CO₂ Snow Blasting

Residue-free and dry cleaning of components

Contaminants and release agents can be removed from components using CO2 snow blasting processes. This in-line technique involves the sudden expansion of liquid CO2, whereby solid crystals of CO2 snow form in a nozzle on introducing compressed air. These are blasted at the surface to be cleaned. There is no damage due to the immediate sublimation, and even sensitive surfaces can be effectively cleaned. Compared to conventional blasting grit, the CO2 snow evaporates and can be extracted without leaving residues. The process is eco-friendly because CO2 can be achieved as a by-product from many chemical processes.

CO2 snow blasting can be used as an alternative to cleaning baths and solvent-based cleaning processes.

Fraunhofer IFAM supports you in the industrial implementation of this technique. We identify suitable process parameters for a wide variety of adhesive bonding and coating applications. 


Application examples of CO₂ snow blasting                     

  • Cleaning of plastic components prior to coating and adhesive bonding
  • Cleaning of electronic components
  • Cleaning of implants or prostheses


Advantages of the cleaning process

  • Eco-friendly, bath-free cleaning
  • Fast, low-cost process
  • No emission of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
  • Enhanced use of resources due to local, needs-oriented cleaning
  • Simplification of the production due to no need for drying processes
  • Easy automation and process monitoring
  • Increased production reliability and process stability due to the high cleaning efficiency of a wide range of materials, and also composites, such as polymers and metals
  • Can be combined with other surface pre-treatment methods