This process uses soft "snow flakes" of frozen carbon dioxide (CO2) gas
to clean surfaces. This is not the same process as CO2 pellet blasting,
which is a more aggressive process used to remove paint from surfaces.
CO2 snow is very effective at removing particles. It has been used for
removing small particles from optical components, gyroscopes, thin film
mirrors, and other delicate surfaces. Some sources have reported success in
removing thin fluid layers, flux, and fingerprints. It will not remove
rust, paint, greases, or heavy oil layers. The process is best suited for
Safety considerations include ventilation and protection of people from
extended contact with the cold snow. Safety glasses also should be worn.
The CO2 returns to gas phase quickly, leaving behind only the removed
debris for disposal. The process does not generate new CO2, a greenhouse
warming gas. Instead, it uses CO2 that is derived from other chemical processes.
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All SAGE material, Copyright© 1992,
Research Triangle Institute
18 March 1995