Clean , dry air is essential for dry ice blasting. Typically, we assume the reason for needing clean, dry air is solely to keep the lines from freezing from the blasting dry ice at -109 degrees. That is correct, however, you should also consider the wear and tear on the machine and accessories caused by continual exposure to excess moisture. High moisture content in the air stream will eventually cause corrosion and rust to build up on various components of a dry ice blasting machine. Rust and corrosion will cause parts on the dry ice blasting machine to fail and fittings on the equipment to rust together.
Please see below for an example of a dry ice blasting machine in a food processing plant that had less than ideal air running through the machine for an extended period time.
Continental Carbonic has two recommendations to help prevent damage to your dry ice blasting equipment from moisture.
- Install and maintain a cooling and drying system on your air source. This can either be a permanent set up of an aftercooler with the in-line filters immediately following the exit of the compressor or a portable aftercooler dryer that can be moved to whereever your blasting machine is being used. For an excellent choice in a portable after cooler dryer, we recommend the Command Air CA-350. For more information on the Command Air CA-350 click here.
- When finished dry ice blasting, run your blasting machine for 3-4 minutes using only air. This will warm up the cold parts of the machine and blow out any condensation that has formed on the inside of the blasting machine from the cold. Always disconnect all hoses and accessories after you are done dry ice blasting. This allows moisture and condensation a chance to dry between uses.
Taking these steps will help your dry ice blasting equipment last longer and help you avoid costly downtime and repairs.