dry ice deflashing

Dry Ice Deflashing vs. Cryogenic Deflashing


What’s the difference between dry ice deflashing vs. cryogenic deflashing? Both are used to remove mold flash from plastic or rubber parts. Dry ice deflashing uses compressed air to propel a stream of solid carbon dioxide (dry ice) particles that blast away surface defects. Cryogenic deflashing uses gaseous nitrogen to freeze parts so that mold flash becomes easy-to-remove as the parts are blasted with a plastic media.

Dry ice deflashing can be used either as a standalone process or in conjunction with cryogenic deflashing. By learning more about how each process works, you can make the right choice for your parts finishing application. It’s also important to consider these four factors.

  • Part size
  • Hole or cavity sizes
  • Mold flash location
  • Mold flash size and thickness

Keep reading to learn more about dry ice deflashing vs. cryogenic deflashing and contact Nitrofreeze® to discuss your application.

How Dry Ice Deflashing Works

Dry ice deflashing is a manual and effectively media-less process for removing flash from individual parts. When dry ice pellets hit a part’s surface, the dry ice turns to a gas and evaporates. This sublimation means that dry ice particles won’t lodge in part geometries. By contrast, abrasive finishing processes like sand blasting and soda blasting can require cleanups to remove media that’s left behind.

How Cryogenic Deflashing Works

Cryogenic deflashing is an automated, computer-controlled batch process that freezes molded parts and uses a non-abrasive, cryogenic-grade polycarbonate media to remove flashing. This special plastic media comes in different lengths and diameters to meet application-specific requirements and won’t impact critical tolerances or surface finish. Except for the removal of flash, your molded parts look the same.

Part Size

Dry ice deflashing is the right choice for molded parts that are too large to fit inside the 24” (60.96cm) baskets used with cryogenic deflashing machines. Large parts with delicate outer diameter (OD) features are also good candidates for dry ice deflashing, which allows a skilled operator to remove part defects while leaving other surfaces alone. Yet, part size isn’t the only factor in dry ice deflashing vs. cryogenic deflashing.

Hole or Cavity Sizes

Dry ice deflashing is recommended for holes and cavities with openings smaller than 0.015” (0.381mm). Dry ice sublimates too quickly for some measurements, but Nitrofreeze® has cleaned openings as small as 0.003” (0.0762mm). Cryogenic deflashing can also clean small inner diameter (ID) features. However, the polycarbonate media tends to lose its aggression with openings smaller than 0.015” (0.381mm).

Mold Flash Location

Some molded parts have challenging features such as deep, narrow holes that require parts deflashing at precise angles. Cyrogenic deflashing can remove flash from hard-to-reach areas such as cross-holes and blind-holes, but within limitations. For holes with very narrow openings, the area that the polycarbonate media can reach is very shallow. Depending on the flash location, dry ice deflashing may be required.

Mold Flash Size and Thickness

Dry ice deflashing is recommended for larger, thicker molder flash. At 140 pounds of force per square inch (PSI), dry ice pellets propelled by compressed air can remove the heaviest plastic or rubber defects. For smaller, thinner mold flash, cryogenic deflashing offers a choice of polycarbonate media sizes with varying amounts of aggressiveness.

Nitrofreeze® Dry Ice Deflashing vs. Cryogenic Deflashing

Is dry ice deflashing the right choice for removing mold flash from your plastic or rubber parts? Is cryogenic deflashing a better option instead? Do you need both? Contact the experts at Nitrofreeze® to discuss your application. The consultation is free of charge. If you part is a viable candidate, we can perform sampling to demonstrate the appropriate process.

To learn more, contact us at the phone number and email listed below.

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