How Wet Ice Blasting Works:
The cleaning method used in wet-ice blasting falls under three steps:
1. Bulk Removal: The stage where major contamination is first removed. Typically this is a physical removal by displacement (ie. Momentum transfer). This step is therefore best achieved with a material that transfers its momentum efficiently to contamination. Solids, like ice, have better momentum transfer than liquids as they do not flow around strongly adherent contamination.
2. Detail Cleaning: The stage where some form of mechanical agitation such as scrubbing or polishing is provided to remove minute quantities of the remaining contamination from the surface. By definition, scrubbing means two solids moving relative to each other under applied pressure. Water as a blast-cleaning agent therefore cannot offer this property.
3. Final Rinse: The removed contamination is rinsed away. Water is a universal solvent for this action. Many alternatives to ice blasting require an additional rinse on top of the blasting action.
Dry Ice Blasting Explained:
Dry ice blasting is a nondestructive method of safely cleaning surfaces and/or removing unwanted coatings from such surfaces – these coatings might include materials like paint or rust. Simply – dry blasting involves “blast cleaning” a surface with compressed air, mixed with dry ice particles, usually in the form of dry ice pellets.
The process of dry ice blasting is a three step process in which the surface is first rapidly frozen to cause material to become brittle. This surface is then broken up by bombarding the area with ice pellets. Finally the expansion of the gas powering the pellets causes the material to be removed and blown away.
Finally, the combination of pressurized air and the presence of dry ice pellets results in an explosive sublimation effect occuring. This chain reaction supercharges the cleaning effect in a non-destructive way which makes the process of dry ice blasting a more effective cleaning process when compared with other media blasting methods; including glass, plastic bead, or sand blasting.
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