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Dry ice blast cleaning

The function principle

The White Lion dry ice blasting machines accelerate dry ice pellets to about 1000 km/h (ca. speed of sound) and blast them onto the workpiece that has to be cleaned. The following physical factors are essential for the effect of the procedure.

A schematic representation of the thermal effect of dry ice cleaning

The thermal effect: the punctual supercooling

The dry ice pellets hitting the component cause a sudden punctual supercooling of the coating or soiling that has to be removed. Due to the different thermal expansion coefficients of the soiling and the workpiece thermal tensions emerge between the two layers. They cause the crucial development of micro ruptures in the soiling layer. The soiling embrittles and downright flakes off.

The higher the difference of the expansion coefficients, the higher the ablation rate and therefore the profitability of the dry ice cleaning as a whole.

The kinetic effect: The offsplitting of the coating / soiling

The high kinetic energy of the dry ice pellets do not just lead to their deformation and crushing at the impact on the workpiece, but also to micro ruptures in the soiling layer. The small dry ice particles penetrate deep into the ruptures and subvert the material layer that has to be removed.

A schematic representation of the kinetic effect of dry ice cleaning
A schematic representation of the phase transformation effect of dry ice cleaning

The phase transformation effect – The sublimation

The dry ice particles, that entered the ruptures now suddenly sublime (transition from solid to gas phase). By the increase in volume a 700- to 1000-fold the layer that has to be removed gets seperated from the workpiece. The dry ice blasting medium is now gaseous.

The result: a cleaned, undamaged surface

Unlike traditional blasting techniques the dry ice blasting procedure is a non-abrasive procedure. This means, that

Im Gegensatz zu traditionellen Strahltechniken ist das Trockeneis-Strahlverfahren ein nicht-abrasives Verfahren. This means, that no wear emerges on the workpiece. The surface feels like its new.

A schematic representation of the result of the dry ice cleaning
Dry ice pellets are the raw material of dry ice cleaning.

Physical properties of the dry ice pellets

Specific weight of the pellets

Spezifisches Gewicht der Pellets: 1,56 g/cm3
Hardness: ca. 2 Mohs
Grain size: 3 mm
Achievable roughness depth: no surface roughening

You can buy dry ice in the dry ice shop

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Dry Ice Blast Cleaning

How to get something clean?

The combination of a damp solvent and mechanical force is usually necessary to remove adhering dirt. Regardless of whether water or chemical solvents are used – pollutants remains that has to be disposed of. In addition, the solvent itself usually poses a risk. Water can cause mould stains, rust or short circuits. Chemical solvents can emit unhealthy vapors and also attack the surface which has to be cleaned. It is getting particularly difficult when you have a surface that is made of different materials. Motors, machines, circuit boards or electrical control gear consists of many different materials: glass, plastic, metal – painted or unpainted, glass fiber, rubber and much more lie side by side in an engine compartment. With conventional methods you can either only get a part clean or risk damage to other components.

Dry ice blast cleaning – cleanness for special cases

Dry ice blast cleaning is an ambitious process for such special cases. Wherever sharp, hard or potentially dangerous solutions combine, dry ice blast cleaning is the best technology to choose. The scopes of application for dry ice blast cleaning are practically unlimited:

Rust removal and paint stripping: In the restoration of old-timers, dry ice blast cleaning has replaced sandblasting since a long time. Even with the finest blasting material, massive secondary damage was always to be expected. Only dry ice blast cleaning guarantees an inexpensive, sustainable and complete cleaning effect without producing large amounts of waste.

Cleaning of machines: In many cases, the only way to get a machine clean is to completely disassemble it and clean it bit by bit. For many highly contaminated plants, this meant an early scrapping, because the effort was no longer worth it. With dry ice blast cleaning the machine can remain assembled. This prevents damage during disassembly and reassembly afterwards. The infiltration of dirt when disassembling the machine is also avoided by dry ice blast cleaning.

Graffiti on house walls, trains and exposed concrete: No other process is as gentle on the surface as dry ice blast cleaning. Depending on the spray paint used, dry ice blast cleaning can even remove graffiti. Deep dirt, stubborn moss and street dust are removed at the same time. The result is a building structure that appears almost like new.

We can look back on over 20 years of experience in dry ice blast cleaning

White Lion is versed in dry ice blast cleaning. As an experienced service provider in this industry, we finally used all our knowledge and skills to produce our own dry ice blast leaning machines. Today we offer dry ice blast cleaning in a whole package: Consultation, the sale of machines or a service for urgent cases – our goal is a professional and extensive offer for our customers. Can we impress you with a demonstration? Call us, we will advise you.

Dry ice blast cleaning at a glance

  • Dry ice blast cleaning is used where solvents and water cannot be used for cleaning.
  • Machines and systems can be cleaned using the dry ice blasting process without having to be demounted.
  • Vehicle and house walls can be gently removed from graffiti and dust as well as moss and lichen growth using the dry ice blasting method.
  • White Lion can advise you competently concerning questions about dry ice blasting systems.

Contact us.

Dry ice blast cleaning as a service

Dry ice blast cleaning is very interesting for service providers who want to offer enduring cleaning solutions locally or at the customer’s site. So everyone can start dry ice blast cleaning in their own garage. All he needs is a powerful White Lion dry ice cleaner, a pellet machine and a compressor.

Examples of a small dry ice blast cleaning company are:

  • Car treatment
  • Used Furniture preparation
  • Service provider for trade and industry

Regarding car treatment, dry ice blast cleaning can quickly achieve impressive results: Whether sustainable interior cleaning or cleaning the engine compartment, cleaned with dry ice, the car looks like new afterwards. The highlight is that no additional chemical cleansing materials are required for dry ice blast cleaning. Especially when washing the engine this is usually a major problem: The public authorities do not like to see an engine cleaned on private property, as pollutants always seep in the soil. By cleaning with dry ice, the environment remains completely clean and ecologically proper.

Dry ice blast cleaning doesn’t just work on hard surfaces. Resilient materials such as upholstery can also be cleaned very well with this method. Stained sofas and armchairs, dirty seats on chairs or old paintings on softwood furniture can be removed quickly and efficiently by using dry ice blast cleaning.

The initial costs for dry ice blast cleaning make the devices very interesting for professional service providers. The machines from White Lion are always so compact that they can also be brought to the location with smaller delivery vans or even private station wagons. So if a company or factory needs to get rid of heavy pollution, the devices from White Lion are ideal for use on-site.

FAQ Typical questions:

What are the investment costs?

White Lion is a German brand manufacturer for first-class dry ice blast cleaning machines. To make the advantages of our machines accessible to as many users as possible, we offer numerous purchase options. In addition to buying directly, our customers can also rent or lease the machines.



What accessories do you need for dry ice blast cleaning?

Every dry ice blast cleaning machine needs at least one powerful compressor. Machines with proper current generators are ideal because they do not charge the customer’s power supply system. Since compressors are very loud machines, we generally recommend using a quiet “whisper compressor”. This significantly reduces noise exposure.



How loud is dry ice blast cleaning?

If a whisper compressor is used, the noise exposure during the dry ice blasting process will be keep within a limit. The emerging dry ice still produces a certain amount of noise. However, only the operating team is directly concerned by this. We therefore always recommend wearing hearing protection when working with a dry ice blasting system.