It all started in the early 1930's when the creation of solid phase carbon dioxide, or dry ice, was made possible. In the beginning it was nothing more than a lab experiment, but as the procedure became more available, uses for this revolutionary substance grew. Refrigeration was the first, and many facets of the food industry still use dry ice to package and protect perishable foods.
In 1945, the U.S. Navy began experimenting with CO2 blasting as a degreasing method. In 1963, Reginald Lindall obtained a patent for an application to remove meat from bone by using jetted CO2 pellets. In 1972, Edwin Rice was given a patent for what he called his "method of removing unwanted portions of an article by spraying with high-velocity dry ice particles". 1977 saw Calvin Fong being granted a patent for sandblasting with particles capable of sublimation which is the process of a substance converting from a solid to a gas (or vice versa) without an intermediate liquid stage. All this success led to the development of several companies in the '80's that focused on dry ice blasting technology and procedures.
Dry ice pelletizers and blasting machines hit the industrial market early on in this era, but the first machines were big, bulky and expensive. To compound their cumbersome designs they needed air pressure greater than 200 psi to operate. Improvements continued until manufacturers reached the current models which are much smaller and can operate under 80 psi.
All these advances made CO2 blasting a widely used procedure. It can remove heavy slag or be used on delicate semiconductors. Much better than toxic chemical, high pressure water blasting or grit blasting, CO2 blasting is environmentally friendly and saves on the cost of secondary waste clean-up, treatment and disposal.
For more information on the many uses of CO2 blasting and how it can benefit you on your clean-up project, contact FERRO today.