dry ice cleaning for injection molds

Dry Ice Cleaning for Injection Molds

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Injection molds that are cleaned with dry ice blasting are helping plastic and rubber molders to reduce costs and improve quality. Dry ice cleaning removes surface residues without creating secondary waste. It also eliminates time-consuming scrubbing and won’t harm mold surfaces. Importantly, dry ice blasting allows operators to clean molds that are hot and still in-place. Because of the way it works, dry ice cleaning can safely reach tight spaces while providing other cost-saving, quality-raising advantages.

How Dry Ice Blasting Works

Dry ice blasting uses compressed air to propel a stream of dry ice particles at a target surface. This non-abrasive process is effectively media-less because when dry ice hits the surface, it turns to a gas and evaporates through sublimation. As a result, dry ice cleaning can remove contaminants from tight spaces without leaving any blast media inside. That’s not always the case with plastic media blasting, a cleaning method that also produces secondary waste.

As this YouTube video shows, dry ice blasting can clean large mold surfaces efficiently and remove fouling from mold cavities with ease. Injection molds for small parts, tooling with tight dimensional tolerances, and molds with finer surface finishes are all good candidates for dry ice cleaning. Because this technique is FDA, USDA, and EPA approved, it’s also a good choice for medical molders or companies that work with the food industry. There are other advantages as well. Unlike laser cleaning, a process that risks stripping the mold of its protective coating, dry ice blasting removes only the mold fouling.

Reducing Costs and Improving Quality

Proper mold cleaning is important because the cooling channels in injection molds are prone to clogging, typically because of water quality issues. The results can range from slower cooling rates to slower cycle times. Over many manufacturing cycles, an extra second of injection molding cycle time can add up to hours of lost productivity. For plastic and rubber molders who want to increase their competitiveness, it’s important to keep machinery calibrated and molds cleaned.

Unlike other cleaning methods, dry ice blasting can be performed as soon as a mold cycle is complete and while the injection mold is still in the machine. Operators don’t have to wait until the mold cools and don’t need to move the tooling to another location within the facility. By contrast, chemical cleaning and ultrasonic immersion cleaning require the removal of the tool and its immersion in a bath or tank. Injection molders can either buy portable dry ice blasting equipment or send their molds to a service provider.

Dry Ice Blasting Services and Equipment

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. The Aero2 PCS 60  also provides control over dry-ice particle sizes for customizable cleaning and has a wheeled design for greater mobility.

Are you looking for a more efficient way to clean injection molds? Would you like to reduce labor costs, improve productivity, enhance quality, and protect the finishes on your tooling? Whether you’re a plastic injection molder or a rubber injection molder, Nitrofreeze® of Worcester, Massachusetts (USA) is ready to discuss your application and requirements. Getting started is a simple as contacting us, so please refer to the phone number and email below.

(508) 459-7447 x 109 | info@nitrofreeze.com