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What Is a Dry Ice Blasting Feed Rate?

Dry ice blasting is a remarkable cleaning method, utilizing the power of solid carbon dioxide (dry ice) in pellet form, propelled at high speeds using compressed air. While many factors contribute to the effectiveness of this cleaning technique, the dry ice blasting feed rate stands out as one of the most crucial. But what is this feed rate, and why is it so vital? Let’s explore.

Understanding Dry Ice Blasting Feed Rate

The dry ice blasting feed rate refers to the amount of dry ice pellets that the blasting equipment propels onto a surface per unit of time. It is typically measured in kilograms per hour (kg/h) or pounds per hour (lbs/h).

The Role of Feed Rate in Cleaning

  1. Adjusting Intensity: The feed rate dictates the intensity of cleaning. A higher feed rate means more dry ice is hitting the surface in a given time, leading to more aggressive cleaning. Conversely, a reduced feed rate offers gentler cleaning, suitable for sensitive surfaces.
  2. Economic Consideration: Controlling the feed rate is also an economical move. Overusing dry ice pellets when not needed can lead to wastage and increased costs.
  3. Optimal Results: Achieving the right balance ensures that contaminants are effectively removed without causing damage or using excessive resources.

Factors Affecting the Choice of Feed Rate

  1. Nature of Contaminant: Tougher contaminants might require a higher feed rate to be effectively removed, while more delicate residues can be tackled with a lighter touch.
  2. Surface Sensitivity: Surfaces that can be easily damaged, or those that are inherently sensitive, may necessitate a reduced feed rate.
  3. Dry Ice Pellet Size: The size of the dry ice pellets being used can also influence the desired feed rate. Smaller pellets might require a different feed rate compared to larger pellets to achieve the same cleaning effect.
  4. Blasting Pressure: The pressure at which the dry ice is being propelled (often measured in bars or psi) can interact with the feed rate. A higher blasting pressure might sometimes reduce the need for a higher feed rate and vice versa.

Adjusting and Monitoring Feed Rate

Modern dry ice blasting machines come equipped with controls that allow operators to adjust the feed rate as per the requirements of the specific cleaning task. It’s essential to monitor and tweak this rate during operations to ensure optimal cleaning efficiency and to prevent wastage.


The dry ice blasting feed rate is more than just a technical specification; it’s a dynamic control that influences the cleaning outcome directly. By understanding its importance and adjusting it according to the task at hand, one can achieve the best results in dry ice blasting.

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