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Old 30th July 2021, 12:10   #1
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Default Dry ice cleaning: A new trend in automotive restoration

Automotive restoration is a big business across the world. It helps bring old cars back to life, by restoring, refurbishing old parts, and bringing them back to nearly-new condition. While there are many techniques used by professionals, a new method now seems to be trending, called 'Dry Ice cleaning'.



The new technique involves using dry ice - the solid form of carbon dioxide with a temperature of around -79 degrees Celsius. The cold material is blasted onto the surface using a pressurised hose for cleaning. The method is similar to media blasting, but without the use of abrasive materials.

Dry ice cleaning: A new trend in automotive restoration-dryicecleaningbeforeafter.jpg

Another difference is that dry ice cleaning will remove all the gunk, oil, and other materials, without removing the vehicle's paint. This is because, unlike sandblasting or other methods, it's not the impact of the abrasive materials that remove the dirt. Instead, dry ice upon impact with the surface turns back directly to a gas, which combined with its cold temperature, cleans the surface.

However, the technique can get messy and can create quite a bit of noise during the process. Also, since dry ice immediately turns into gas, it is advisable to wear the right protective equipment.

Source: The Drive

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Last edited by RahulNagaraj : 30th July 2021 at 12:11.
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Old 30th July 2021, 14:48   #2
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Default Re: Dry ice cleaning: A new trend in automotive restoration

Really interesting piece of news with the info that it doesn't leave any additional residue like sand blasting.

I have 2 queries though;

1. Once they do this cleaning, will it not induce rust inside the block?
2. Apart from sand blasting, is the abrasion reduction meant to be only benefit or something else as well? (from a cleaning point of view)

Note:
If ice needs to be maintained at -79Deg (as pellets), it brings practical challenge for mass scale usage. Did some search & saw that the guys who manufacture these equipment's also supply ice producing equipment's as well. If that becomes economical, then it will be a good success in Industrial areas as well.

One of the link i found useful for the said topic:
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Old 30th July 2021, 15:15   #3
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Default Re: Dry ice cleaning: A new trend in automotive restoration

No that's quite literally a Cool technique to clean.

The upkeeping cost and space requirement of this machine seems to be quite on the higher side. Additionally a lot of dry ice.

However, it looks the best technique to clean the engine grime without damaging the engine.
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Old 30th July 2021, 15:42   #4
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Default Re: Dry ice cleaning: A new trend in automotive restoration

Just wondering, what is the problem with traditional cleaning methods like Diesel-Water mixture?

Does Dry Ice cleaning have any advantages over these?

I am also curious about the 'abrasive' properties.
Why do we need such sand blasting on automobile parts anyways?
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Old 30th July 2021, 16:34   #5
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Default Re: Dry ice cleaning: A new trend in automotive restoration

In addition to the videos above, Chris Fix (a youtuber) has also found a use for dry ice - removing old sound deadening material for weight reduction.

One has to place the dry ice directly on the sound deadening material, and after a while the material just shatters and can be removed easily.

Start watching around the 13 minute mark -

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Old 30th July 2021, 22:10   #6
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Default Re: Dry ice cleaning: A new trend in automotive restoration

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhishek46 View Post
Just wondering, what is the problem with traditional cleaning methods like Diesel-Water mixture?

Does Dry Ice cleaning have any advantages over these?

I am also curious about the 'abrasive' properties.
Why do we need such sand blasting on automobile parts anyways?
Dry ice blasting is much effective because the tempertaure of the surface gets extremely cold (by the dry ice) in milliseconds and at the same time also gets hit by a high energy (high pressure from the ice). In simple terms the dirt freezes and gets hit at the same time. At least 100x more effective than diesel or any safe to use chemicals.
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Old 31st July 2021, 12:53   #7
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Default Re: Dry ice cleaning: A new trend in automotive restoration

Quote:
Originally Posted by RMN View Post
Dry ice blasting is much effective because the tempertaure of the surface gets extremely cold (by the dry ice) in milliseconds and at the same time also gets hit by a high energy (high pressure from the ice). In simple terms the dirt freezes and gets hit at the same time. At least 100x more effective than diesel or any safe to use chemicals.
Will this rapid temperature transition also not cause the paint surfaces to contract/expand similar to the dirt? What prevents it from peeling in thin layers?
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Old 1st August 2021, 12:44   #8
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Default Re: Dry ice cleaning: A new trend in automotive restoration

Quote:
Originally Posted by whitewing View Post
Will this rapid temperature transition also not cause the paint surfaces to contract/expand similar to the dirt? What prevents it from peeling in thin layers?
The dry ice machine has different settings for adjusting the force with which ice is blasted.

First of all, the dry ice is not supposed to be applied directly to paint. That's why while cleaning the wheel wells or underbody, the body is covered.

Secondly, if at all it is necessary to blast dry ice on the paint surface anywhere (like while cleaning the engine block), the settings are adjusted to blast dry ice in low power so as to not peel of any paint. This low power mode also cleans effectively, but is time consuming.

And dry ice can also be used to clean plastic and alloy surfaces.
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Old 1st August 2021, 20:09   #9
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Default Re: Dry ice cleaning: A new trend in automotive restoration

The USP of dry ice blasting is that it does not leave any residue on the cleaned surface.

I inquired for buying a dry ice blaster and the company offered a low pressure blaster for automotive use. They said it is yet to pick up pace in the automotive arena. It is mainly used in industries for maintenance and cleaning of large machinery.
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Old 2nd August 2021, 03:59   #10
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Default Re: Dry ice cleaning: A new trend in automotive restoration

After doing some wiki based research, this technology has been around for some time now (1945 being the first experimental use date) and the listed uses are mainly where delicate or sensitive items are concerned... semiconductors, food processing, automated machinery etc.

All components on a car, be it the engine or the underside, are built to withstand heavy abuse, so basically, this is like Nitrogen filling in car tyres. A high visibility marketing stunt to get people to pay up more when it is not needed. Like using a howitzer where a handgun would suffice.
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Old 2nd August 2021, 06:46   #11
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Default Re: Dry ice cleaning: A new trend in automotive restoration

I spent 2+ hours to clean my car yesterday and I'm barely half way through. No, I did not go off roading or drive thru rain water. Outer portion took just 10 mins. The nooks and crannies well, they are a back breaking activity. My fingernails are all black in color. Under the bonnet and wheel rims in particular, calls for unique methods like this one.
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