What is Dry Ice Blasting?

Dry Ice Blasting is similar to sand blasting, bead blasting or soda blasting, where 3 mm dry ice pellets are accelerated in a pressurised air stream to impact the surface to be cleaned. Once in contact with the surface, the dry ice evaporates.

This process is called sublimation and is a unique characteristic of dry ice, which makes it ideal for cleaning a variety of industrial equipment in the form of electrical motors, stators, generators, electrical panels affected by flash or fire damage, as well as for the removal of mould, welding splatter, ink, glue, paint, food, rubber, dirt, grease, oil and numerous other contaminants.

How does Dry Ice Blasting work?

Unlike other blast media, dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide (CO2) at a temperature of -78.5 °C. Dry ice blasting uses 3 mm dry ice pellets, which are accelerated in a pressurised air stream and subsequently directed at the surface to be cleaned.

The dry ice freezes the dirt on impact, then rapidly sublimates while the CO2 gas removes the frozen dirt without causing damage or abrasion to the surface. Because of the temperature difference between the dry ice particles and the surface being treated, thermal shock occurs during the process. This causes a breakdown of the bond between the two dissimilar materials.

The dry ice pellets are accelerated up to 300 m/s (1,080 km/h) by the compressed air and then blasted onto the surface to be cleaned. The second part of the cleaning process is the impact with high kinetic energy.

  • Eliminates equipment damage, as a result of zero abrasion
  • Increased safety: the process is dry and non-conductive and therefore suitable or use on electric motors and electrical circuitry
  • A faster, more thorough clean, including complicated cavities where typical grit blast media will become trapped
  • Reduces or eliminates the use of permanent blast media, solvents, acids or chemical detergents
  • Reduces waste disposal and improves environmental friendliness
  • Decreased down-time, increased productivity and bottom line savings
  • Safe and non-toxic for food applications


Ideal for the cleaning of heavy mining machinery and equipment, electric and electro-mechanical equipment, surfaces, moulds and fresh air fans.

Tyre Manufacturing

Ideally used to clean large in-situ moulds to small o-ring cavities. It is the most cost-effective way to keep moulds in production.

Car Manufacturing

Cleaning can be done in assembly plants, e.g. removal of welding splatter on welding robots. Ideal for cleaning on body panel assembly, spray booths and extraction fans. Welding splatter can be removed from the robots on a weekly basis to prevent unplanned interruptions on production lines.

Automotive Interiors

The process is widely used in the cleaning of urethanes and plastic moulding. Typical applications include blast cleaning of fire walls, acoustic mats, dashboards, door panels, seats and carpets.

Chemical & Petroleum

Cleaning of resins, glues and deposits on equipment and inside tanks. It is especially useful in volatile environments, since the propellant in this application is nitrogen.

Food Processing

CO2 is also a disinfectant and is used in pharmaceutical and food grade environments. It offers a dry cleaning process, without any residue.

Pharmaceutical Industry

Applications are blast cleaning of stainless steel containers, reactors, mixers, tablet moulds and separators. It offers some benefits when compared to the traditional methods of steam cleaning and water-based cleaning, e.g. elimination of harmful bacteria and micro-organisms.

Steel Foundries

Cleaning of permanent moulds, hot moulds and core boxes without any down-time. It is ideal for cleaning of permanent moulds by removing water and silicon-based release agents, sand and resin in core boxes, screen and slot vents, die-casting machines, mixers and hydraulic power units.

Engine Remanufacturing

Cleaning of engine blocks and accessories, pistons, coils, cylinder heads and alloy wheels.


An easy, fast and cost-effective way to remove ink and grease on printing machines.

Mass Transit

Surface preparation of glass, plastic, rubber and aluminium without any damage to the surface. Applications are cleaning of elevators, escalators, floors, etc.

How Much Air is Required?

A typical plant air system of 6-12 bar with a minimum of 180 cfm is sufficient.

Dry Ice Storage

Dry ice pellets are delivered in specially-designed dry ice polystyrene containers. Depending on climate conditions, the pellets will last four to six days in this container.

Blasting Equipment

Dry Ice International is the supplier of the locally designed and manufactured Brilliant BlasterTM, as well as a supplier of Europe’s best available blasting equipment. Visit our website for more information.

Our Customer Promise

Dry Ice International has been providing the South African industry with innovative dry ice technology and solutions since 1994. We are known for our dedicated national client service, creativity, innovation and highly qualified and experienced personell.


Dry Ice International does deliveries countrywide on a 24-48 hour basis. Dry ice can be ordered on our website and delivered at your doorstep. Dry ice can also be collected at any of our retail outlets.

Dry Ice Blasting Brochure

Download the Dry Ice Blasting Brochure here