Mould cleaning with dry ice blasting technology
What is dry ice cleaning?
Dry ice blasting is a cleaning technology that is used in many industries for different applications. One of the main applications where dry ice blasting is used and has proven its efficiency, is mould cleaning.
The advantages of using dry ice as blasting media for mould cleaning are:
- one can clean in place (CIP) the production lines and machinery parts because there is no additional waste at all: the product we blast is dry ice (= solid CO2) and turns into gas and vanishes after use!
- dry ice mould cleaning is very environmentally friendly because there is no need for detergents or chemicals (and the CO2 that is used is 100% recuperated carbon dioxide).
- moulds do not need to be dismounted, nor cooled down, for mould cleaning with dry ice.
- no damage or roughening of the surface while mould cleaning.
In general we can state that dry ice cleaning is most used where water, sand, solvents or other cleaning methods are not allowed (for ex. to clean electrical machines, conveyors, chains, motors, etc.)
Mould cleaning in different industries
One of the peak applications of CRYONOMIC® dry ice blasting equipment is mould cleaning. We have seen our dry ice blasting machines being successfully used for mould cleaning in all kinds of industries. Following materials are cleaned with our dry ice cleaning machines: resins, glass, aluminium, stainless steel, teflon, nickel, chrome, ceramic coated hardened steel mould, etc. Below we highlight some industries where dry ice is used for mould cleaning.
1. TIRE MOULD CLEANING
CRYONOMIC® machines are being used in a lot of tire plants worldwide for mould cleaning with a high success rate. Our dry ice cleaning machines are being promoted by engineers as thé only machine that is capable to clean well the vents that are incorporated in these moulds. CRYONOMIC® probably has the most experiences in tire mould cleaning in the market. Manufacturing dry ice cleaning machines for almost 30 years we were the first in having dry ice blasters integrated in robotic mould cleaning systems! CRYONOMIC® even developed a special gun for cleaning inside these moulds. With these guns customers today generally clean a mould in 20 minutes with approximately 50 kg/h of dry ice pellets. The CRYONOMIC® dry ice cleaning machine uses 20 to 30% less dry ice than other machines for this application. For winter tires for example, the abrasive module can be attached on the cleaning machine and some light abrasives can be added to do the cleaning much faster without destroying the aluminum moulds (compared to media that wear out the mould and reduces the value of the product seriously). More about tire mould cleaning.
2. MOULD CLEANING IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY
Mould cleaning in the food industry is mainly done when production stops or pauses. Some examples of moulds are:
- waffle moulds
- rice cakes moulds
- moulds for ice cream cones
- pancake moulds
Pastry leftovers on the edge of a mould or other contamination can be cleaned with only dry ice, no other additive is required. Mould cleaning with dry ice in the food industry is done by manual cleaning or semi-automated dry ice blasting. There is no need to replace the moulds by new ones when using the dry ice cleaning technology instead of chemical cleaning or other techniques. The mould will not be damaged so the money saving is much higher and moulds have a longer lifespan.
The food industry uses CRYONOMIC® dry ice cleaning also to clean their chrome plated steel moulds (for ex. for biscuits production): LU Mondelez, Unilever, Danone, etc. uses our machines weekly with success without any problem on the mould.
Swap counts prove by dry ice mould cleaning that there is no decolonisation of the bacteria as fast compared to cleaning with high pressure water with chemicals. Also the consistency of the cleaning is much better with CRYONOMIC® compared to traditional cleaning. More about mould cleaning in the food industry.
3. MOULD CLEANING IN FOUNDRIES
Most foundries uses the dry ice blasting machines for mould cleaning where they apply ‘die casting’ to cast products in aluminium or iron. In fact they remove weekly the silicone graphit release products. More about mould cleaning in foundries.
4. MOULD CLEANING IN THE MANUFACTURING OF CAR PARTS
Mould cleaning in the manufacturing of car parts is widely used. There are many different moulds that are cleaned with the CRYONOMIC® dry ice cleaning technologies. Here are some examples:
- motorblock moulds
- steering wheel moulds
- moulds for interior doors, bottom and ceiling
- bumper moulds
- dashboard moulds
By producing these car parts, manufacturers are in need of dry ice mould cleaning because contaminant from sand and resin remain at the moulds after the production process. More about mould cleaning in the manufacturing of car parts.
5. MOULD CLEANING IN PLASTIC INDUSTRY
The process of CRYONOMIC® dry ice cleaning allows the easy removal of contamination without generating any additional waste: the dry ice turns 100% to CO2 gas after it has done its cleaning work! CRYONOMIC® delivers since many years to the plastic industry compact dry ice cleaning machines (model COB62 and COB71) that are used for mould cleaning, injection moulding screws and extruders.
PET producers for example uses CRYONOMIC® dry ice cleaning often to clean machinery and mainly moulds that produce PET Preform Screw Cap (the top of a bottle), machinery and mainly moulds that produce PET Preform Interior (the long pins) and the equipment & moulds where one blows the preform to a large bottle. More about mould cleaning in the plastic industry.
6. MOULD CLEANING FOR MEDICAL PRODUCTS
In the Medical and Pharmaceutical industry it is highly requested or necessary to work in clean rooms while producing parts (for ex. syringes, rubber related products, ...). The mould cleaning also needs to be done in a clean area shielded from bacteria or dirt. The sometimes miniscule, fine contamination of the small and bigger moulds is easily removed with dry ice blasting. The dry ice mould cleaning job is done most of the time non-automated, so manually. Thanks to this sterile and environmently cleaning technology, dry ice cleaning is thé technique replacing the chemical cleaning in the pharmaceutical industry. More about pharmaceutical mould cleaning.
Dry ice mould cleaning, what's so important?
Most moulds are made out of steel or aluminum (softer as steel!). Our customers use dry ice cleaning because they do not damage their moulds with this cleaning technique!
Good to know is that dry ice blasting always cleans faster when the base material is hot (due to a higher thermoshock). Experience in cleaning hot moulds shows that the dry ice cleaning machine goes 2 to 3 times faster and that the cooling does not cause any harm. So the warmer the moulds, the faster the mould cleaning goes.
Automated mould cleaning or manual mould cleaning
CRYONOMIC® is worldwide the leader in integrating dry ice cleaning machines in automatic robots. CRYONOMIC® developed a special ‘pellet guard’ that warns the robot when there are no pellets entering the pellet hose anymore and when the pellets must be refilled. The dry ice blasting machine is connected to a robot gun that is activated by the PLC. For other specific cleaning on the rubber machines, CRYONOMIC® developed a very light gun and bent nozzles for cleaning in narrow and hard-to-reach places of the moulds. More about CRYONOMIC® dry ice cleaning machines.
CRYONOMIC® references in mould cleaning
Some of our references in mould cleaning in different industries:
- Tire mould cleaning: Continental, Goodyear, Michelin, Pirelli, ...
- Mould cleaning in the food industry: LU Mondelez, Unilever, Danone, Nestle, Kraft, Conagra Foods, ...
- Automotive mould cleaning: Rieter, Fehrer, Benteler, TRW, Faurecia, ...
- And many more...