Dry ice cleaners can quickly clean rubber residues from runway lighting. Efficient and fast removal.

The process of dry ice washing is very dry, very fast, and can repair solvent-free markings with no risk of damaging or scratching the optics.

Comparison of dry ice cleaning machine before and after cleaning the lamp

A few frequently asked questions about dry ice cleaning machines

What is a Dry Ice Cleaning Machine?

Dry ice cleaning machineThis is a process in which solid carbon dioxide particles (dry ice) are sprayed at high speed to impact and clean the surface. Air velocity is a function of cryogenic nozzle and air pressure.

How does a dry ice cleaning machine work?

In general, low-temperature cleaning is a combination of the following three effects:

  • Kinetic effects:

When dry ice particles hit a surface at the speed of sound, the contaminants on the surface break up.

  • Heating:

Dry ice has a low temperature of 78.5°C, which makes the coating brittle, cracked and peels off.

The bond between the coating and the underlying surface is reduced.

  • Explosion Effect Sublimation:

Dry ice is blasted using compressed air and a low-temperature washer.

Dry ice penetrates cracked and detached coatings and instantly sublimates (from solid to gaseous in a ratio of 1 to 400. This leads to a 400-fold increase in volume, which is an explosive effect that improves the quality of the surface coating).

By projecting dry ice particles onto hard contaminants (e.g. paints, varnishes), the process creates a compression wave between the coating and the substrate (surface). The wave has enough power to break the cohesion and separate the contaminants, which are found on the ground by the action of gravity.

For malleable or viscous contaminants, such as oils, greases, or waxes, the cleaning action is comparable to that of high-pressure cleaning. When the particles hit the surface, they are compressed and flattened, creating a 360° high-speed snow throw, which cleans the surface.

Dry ice cleaning machine cleans aircraft turbines

What happens when dry ice hits the ground?

It sublimates (changes from a solid state to a gaseous state) and returns to the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide (CO2). CO2 is an element of natural origin and accounts for less than 0.04% of our atmosphere.

Dry ice cleaning machine cleans aircraft engines

Can dry ice cleaning damage surfaces?

Debinding occurs at a certain energy threshold. When the debonding threshold is below the damage threshold, you can safely clean it. When higher, the item may be damaged. Since most of the items that have been cleaned with CO2 are production equipment (cast iron, tool steel, high-quality aluminum), there is no damage. We can also wash softer substrates such as plastic, yarn, pure copper and tissue paper, but we need to analyze each application.

An example of an application can be recommended: stripping of marine quality varnishes on cork (pine, fir).

The necessary pressure defibers the wood.