Technical Brief Nov 2016 - Primas Dry Ice Blasting - Is dry ice really a non-abrasive blasting media?
A study published by Clemson University (Molen, Joosten, Beentjes and Megens, 2011, p. 96) found dry ice pellets to be 1.5-2.0 on the Mohs hardness scale.
The Mohs scale is used to characterise mineral hardness through the ability of a harder material to scratch softer material and the softer material not being able to scratch the harder material.
Using Mohs methodology it can be argued that dry ice particles are non-abrasive to all substrates that are harder than dry ice or above 2.0 on the Mohs scale.
The following table places dry ice on the Mohs scale and identifies it as being the softest or least abrasive blasting media.
Notwithstanding the relative softness or non-abrasiveness of dry ice compared to other blasting media it is important to understand that dry ice blasted at a surface using a high pressure stream can cause damage to surfaces and equipment if strict professional practices are not observed.
Primas Dry Ice Blasting continues to refine and augment its technical understanding of specific contaminates, substrates and environmental conditions and how best to safely and effectively dry ice clean when encountering ever changing combinations of these factors.
Molen, R., Joosten, I., Beentjes, T., and Megen, L. 2011 “Dry Ice Blasting for the Conservation Cleaning of Metals.” In Metal 2010: proceedings of the interim meeting of the ICOM-CC Metal Working Group, Charleston, 11 October 2010, pp.96-103. Clemson: Clemson University.