Dry ice blasting, similar to sand blasting, is a form of carbon dioxide cleaning, where dry ice is accelerated in a pressurised stream in order to clean a surface. This method leaves no chemical residue as dry ice turns into a vapour at room temperature.
Dry ice blasting involves propelling pellets at extremely high speeds. The dry ice pellets themselves are actually quite soft, and much less dense than other blast materials. The process of turning into a vapour at impact absorbs a large volume of heat from the surface, and this is assumed to improve cleaning. The rapid change in state from solid to gas causes microscopic shock waves, which assist in removing contaminants.
Dry ice blasting can be used to clean food processing equipment, effectively removing surfaces of contaminants such as salmonella and listeria. It may also be used to clean some equipment without disassembly, and without producing fire or electrical hazards. Other uses include graffiti removal, industrial equipment cleaning, heritage restoration, fire damage and brickwork. - shot blasting machine manufacturer
Compared to other cleaning methods, dry ice blasting produces fewer waste products and does not require clean-up of blasting materials. The waste products can instead be swept up, vacuumed or washed away.