Your guide to the wonders of Dry Ice
For years, the freezing cold product known as dry ice has been a saving grace for industries with perishables and science fans alike. As much as it is a useful product, it has been popularised by numerous “scientific experiments” on YouTube. Dry ice is used across all sorts of industries and continues to be exceptionally useful. Not much about dry ice has changed since its first discovery, but what has change is the amount of benefits and uses that we continue to discover.
Did you know that dry ice resembles water ice or snow although it is not made with a liquid?
And that is because dry ice is the frozen form of carbon dioxide, and it is exceptionally cold. In fact, dry ice is so cold that it is able to cause severe, frost bite style burns, which is exactly why it should never be touched with the naked hand. But what separates dry ice from normal ice is that when it breaks down it doesn’t turn into liquid but rather it returns to a gas form and evaporates, while it also has a unique appearance. You can tell the difference between dry ice and water based ice by looking at it; frozen CO2 gives off a characteristic mist as it evaporates.
But frozen CO2 is not the only gas that takes on an exceptional frozen quality. The other gas that can be used to keep things cool is liquid nitrogen, although trying to handle liquid nitrogen makes the task of keeping things cold almost impossible. It’s messy and can be dangerous. Dry ice is the simplest and easiest method that you can use to keep things cold.
The history of dry ice goes back to 1835 where the records of a French inventor make the first mention of dry ice. But the discovery of dry ice was never patented. The first successful commercial endeavour with dry ice belongs to an American, Thomas B. Slate, and the substance received its name from the company that first sold it.
Dry ice is readily available all throughout South Africa, allowing you to buy it in all of the major cities.
Wondering about the benefits of dry ice?
Frozen CO2 is comes with numerous benefits. But there are certain reasons why dry ice remains so popular:
- You can use it around electrical appliances
Fantastic for use in factories, dry ice doesn’t create a hazardous environment when it is used around appliances or plug sockets. Instead of the ice breaking down into a liquid which can cause danger, the ice turns into a gas and evaporates.
- It is a great preserving agent
And this is not only for keeping perishables nice and fresh. While one of the primary purposes of dry ice is to keep food ice cold when it is being transported, it can also be used when you want to preserve other things such as medicine. Not only does it keep medicine preserved but can also be used for preserving bacteria which needs to be kept cold.
- You are helping to keep the environment safe
When using dry ice, you are using an environmentally safe method. It is also a non-toxic product so it will not contaminate whatever it is keeping cold.
- It is a versatile product
Because dry ice comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, it is a wonderfully versatile product to use. You will never have to worry about finding the right size dry ice for your needs.
Dry ice doesn’t float. When put in water it will sink because it is far denser than the water surrounding it.
Used for more than preserving
Recently a series of photographs made waves online; it shows a Porsche being given a clean with a dry ice blasting machine. Usually, such machines are only used when cleaning outdoor surfaces or tough machinery, so not many would think to use it on their prized Porsche.
But the photo series does show us one of the biggest reasons why dry ice blasting should be more popular than it is. The cleaning method is so incredibly gentle that it removes all traces of dirt, both in the engine and on the exterior, and grime in a few swift motions.
Basically dry ice blasting is one of the most common uses of the product, and it can be used in pretty much any environment and on almost any machine or surface. This method of cleaning is similar to sandblasting but without the worry that the method is going to chip or damage what is being cleaned in anyway. This is also a mess-free way to clean, as instead of having to worry about cleaning up a liquid mess, the CO2 will evaporate.
An interesting fact about dry ice is that it is theorised that it might have once been a part of the Mars landscape.
Apart from dry ice blasting, you can also use dry ice for artistic purposes with many stage productions and photographer’s alike using dry ice to provide an aesthetic appeal to their artistic ventures.
This product can also play a role in removing the dents from your car, those caused by hail or which are the result of small bumps. The ice causes the metal to condense when it is placed on the inside of the dent. It is best to rather let a professional do this, but it is an interesting method that you can consider the next time you have a dent in the body work of your car.
And if you are looking for a way to remove a floor tile without damaging it, place dry ice onto it. The frozen carbon dioxide will cause the tile to shrink slightly and break the cement bond that is keeping the tile secure on the floor.
Anyone can benefit from the numerous wonders and uses of dry ice. As a safe to use, non-toxic option, it is a wonderful product to use. At Dry Ice International we sell affordable dry ice in all sizes for all kinds of uses. Contact us today for quality dry ice that you can trust to do the job.