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History fascinates me. I love reading historical books and watching movies with a historic touch. I really admire the archaeologists who spend days and nights in preserving history. It’s such a challenging job to bring historical remains back to their original state. It at times pains me to see how magnificent structures get ruined over the centuries.

Once while browsing the net, I came across something called dry ice blasting and how it is used to clean historical structures. I have no idea whatsoever on this thing. I am a little curious to know about this.

Maria
 

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Hi Maria,

Welcome to the forum.

I'm sure someone with experience will chime in on this but here's my take on it.

Dry ice blasting is a pressure washing/cleaning system similar to sandblasting but uses CO2 (carbon dioxide pellets). From what I understand, it is supposed to be more eco-friendly. Not sure what the ramifications of adding the CO2 are to the environment in the long run though.

I think there was a thread on this forum a long time back but I did a quick search and couldn't find it.

There are many sites online that advertise the service & explain the process. I'll have to look around for info on it's use in archaelogical restoration. That's interesting to me also!

suzi
 

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Maria,

Check out this site. I did a search for 'advantages of dry ice blasting' and found it & also lots more. Apparently it is eco-friendly...no gases into the air & eliminates the use of chemicals and post-waste cleanup. Less abrasive too which would definitely benefit the preservation of archaelogical sites and artifacts.

Not sure how much is actually true, but it sounds good! :unsure:

http://www.wickensdryiceblasting.com/wickens_benefits.htm
 

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We have a dry ice blaster we use to clean dry food packaging equipment. The advantage of the dry ice blaster is it doesn't get anything wet. We just cleaned a machine that packages a "Tang" type drink mix, getting it wet would have made it a nightmare to clean!
 

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Hi Maria,


Dry ice blasting is a pressure washing/cleaning system similar to sandblasting but uses CO2 (carbon dioxide pellets). From what I understand, it is supposed to be more eco-friendly. Not sure what the ramifications of adding the CO2 are to the environment in the long run though.



suzi
CO2 is expelled into the air every time you exhale a breath. The dry ice "melts" and changes to a gaseous form.. a la carbon dioxide. The net amount produced, even on a large project is zero because its part of the closed loop system of our eco system. We are not manufacturing new carbon dioxide like in the burning of fossil fuels, but shifting it into different forms. That's not a real scientific explaination, but you get the general idea.
 

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Thanks for the explanation Ken. Good to know the process is not adding more to the atmosphere. Sounds like a great way to go.

Do you use it at all? Or is it something that is not cost-effective as opposed to the traditional method? Seems that it would be ideal for indoor applications...less mess?

suzi
 

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Suzi,

Its a seemingly great process for cleaning grease from kitchen exhaust systems in restaurants where water and cleanup are concerns. I cannot utilize blasting because it is not cost effective for what I do. Everything I use is landscape friendly and neutralized. Our processes adhere to all EPA guidelines dictated by the Clean Water Act.
 

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Just to add:

many applications for DIB, as mentioned earlier any applications where you don't want water/sand/soda involved (in side of factories, around electrical equipment, delicate machinery etc.).
I do a ton of mould remediation now, works amazing for this - I do approx 3-5 homes a month. Process is simple, in an attic I blast the framing and sheathing, kills mould and cleans the wood up to brand new. Of course, you have to follow MR guidelines depending on where you live (containment, removal, neg air etc.). I also use it for Fire Resto as well, just as you would soda blast. Maybe 1-2 FR jobs a month. It's typically not as agressive as sand/soda BUT the newer machines that can use higher air pressure have certainly changed that this year.

Yes, and just as mentioned earlier - the CO2 used to make Dry Ice is 'reclaimed' CO2 from the atmosphere - it can get much more scientific though...
 

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Electrical equipment is also a large target for dry ice blasting. According to this dry ice, electrical equipment can't be cleaned by sand or hydro blasting. Dry ice blasting is a great alternative. It takes the stuff off the equipment and is the equivalent to hitting the equipment with air... so it does not damage the equipment. It is also a big time saver, as you do not need anyone to clean the equipment by hand... merely just sweep up the mess.
 

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Dry Ice Blasting

The costs to do dry ice blasting can be substantial. It should be noted that most dry ice blasting equipment requires the use of at least a 185 cfm compressor. Also, it is wise to run a water separator and cooler.

Further, dry ice has a shelf life. You typically need to purchase at minimums of 250 to 500 lbs and it will last possibly 3 or 4 days. But preferably you are buying it for the job because that is when the dry ice is most effective (it will soften over time as it absorbs moisture).

And then there is the gear. The process is loud so you will need ear protection. Usually eye and ear protection are the minimum. It can be prudent to wear a Tyvek depending on circumstances.

There are a number of companies nationally that do dry ice blasting. One that I know of that does it almost exclusively is Greene Dry Ice Blasting.

DIB is a great option for the right application.
 
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