CO2 spray cleaning systems provide cost-effective, no-touch cleaning that can be dropped into existing production lines with a fraction of the footprint of water-based cleaning. Water or aqueous based cleaning systems require a much larger footprint and immense quantities of water and detergents, including a wastewater handling system. Operating using water-based cleaning requires an abundant electrical demand for running an additional oven to heat dry the parts after cleaning. Cool Clean’s waterless CO2 cleaning process requires no post drying, allowing parts to move directly to a painting or coating step.
CO2 cleaning is solvent-free and non-abrasive to the surface, making it a safe alternative for workers. Unlike manual hand wiping that uses isopropyl alcohol dipped rags, CO2 cleaning is completely dry. Manual wiping has proven to yield inconsistent cleaning results and requires additional labor, while CO2 cleaning may be implemented as an automated tool into the production line, significantly improving on efficiency.
The primary cleaning agent for CO2 cleaning is solid CO2 particles, or dry ice, sometimes referred to as “snow”, which sublimes upon contact with the surface, leaving behind no cleaning agent residues to manage. Air blow systems do not have the same cleaning force as CO2 cleaning, and are therefore unable to remove heavier dusts and contaminants from the surface. Any contamination left behind on the surface greatly affects the adhesion of paints and coatings. CO2 cleaning removes all contamination from the surface ensuring proper adhesion and less rejected parts.
CO2 cleaning utilizes a variety of spray configurations that work seamlessly with existing robotics, providing complete coverage of the part and ensuring a high quality finish. Additional cleaning may be achieved by combining additive injection to modify the chemistry of the cleaning spray. CO2 cleaning used in conjunction with atmospheric plasma and ionized air de-static systems may provide additional surface preparation capability.