One of the best applications for dry ice blasting is removing loose paint from the interior of a structure. The real advantage here is that the dry ice converts to carbon dioxide gas, and the only cleanup you have is sweeping or vacuuming the paint and debris dislodged by the blasting process, which is a substantial savings in time and money from traditional media blasting options. Of course, most facilities would not be willing to have the media dust and mess of the more traditional methods, so it’s an option that makes a great deal of sense from the customer’s perspective.
Depending on air pressure, dry ice blasting can remove loose paint quickly and effectively, the higher the air pressure the faster the removal, and you also will remove much more paint at the same time.
Typical plant air pressure is between 90 and 110psi, but with rentable portable air compressors, pressures above 225 to 300psi are achievable. At this high pressure, it is sometimes possible to removal ALL the paint on a structure, but this will depend on a variety of factors, type of coating, age of coating and type of substrate, among others.
Recently we did a peeling paint removal job at a factory facility in preparation for a new manufacturing process. The paint in about 2500 square feet of ceiling was really peeling badly, and all that was required was to stop the peeling paint from falling, so it was an excellent candidate for blasting.
As the photos show, the paint was in poor condition, and after a day of blasting, all the loose paint was removed, swept up and the facility was ready for move in of the new equipment.
These jobs are economical, because the customer only wants the loose paint removed, they are quick because there is minimal cleanup, and as an added bonus, we blasted as the electricians worked in the same space wiring up new areas with the only requirement of wearing hearing protection due to the blasting noise!
Had the customer required it, we could have sprayed a paint coating over the ceiling joists and deck, but because it was an industrial customer, they didn’t need additional coating services. Had painting been necessary, we would have painted it the next day, for a total of two days on the job site.