Kärcher Industrial Products, best known for pressure washers, has introduced a dry ice blaster, called “…a highly effective and mess-free method for in-place cleaning that eliminates the need to disassemble machinery before it is cleaned.”
The new IB 15/80 Dry Ice Blaster uses compressed air to propel tiny dry-ice pellets at supersonic speeds so they flash-freeze and then lift grime, paint, rust, mold and other contaminants from metal surfaces. The pellets quickly vaporize into the air so there’s no messy wastewater or solvents to dispose of, only the soiled contaminant, which can be swept up.
Other cleaning media, such as sand or glass bead, can be too abrasive, Karcher says, sometimes etching or damaging the metal surface. Dry ice is non-abrasive, using micro-thermal shock (the dry ice temperature is -109° F) to lift the contaminant off the surface.
Dry-ice blasting is said to be growing in popularity because it completely eliminates the need to disassemble machinery before it’s cleaned. The labor saving is significant, reducing to a few hours what used to take days to do. As well, the company says, dry-ice blasting cleans in crevices that can’t be reached by hand or via other cleaning methods.
Dry-ice blasting is extremely environmentally friendly. The CO2 pellets are non-toxic and non-hazardous making them safe for the environment, equipment, the workplace and employees.
The IB 15/80 operates on 120-volt electricity (5 amps) and uses a blasting pressure of only 44 to 230 psi. Compressed-air requirements range from 150 to 3000 cfm. Dry-ice pellets are 3mm-the standard industry size-with consumption between 66 and 220 lb per hour. The unit weighs 198 lb and is made of stainless steel.
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