Abrasive blasting and dry ice blasting clean difficult residue by blasting media onto a surface utilizing pressurized air. Both methods are effective for various cleaning applications; however, some jobs may require one over the other. This quick comparison of abrasive blasting versus dry ice blasting will help you decide which method is best for your particular use.
What is Abrasive Blasting?
Abrasive blasting uses a pressurized vessel which forces blast media out of a hose at high velocity. Media such as sand, silicon carbide, sodium bicarbonate, crushed glass, steel shot, walnut hulls and much more are commonly used to remove a coating or create the desired profile for a coating application.
What is Dry Ice Blasting?
Dry ice blasting utilizes a pressurized air stream of solid C02 (dry ice). This non-abrasive media effectively removes debris and grime without damaging surfaces and equipment. The dry ice particles remove the debris by creating a thermal kinetic effect and fracturing the unwanted material while the pressurized air blasts the fractured material off the surface.
Should You Use Abrasive Blasting or Dry Ice Blasting?
The ideal method depends on the surface material of the structure you’re cleaning as well as the type of residue you wish to remove.
When to Use Abrasive Blasting
- Abrasive blasting offers flexibility because of the variety of media available. The media chosen can be customized to fit the surface material and the contaminant being removed.
- Abrasive blasting is ideal when the surface and surrounding area has no electrical or mechanical parts that could be damaged through the media being used, such as a sturdy brick wall, a concrete silo, or steel equipment.
- This method is also used when the surface needs to be profiled for another application or shaping of the surface needs to happen.
- Abrasive blasting will require cleanup and removal of the media, so for indoor spaces that cannot handle excessive mess and dust, abrasive blasting may not be ideal.
When to Use Dry Ice Blasting
- Dry ice blasting is ideal for delicate surfaces or cleaning electrical and mechanical equipment. Very little cleanup is necessary because the dry ice simply dissipates on contact.
- Dry ice blasting will not profile a surface, making it ideal for projects such as historical restoration.
- Cleaning with dry ice protects the environment and the workers. Not only are chemicals not used, but no harmful by-products are produced through the cleaning process.
- Dry ice blasting should be chosen when you need to protect the surface, the surrounding area from residual waste and the health of the individuals within the vicinity. It is also the best method for cleaning in between small crevices on equipment that may be covered with grease or other residue.
Abrasive Blasting and Dry Ice Blasting Services
At Mole•Master™, we use both abrasive blasting and dry ice blasting. Our blasting experts skillfully choose the right medium that will serve to protect the surface and remove the contaminant. They then use precisely metered compressed air for achieving the desired results.
Whether you are cleaning surface rust off of metal drums or graffiti from a delicate historical brick building, our blasting equipment and experienced professionals will handle your job with efficiency.