ics-dryice > Technology > CO2 DRY ICE CLEANING PRINCIPLE

CO2 dry ice cleaning principle

The cleaning principle is based on three basic factors:

  • Kinetic energy

    The speed of dry ice pellets incident on a dirty surface may exceed the speed of sound.

  • Thermal shock

    When abruptly cooled, the layer of dirt becomes fragile and gradually detaches from the surface being cleaned.

  • Sublimation

    As the dry ice pellets hit the surface being cleaned, they sublimate into gas which rapidly expands and causes a “micro-explosion” that perfectly removes dirt.

Dry ice cleaning

Cleaning: dry ice blasting is an advanced industrial cleaning method.

The cleaning process is based on three fundamental factors: kinetic energy, thermal shock and sublimation. What remains at the end of the process is only removed dirt, no secondary waste. This makes the dry ice cleaning method particularly efficient, gentle to the materials being cleaned, and environmentally friendly.


Dry ice

What is dry ice?

Dry ice is carbon dioxide (CO2) in the solid phase at -79 °C.

Carbon dioxide is present in nature in a gaseous form. It is non-toxic and odourless. It is also added to beverages to lend them a fresh taste and to extend their shelf life. Moreover, dry ice is used in the food-making industry for the chilling of food, or in healthcare.


How is dry ice made?

Dry ice is made from gaseous carbon dioxide by means of changes in pressure.

As the first step, gaseous CO2 is liquefied. Such liquefied CO2 is then pumped through a dosing valve: this abruptly reduces its pressure and, as a consequence, its temperature drops substantially to as low as -79 °C. The liquid turns into a snowy matter, which is then extruded by a piston through 3 mm extrusion die openings to make dry ice pellets.

What is needed for dry ice cleaning?

The following supplies are needed for dry ice cleaning:


Compressed air supply: 1.5 m³/min at
operating pressure of 6 bar.
Mobile or stationary.

Dry ice pellets

Thermally insulated container for the storage of dry ice pellets.
Pellets supplied, or made in a pelletizer,
from ICS ice cleaning systems.

Ice Cleaner

Dry ice blasting unit.

Protective equipment

Safety clothes, safety gloves, safety goggles, earmuffs, fresh air supply.