German manufacturer Kärcher has produced high-end equipment since 1935, turning to blast cleaning in 1950. With more than 100 subsidiaries worldwide, the company is represented across most of the world. Kärcher entered the dry ice blasting industry when the potential for the technology became clear, and so the company’s blasting technology has developed significantly over the years.
The company produces a range of blasting machines as well as pelletisers, so clients are able to produce their own dry ice without having to rely on delayed delivery services. Kärcher’s focus is on building compact dry ice blasters and pelletisers, making them suitable for a wider range of industries that have adopted their technology over the years.
[expand title="Read more"] Kärcher has three blaster models and three pelletisers in its current range. The company has developed frames and systems that are robust and durable, while keeping the machines relatively compact. The German designs are highly reliable, with few reports of downtime. Kärcher stresses the importance of frequent-use clients having their own pelletisers, since dry ice blast cleaning diminishes in effectiveness when old dry ice is used. The newer the pellets, the more effective the cleaning job can be done, and as a result, the less dry ice needs to be used overall. The company’s own studies have found that, under ideal conditions, time requirements for dry ice blast cleaning can be reduced by up to 50% when fresh dry ice is used, compared to when the ice is more than a day old. While pelletisers are a significant investment initially, the improvements in blast cleaning efficacy ultimately lead to gradual cost savings over time. To further improve clients’ ability to preserve dry ice for as long as possible, Kärcher also produces two different types of storage container: a disposable box that can carry up to 25kg of dry ice, and a lightweight, durable, reusable 100kg container made from expanded polypropylene. Kärcher has concentrated much of their development and research on ensuring that it is reasonably possible to use the highest-possible quality dry ice in their blasting machines by making it easy to produce and transport the frozen carbon dioxide as needed. Kärcher’s current range of dry ice blasters, of which Dry Ice International stocks and sells one, is made up of three models.
- The Ice Blaster IB 15/120 is Kärcher’s most powerful blaster, with the company implementing the results of its research into hose and nozzle air flow into this machine. The improved air flow allows for more powerful and effective blasting, while keeping dry ice consumption relatively low – it can be adjusted to between 30 and 120 kilograms of dry ice per hour. The built-in hopper can hold up to 40 kilograms of dry ice, giving it a higher capacity than many similar blasters made by other manufacturers. In addition, the Kärcher hose and nozzle are designed to keep 3mm dry ice pellets intact while being carried through the machine, allowing for more effective blasting. Mobility has been a major consideration in the design of the Ice Blaster IB 15/120, with its relatively small and ergonomic design making it easily manoeuvrable in tighter areas and narrow factory passages. It has a dual-handle design, making it easy to carry the machine from the front and rear to transport it up stairs or over difficult terrain. The Ice Blaster IB 15/120 can also be switched between dry ice and air-only blasting options
- The Ice Blaster IB 7/40 Classic, which Dry Ice International sells, is a smaller blaster than the IB 15/120. It still delivers high-power blasting, however, with it containing the same airflow-optimising technology that is present in the larger IB 15/120. Like its larger counterpart, the IB 7/40 Classic also has built-in storage areas for attachments, nozzles and the hose, as well as a convenient hopper that can hold up to 15kg of dry ice. Depending on the setting, it can use between 15 and 50 kilograms of dry ice per hour of continuous operation, making it ideal for light- to medium-intensity blast cleaning jobs. Since it is relatively small in size, it can be used easily in smaller factories and areas where space is constricted, particularly where walkways are not very wide.
- The similar Ice Blaster IB 7/40 Adv is a more advanced version of the standard IB 7/40 Classic, incorporating more high-performance parts while maintaining the convenient size and dimensions of the original Classic model. It has many more of the same features of the larger IB 15/120, and runs on a smaller compressed air supply than the Classic model. The IB 7/40 Adv has a significantly improved nozzle gun, with some of the machine’s switches and dials built into the gun for more direct control over ice flow and blasting power. It also has the ability to switch between dry ice and air-only blasting options, which the Classic model cannot do. Despite the fact that the IB 7/40 Adv contains more controls than the Classic model, it is only 1kg heavier – achieving significantly more as a machine in the same space without compromising on weight mobility.
Kärcher’s dry ice production units and pelletisers include the IP55, IP120 and IP220 models. Each of them are built with robust steel frames and are compact enough to be installed in relatively small industrial and manufacturing spaces. The IP55, IP120 and IP220 can produce 55kg, 120kg and 220kg of dry ice per hour respectively, making the range wide enough to cover most dry ice blasting customers’ needs in terms of the volume of dry ice needed for standard operations. The pelletisers vary in size, with the larger volume machines requiring larger internal storage spaces, but many of the components – such as extruder plates, carbon dioxide detectors, timer modules and so on, being common throughout the whole range. This makes sourcing parts, servicing and repairing the machines easier when the need arises. Selected Kärcher blasting machines are available in South Africa, and Dry Ice International can service and repair the machines locally, for your convenience. Contact us for pricing details or enquiries about importing Kärcher’s blasters, accessories or equipment.[/expand]