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Dry Ice Cleaning: Incredibly Green and Incredibly Powerful

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We bring in our dry ice cleaning services to solve many of our clients’ most challenging, delicate, and unusual industrial cleaning needs. Explaining just how this cleaning process works doesn’t take very long, but we could go on forever describing its fascinating scientific properties. The more you learn about how we clean sensitive surfaces and equipment with frozen carbon dioxide, the more you understand why this is such an important, valuable asset to our customers. Today, we’ll tell you about a few surprising dry ice cleaning facts, then finish up with a real-life example of what is possible with this incredibly green, incredibly powerful method.

A dry ice cleaning project in progress

No Carbon FootprintYou will probably recognize “carbon dioxide” as one of those greenhouse gases that the government is always looking for new ways to limit. One of the questions you might have when you hear that Thompson Industrial Services blasts frozen carbon dioxide as a cleaning medium is, “Doesn’t that produce large amounts of polluting greenhouse gases?” In fact, the source of the frozen CO2 that we use is the secret to keeping the process totally green. Some of our other cleaning services produce CO2 as a by-product, and we capture that gas for later use in dry ice cleaning. We freeze the CO2 as pellets, then use them to remove all types of contamination and coatings from delicate equipment and surfaces. Thus the only CO2 released into the atmosphere during a cleaning job is the gas that was captured during another process earlier on.From Dusting to BlastingDry ice cleaning can be incredibly powerful, in the “normal” sense of that word. Stripping paint from a surface in an environment where moisture, heat, and conductivity are unacceptable is quick and easy with a high-pressure cryogenic cleaning application. But we are also able to adjust our approach and use the same basic process to clean surfaces as delicate as paper and books. The science behind the process—tiny, controlled explosions at the surface to be cleaned as the frozen CO2 suddenly evaporates into the atmosphere—allows for a huge range of different specific applications that blast away debris while leaving the underlying surface unharmed.Food Grade CO2Cleaning foodservice or, more importantly, pharmaceutical manufacturing equipment can require a huge amount of preparation, downtime, cleaning, and testing if the cleaning process involves chemicals or other substances (as in sandblasting) that absolutely cannot be allowed to come in contact with the production line. Dry ice cleaning, on the other hand, utilizes frozen carbon dioxide that is actually approved by the FDA, EPA, and USDA as food grade and totally safe for use in these highly controlled industries. This means that in many cases, we can perform maintenance on equipment used in food/beverage and pharmaceutical manufacturing with minimal or even no downtime at all.A Brief Case StudyElectronic equipment is one of the major categories that we use dry ice cleaning for. Hydroblasting can damage electronics through the introduction of water, and the tiny particles used in sandblasting can also cause damage. Recently, we conducted a cleaning at an automobile manufacturing facility in order to remove production debris from some robotic equipment. The debris buildup was having a negative effect on the final product, and in order to restore quality, it had to be removed. Our team determined that, because of the electronics involved, the safest and quickest way to remove the debris was to use our dry ice cleaning process. Within the client’s designated timeframe for the cleaning job, we successfully blasted the robotic equipment with frozen CO2, cleaned it thoroughly, and restored the process line to its original efficiency and quality. The client was particularly impressed with our team’s planning phase, noting that our technicians took the time necessary to understand the problem, take into account all the relevant factors, and settle on the best possible solution before starting work.

Dry ice cleaning may be the process that your facility needs in order to remove particularly troublesome contamination in a sensitive area. To benefit from our technicians’ long history of successful dry ice cleaning and their zero incident approach to safety, email or call us today to learn more about our industrial cleaning services.


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