Can laser cleaning replace dry ice cleaning?
Dry ice cleaning has a very wide range of applications in my country’s industrial manufacturing. It is commonly used in the cleaning of oil-based paint and carbon deposits in industrial equipment such as mold printing, automotive electronics, and petrochemical industries. It also has excellent applications in rust and paint removal. It is an important part of my country’s industrial cleaning ingredients.
Laser cleaning is the most cutting-edge new industrial cleaning method developed over the past 17 years. In the past two years, it has also been quickly applied to paint rust removal and oil stain carbon deposition cleaning in mold, automobile and other industries.
As two cleaning methods with highly overlapping application fields, they naturally face competition for market share and comparison of product maturity. Below we will deeply compare the advantages, disadvantages and development prospects of the two cleaning methods.
Dry ice cleaning
The advantages of dry ice blasting are mainly compared to traditional chemical cleaning agents. Most of its advantages we know:
The cleaning process does not use chemicals and does not pollute the environment.
Compared with cleaning agents, dry ice cold spray cleaning is more thorough and cleaner. And will not cause damage to the material.
No downtime, no need to disassemble and assemble equipment, can be cleaned online, which can reduce downtime compared with chemical cleaning agents.
It is easy to operate and use, and the process links are simple, which can realize automatic operation and reduce labor costs.
Can laser cleaning replace dry ice cleaning?
Dry ice blasting is widely used as an alternative to chemical cleaners
But at the same time, the disadvantages of dry ice cleaning are also obvious: not so much that it can be cleaned online in a hot state without the equipment being shut down, it is better to say that the cleaning effect of the equipment is not good after cooling.
Dry ice spraying is a process that uses relative temperature differences to embrittle and strip dirty materials. When the surface temperature of the equipment is low, its cleaning effect will be relatively reduced. For example, in addition to carbon deposits in the combustion chamber of a car engine, when the temperature of the car engine is low, it is not only difficult to clean, but also special attention should be paid to the easy generation of condensed water into the engine.
Strict operating environment requirements. The dangers of dry ice blasting require the wearing of necessary safety equipment. Because dry ice blasting typically produces noise levels in excess of 120 dB(A), close to the sound of an aircraft engine running, workers must wear hearing protection. Dry ice temperatures of minus 70 degrees Celsius require gloves to prevent frostbite from dry ice particles, and helmets, face shields and goggles to prevent splashing particles from injuring eyes.
At the same time, there is also a suffocation hazard when used in a relatively closed environment. When the volume fraction of carbon dioxide in the air is 1%, people will feel dizzy and palpitations; 4%-5% feel dizzy. When it exceeds 6%, the person will lose consciousness, gradually stop breathing and lead to death. Therefore, blast cleaning workers must wear CO2 detectors and use light or even heavy duty respirators based on the amount of dust or CO2 concentration produced.
Strict protective equipment needs to be worn, and there are certain operational risks. Cleaning costs are high. Dry ice blasting machines usually need to be equipped with dry ice storage tanks, dry ice machines, air compressors and air storage tanks.
Taking the cleaning of engine carbon deposits as an example, normal cleaning of car carbon deposits generally requires a 7kg air compressor and a 3.5L capacity air storage tank. Also, the unit cost of dry ice as a consumable is very high. As an ordinary consumer, the price of removing carbon deposits in a 4S store is around 400-700; as a corporate user, the tire factories ranked 20-30 in China use dry ice cleaning technology. The annual cost of consumables is close to 800,000-1.2 million, and the operating cost is very high.
At the same time, experience has shown that after several days of ice cubes, their density decreases, which reduces the cleaning effect. Therefore, more dry ice is required to clean a given area. Using freshly made dry ice can make cleaning faster and more effective. That’s why dry ice blast cleaning uses the freshest dry ice possible. In addition, the dry ice will continue to sublime, which means that the original 100kg of dry ice particles will only have about 92kg left after one day. Therefore, dry ice usually requires a strict cryogenic storage environment.
With the rapid development of the laser cleaning industry, it is believed that it will be familiar and accepted by the market in the next few years and become the most effective cleaning method to replace traditional cleaning and dry ice cleaning.