Dry Ice Blast Cleaning In Weld Line And Heavy Fabrication Operations

The welding and fabrication industry is a fast paced, production oriented environment. Jobs are time-sensitive, highly technical and quality is a matter of pride with every professional that creates something out of nothing.

From raw steel and a set of drawings comes machinery, industrial ovens, heavy construction equipment and any number of things created from steel, iron, aluminum and copper.

As fascinating and fast-paced as this industry is and no matter how 'clean' a welder's bead might be... the act of welding and fabrication creates waste: slag waste, carbon dust, solvent-borne over-spray, e-coat, barrier coatings and other wastes secondary to the fabrication process.

Dry ice blast cleaning is the perfect cleaning method for the following:

  • Spray Booths
  • E-coat and powder coat lines
  • Tooling cleaning
  • Fan cleaning

Cleaning Spray Booths

In the Body Shop, we can effectively clean robots, weld fixtures, stamping fixtures, and presses. The walls of the spray booths are always contaminated with various paints, coatings, chemicals, solvents and over-spray. CO2 blasting cleans these contaminants quickly, efficiently, without downtime and without creating secondary hazardous wastes.

Dry ice blast cleaning removes all old peel-coat, solvent-born paint over-spray, enamel and epoxy from all the interior and exterior booth panels.

Cleaning e-coat and powder coat lines:

Prior to painting automobiles, auto body frames are coated with a gray like substance called e-coat. E-coat is a protective layer applied to the frame before paint in order to prevent rust from attacking the auto frame.

Additionally, the rollers and framework that carry the auto frames through this process also build up with e-coat. This sticky substance causes the entire process to clog and slow down. When the rollers slow down, there is an increase in production downtime and inefficiencies.

The typical method used to clean the roller assemblies is high pressure water blasting, or power-washing. Power-washing adds hundreds of gallons of contaminated water to an already volatile and hazardous environment.

Dry ice blast cleaning can remove the e-coat material in a fraction of the time without the addition of water and can keep the roller assembly cleaner longer compared to pressure washing.

Tool Cleaning:

A good preventative maintenance program should include tool cleaning and dry ice blasting is the recommended solution.

The traditional cleaning methods for weld slag and spatter are hammers and chisels.

Wisely, many production facilities are adopting a "No Contact Cleaning" process in their maintenance program. This is to prevent costly damage to tooling.

Dry ice blast cleaning is a process that accomplishes this "No Contact" initiative because the dry ice is blasted onto the surface being cleaned and the dry ice sublimates eliminating any contact and secondary waste.

Personnel or Floor Fans:

Large industrial fans are used in many manufacturing plants to keep production areas cool and to keep the air circulating. These fans continuously get a build-up of dirt and grime on the blades creating inefficient circulation in the production areas.

If these fans are ever cleaned at all, the typical method includes the removing the protective screen, then cleaning each individual blade with a cleaning solution. This process can typically take over an hour. Dry ice blast cleaning can accomplish this same task in about 15 minutes.

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