Dry ice cleaning in oldtimer restoration

The restoration of old timers is a craft that does not only re- quire passion but also experience and the right equipment. A dry ice blasting system by White Lion can be of help in various and numerous steps of restoration: if it is used correctly! There is a lot to be aware of when it comes to dry ice cleaning of old-timers. We will introduce some scenarios where a dry ice blasting system can be smartly used.

Before blasting: tape ventilation slits shut

During the dry ice blasting procedure dry ice pellets are shot onto the workpiece with high speed. The dirt particles that have been flaked off, can be swirled during the still ongoing blasting process and end up in places where they don’t belong. Before the clean down of a car, ventilation and door slits should be taped shut with foil. Air tunnels can be plugged with paper. Like this dirt of the engine compartment or the underbody cannot get into the inside of the car. That prevents expensive damage of seat covers and valves.

1. Engine cleaning

When cleaning the engine of the car outside cleaning and inside cleaning are to be distinguished. When cleaning the outside of the car mainly old contaminations like old varnish are to be removed. This task can be finished extraordinarily well with dry ice cleaning. Because that is a nonabrasive procedure, the car is to keep its patina that it earned throughout its history. History and perfect cleanliness of the engine are not contradictory thanks to the dry ice cleaning procedure.

During an overhaul the car’s engine might also be dissembled. Like that, the mechanical components on the inside of the engine can be cleaned. During this cleaning of the engine‘s inside combustion chamber, camshafts, cylinder and outlets are being liberated of grime and carbon.

2. Cleaning of the underside

The underside or underbody of older cars is usually coated in bitumen and glueing agents. Often the restorer wishes to renew the underbody’s damaged coating. However it is not to be advised to overcoat the old underside varnishing because that will lead to problems with adhesion. Instead the old coating of the underbody should be thoroughly removed with a dry ice blasting system before applying any kind of new varnish or coating. For this purpose the dry ice blasting procedure is using the differing thermal expansion coefficients of underside protection coat (bitumen) and underbody (steel). Both are abruptly cooled down to -78 degree celsius. But because both their volume is changing at a different pace there are frictions that lead to the flaking of the bitumen. The larger the difference in temperature during this cold shock the more effective the procedure. That is why dry ice cleaning of underbodies is more effective during summer time than winter time.

3. Cleaning the inside of the auto

When a car is stripped down to its components there is always glue residue to be found after the removal of carpets, cockpit and headlining. These residues are not only unattractive but also definitively have to be removed to make new carpeting and headlining stick. Dry ice cleaning offers an elegant solution: the nozzle of the dry ice system is directly pointed onto the residue so that those flake off completely. Onto the now clean surface new adhesive can now be applied.

The White Lion Team wishes you every success in dry ice cleaning.