Dry Ice Blasting

What is dry ice blasting?

Dry ice blasting is a relatively new cleaning process using solid CO2 pellets (known as dry ice).  It is primarily used for industrial use in a variety of applications, however GES in the first company in the North West to apply this technology to log and lumber restoration.    The pellets sublimate (convert directly from a solid blast pellet to a vapor Co2) leaving no residue.  The dry ice blasting process is superior to blasting with sand or glass bead and other types of cleaning methods for numerous reasons.

Today, the dry ice cleaning method is quickly becoming favored for environmental as well as production reasons.  Because of tremendous environmental regulations, industry has needed to minimize wastes.  Also, there is a growing consciousness that many are placing now on the global environmental impact of their production practices.  However, these benefits are accentuated due to the tremendous performance gains through dry ice blasting--little or no production downtime, quality of clean & minimized damage to equipment. 

What is dry ice?

Dry ice pellets are made by taking liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) from a pressurized storage tank and expanding it at ambient pressure to produce snow.  The snow is then compressed through a die to make hard pellets.  

How does it work?

It is a process in which dry ice particles are propelled to supersonic speed, to impact and clean a surface.  The particles are accelerated by compressed air, just as with other blasting systems.  The micro-thermal shock (caused by the dry ice temperature of -79* C), the kinetic energy of dry ice pellets and the air pressure break the bond between the coating and the substrate.  It pops off the coating from inside out and the air stream removes it from the surface. 

GES can utilize the dry ice blasting cleaning method through equipment that fires the pellets through a blasting gun.  Upon impact the dry ice sublimates (vaporizes).  There are many major benefits to this cleaning process. 

 What are the benefits of dry ice blasting?


With dry ice blasting cleaning, a superior clean can be achieved while reducing hours when compared to scrubbing with abrasive pads or wire brushes.  A tremendous labor savings is accomplished.  In addition, the CO2 blast method cleans in crevices that can't be reached by hand.


Dry ice blasting often eliminates equipment damage.  Cleaning methods such as sandblasting leave an aggressive and abrasive effect on the surface.  They can actually remove part of the surface, changing the surface structure considerably.  Dry ice is non-abrasive to surfaces and does not change a surface's structure.  It lifts the contaminants away.  Secondly, because equipment can now be cleaned in place, potential damage from moving equipment  to and from a dedicated cleaning area is also eliminated.


Dry ice blasting uses no solvents, but instead uses harmless CO2 pellets.  This is critical for the safety of your home, family & pets.  There are no issues pertaining to toxicity.


With other cleaning methods, whether it be with solvents, sand blasting or by some other means, the cleaning agent becomes a secondary contaminant and must be disposed of as toxic waste along with the primary contaminant.  However, with dry ice blast cleaning because the Co2 pellets vaporize upon contact, the only waste created is the contaminant itself.  This alone can result in significant waste reduction. 


Dry ice blasting pellets are non-toxic, non-hazardous creating advantages to your environment, your home & your family
Safe for the environment
Safe for your home
Safe for your family
Safe for your pets!

What are the other uses for dry ice blasting?


Our dry ice blasting system achieves amazing results because of the speed in which mold is removed from the surface.  Also, dry ice is a natural biocide because of its extreme -109*F cold temperature.  It effectively removes mold spores and in doing so, speeds up the mold remediation process.  Dry ice blast cleaning's main benefit for black mold removal is that it quickly removes mold colonies, fungal hyphae (mold roots radiating into the wood) and the thin layer of soft, decomposed wood.  The supersonic cleaning stream also penetrates behind and between structural members to deliver unparalleled cleaning coverage.  Dry ice blasting also removes the contaminant without creating additional waste.  The dry ice particles disappear immediately upon contact with the target surface and thus leaves behind no foreign contamination. 

GES' systems offer tremendous versatility in black mold removal.  Blasting hose can be run up to 100 feet from the dry ice blasting machinery.  Mold removal can easily be performed in attics where the machine is left on the level below and blasting hose is run throughout the attic.  Extension nozzles of up to 3 to 4 feet long can be added to the blasting gun to allow us easy cleaning in extremely tight areas.  Dry ice blast cleaning is thoroughly effective in all environments--industrial, commercial, and residential.  Whether the remediation project is large or small, CO2 blast cleaning will serve as the ideal solution for addressing the mold removal issue. 


The variety of applications for dry ice blasting is no clearer than in the general maintenance industry.  For example, dry ice can remove some of the following contaminants:

--weld slag


 The cost of hazardous waste removal can be monumental, and the typical cleaning methods magnify the problem many times over because the cleaning material--water, solvents, sand, etc--become secondary contamination once coming in contact with the primary contaminant.  They must be treated as hazardour waste as well.  Since Co2 sublimates upon contact with the target surface, no secondary waste accumulates.  This can amount to truly tons of savings.  The volume of hazardous waste is reduced to minimal amounts, and the return on investment from converting over to dry ice blasting can be attained very, very quickly.


In the area of historic restoration, dry ice blast cleaning is extremely effective in cleaning valuable public and private monuments and other works.  Dry ice cleaning can do this without damaging the target surface, without using chemicals and without any additional waste.  Some applications include:

--grave markers
--cast iron


 In the marine industry, ice blast cleaning systems can be profoundly more effective than traditional cleaning methods such as sandblasting, pressure washing and chemical solvents without the common damage found with these methods.  Also, dry ice sanitizes surfaces as it cleans reducing the likelihood of slime, algae, mussels and the like reattaching itself onto surfaces.  Our dry ice blasting system can clean:

--aluminum & fiberglass hulls
--water intake valves
--electrical panels
--exhaust systems


The dry ice blasting systems are also extremely effective for fire remediation applications.  Our systems remove soot, char & ash from fire damaged property.  Fire smoke smell can also be reduced.  Dry ice blasting can further remove smoke and soot off of electrical equipment such as motors and transformers, as well as wiring, ductwork, and plumbing.  Cleaning speed & coverage are truly exceptional. 

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