dry ice blasting vs. abrasive ice blasting

Dry Ice Blasting vs. Abrasive Ice Blasting


Dry ice blasting and abrasive ice blasting are surface cleaning methods with cost-saving advantages over sand blasting, power washing, slurry blasting, and dustless blasting. Sand blasting propels a high-pressure stream of abrasive material against a surface, creating significant dust that requires time-consuming cleanup. Power washing, slurry blasting, and dustless blasting leave behind water that may contain contaminants. With each of these techniques, the cleanup costs can be significant.

The Basics of Better Blasting

Dry ice blasting and abrasive ice blasting provide two alternatives to these other methods. Both use compressed air to propel a stream of dry ice particles at the target surface. This process, known as sublimation, is effectively media-less because when dry ice hits a surface, it turns to a gas and evaporates. As a result, the only thing that dry ice blasting leaves behind is unwanted material from the surface that was cleaned. This saves time and money on cleanups, but what if you need more aggressive cleaning?

Abrasive dry ice blasting combines the benefits of dry ice blasting with the added aggression of an abrasive. During cleaning, a specialized abrasive is combined with dry ice particles. The abrasive creates only minimal dust – and significantly less dust than with sand blasting. Plus, there’s no residual water as with power washing, slurry blasting, or dustless blasting. There are advantages to abrasive dry ice blasting, but is it the right choice for your application?

Dry Ice Blasting

Dry ice blasting is used in facilities management, mold cleaning, parts deflashing, historic restoration, disaster remediation, and equipment cleaning applications. The media in this environmentally-friendly process doesn’t create dust, making it a good choice for sanitary environments. For parts manufacturers, dry ice particles won’t lodge in tight angles or tough geometries. Dry ice blasting won’t damage surface finish either, but this effectively media-less process isn’t as aggressive as abrasive ice blasting.

Nitrofreeze® provides contract dry ice blasting services, and sells, rents, and services dry ice blasters made by ColdJet®. There are two platforms. The i3 Microclean was designed for plastics manufacturers who need to deflash parts and clean molds and equipment. The Aero2 PCS 60 is more flexible and supports all of the industries and applications that use dry ice blasting. Importantly, the Aero2 PCS 60  provides control over dry-ice particle sizes for customizable cleaning and has a wheeled design for greater mobility.    

Abrasive Ice Blasting

Nitrofreeze® also provides abrasive ice blasting services and sell, rents, and services abrasive ice blasters made by ColdJet®. Recently, our Worcester, Massachusetts (USA) company purchased an E-CO2™ 150 abrasive ice blasting system that combines an Aero PLT® 60 dry ice blaster with a custom 1.5 cubic feet pressurized pot. This unit uses a proprietary mixture of dry ice and abrasive medium to lower dust up to 97%, which is well below guidelines from the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA).

Abrasive ice blasting can be used in facilities management applications where minimal amounts of abrasive dust are acceptable. Like the Aero PCS® 60 dry ice blaster, the Aero PLT® 60 abrasive dry ice blaster cuts dry ice into precise, diamond-shaped particles in sizes ranging from 0.3 mm to 3 mm. The custom blast pot combines accurate abrasive dosing with an ergonomic application. When a user pulls the trigger, the dry ice and abrasive feed together simultaneously for a stream that’s easy-to-aim.

Ask Nitrofreeze® and Make the Right Choice

Dry ice blasting and abrasive ice blasting provide cost-saving advantages over sand blasting, power washing, slurry blasting, and dustless blasting. Both processes use dry ice particles, but these surface cleaning techniques are not the same. For help determining which method is right for your next project, contact Nitrofreeze® at the phone number and email listed below.

(508) 459-7447 x109 | info@nitrofreeze.com