State of the art
Cleaning, using various kinds of carbon dioxide, has already been available for several decades. Known processes are blasting with cylindrical or scrambled dry ice pellets or dry ice particles grated from dry ice blocks. Due to the high investment and operating costs as well as the occurence of mechanical impacts on component surfaces, this process has not been able to establish itself as an industrial cleaning process. Automation was not possible up to now.
CO2 snow blasting is an innovative process for cleaning and pretreating surfaces. The supply media are liquid CO2 and compressed air. The blasting agent, the so-called CO2 snow particles from dry ice, are not produced until the liquid CO2 reaches the snow blasting machine. The equipment installation is very easy. The liquid CO2 can either be supplied via low pressure tanks, mini tanks, single cylinders or bundles each with a dip tube. The compressed air supply is provided either via the house network or via a screw-type compressor. A power supply is not necessary. Cleaning and surface preparation is dry, residue-free and environmentally friendly. Furthermore, the technology offers other interesting advantages.
CO2 snow blasting is often called dry ice blasting or CO2 particle blasting. The flexible control concept allows the process to be either implemented manually or automated. The control unit itself is suitable for mobile use and for installing at a fixed location. For the manual operation, a trained employee guides the CO2 snow blasting pistol over the component surface to be machined. With the automated version, the movement is carried out by a robot with the robot contol unit regulating the process. An adequate exhaust ventilator, a soundproof cabinet and personal protection for the operator should be included when planning equipment installations.