean many different surfaces, and while still a more experimental cleaning method, they have proven to be effective and cause minimal damage, leave behind no residue and are less harmful to the environment and surrounding areas compared to other methods such as sandblasting.
The dry ice is loaded into a dry ice blasting machine, similar to a sand blasting machine only specialised for use with dry ice, and they are then fired through the nozzle of the machine using compressed air.
This firing accelerates them at a high speed, meaning when they hit the surface they are aimed at, they convert from solid pellets back into a gas.
The dry ice essentially ‘explodes’ as it hits the surface therefore blasting and dirt, debris and contaminants away from the surface. Once they are dislodged, they simply fall away from the surface similar to how pressure washing or sandblasting propels the dirt away.
Due to the lack of residue, the fact no material such as sand is used and the elimination of the need for water, this method of cleaning is much less harmful to the environment.
No chemicals or hazardous by-products are produced using this method of cleaning and therefore there is minimal effect on the environment when using this method.