Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dry Ice Blasting Creosote Wood Joists and Floorboards

The Cryogenic Institute of New England, Inc.’s dry ice blast cleaning manager, Ian Scott and I headed out to Boston on September 24 to complete a dry ice blasting project involving wood joists and floorboards. The job was to be completed in a single day’s work. The room to be cleaned was situated to the side of an alley way that was located off of a one-way street. We had to position our air compressor on a curb and then run hose down the alley to the back room. Additionally, our dry ice blasting machine needed to be brought down several steep stairs, which required the use of a ramp. Setting up the job took much less time than expected considering the logistical issues associated with the dry ice blasting job.

The objective of this project was to clean wood joists and the bottom of floorboards in a soon to be renovated dining room. The wood needed to be cleaned to a bare finish that was smooth. Ideally, the end result would look like brand new fresh wood that had been installed. Before even starting our dry ice blasting process, the wood looked very old and worn. It had a feathered texture and in some sections was stained and had dirt on it. Regardless, it looked like something dry ice blast cleaning would fix without issue. It was a humid day and since we were blasting in an enclosed area between the joists, it was very hard to see the surface being blasted. The floorboards cleaned up well, but it took several sampling efforts to get the right finish.

The joists on the other hand were a completely different story. The joists seemed at first to have been stained at some point in their lifetime. But, once we started dry ice blasting the joists, a certain smell started to permeate the room, even through our respirators. The joists appeared to have been made of what would remind you of utility pole wood. After doing some further reading on the subject, I discovered that it is quite likely that the wood was finished in creosote. Creosote was created as a wood preservative dating back to 1831. The house we worked in which was over 120 years old, may have had creosote protected wood joists, which prevented us from getting the clean that both us and our customer desired. We were only able to bring a wood stain look back to the joists. Unfortunately, we were unable to bring them back to bare wood. The wood seemed to have been soaked completely through with creosote and even after dry ice blasting the texture was still not smooth. It still had that feathered look.

I have included before and after photographs for you to view of the project.

Regardless, we learned something from this dry ice blasting project. First, creosote coated or soaked woods will not be able to be cleaned to a bare finish that looks like brand new unfinished wood. Rather dry ice blast cleaned creosote coated wood will look like it has been freshly stained. Second, wood timbers that have a rough finish (think utility pole wood) may not clean to look like smooth sanded wood. Therefore, dry ice blast cleaning will work on creosote treated wood, but not to the extent that we have seen on other wood cleaning operations.

For more information about our Nitrofreeze® Dry Ice Blast Cleaning visit our dry ice blasting page or call Ryan Taylor at (508) 459-7447.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

The Fastest Chevy 292 Straight 6 in the United States

Since our inception in 2002, we have cryo treated auto parts for our recreational customers. Many of our customers need their engines and transmissions to withstand the strains of more horsepower and torque. Our customers, who cryo treat their auto parts range from weekend racers to Nascar teams. In recent years, we have seen many customers use cryogenic treatment on components for drag racing vehicles.

One of our customers, Leo, has used cryogenic treatment on many of the auto parts in his 1954 Studebaker. Leo has had his entire Chevy 292 Straight 6 engine cryo treated just a few years ago. Since then he has raced two seasons without issue. He has the fastest Chevy 292 Straight 6 engine in the entire United States thanks to the use of a turbocharger; which allows his Studebaker to make over 1,000 horsepower. Today, we continue to treat performance auto parts for Leo and his Studebaker.

Our drag racing customers have been able to realize the full potential of cryogenic treatment. Cryogenic treatment allows drag racing engines to deal with the extra stresses and heat related to higher levels of horsepower and torque. Three transformations will occur in cryo treated auto parts. First, cryogenic treatment will promote residual stress relief in metal auto parts. Any stresses created from casting, forging, or machining will be relieved, allowing the metal to gain higher levels of endurance. Second, cryogenic treatment will create a more uniform molecular structure within the metal that is treated. This will remove any imperfections or voids from the metal that could eventually cause part failure. Third, in steel engine parts a transformation will occur named the precipitation of eta-carbides. This will increase the auto part’s level of wear resistance. As a result, parts subject to movement will last significantly longer. Another additional benefit is that cryo treated parts will have better thermal properties. This means that the parts will dissipate heat better, which will reduce failures caused by heat.

For more information about cryogenic treatment for racing applications take a look at our cryogenic treatment for racing page.

Most importantly, I wanted to share a video of Leo’s Studebaker. This video captures his vehicle with its cryo treated engine completing a quarter mile in less than ten seconds.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Dry Ice Blasting Painted Brick Video

The Cryogenic Institute of New England, Inc. recently completed a historical renovation project on the second floor of 89 Shrewsbury Street. The objective was to remove coatings of paint from the brick walls using dry ice blast cleaning. Additionally, a few sections of the painted ceiling needed to blasted down to bare wood.

In 2007 we dry ice blasted the third floor of 89 Shrewsbury Street. The new tenants of the second floor liked the third floor results. As a result, they opted to have the same dry ice blast cleaning process completed on the second floor. Dry ice blast cleaning is very effective in removing layers of paint from brick surfaces. The blog post below has pictures of the brick walls before and after.

While the project was in process, I stopped by the work site and made a video. The video shows dry ice blasting of bricks in progress. This was one of the last areas to be cleaned using dry ice blast cleaning. The video can be seen below.

If you are interested in completing a dry ice blasting project at your residence, facility or office, please contact us. For inquiries regarding dry ice blasting, please contact Ian Scott at (508) 459-7447 or email him at For more information about dry ice blast cleaning visit our site here.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Dry Ice Blasting at 89 Shrewsbury Street, Worcester, MA

Over the past few years, we have completed many dry ice blasting renovation projects for home owners, commercial clients, and even construction firms. In July of 2007, we completed a project for Cardinal Construction at 89 Shrewsbury Street in Worcester, MA. Many of you may be familiar with this building because it houses a local restaurant named VIA Italian Table on the first floor.

The job completed in July 2007 was on the third floor of 89 Shrewsbury Street. The project involved removing paint from brick walls and cleaning painted wood ceilings. Many walls were required to be cleaned to the bricks’ bare surface, bringing back their original finish from over one hundred years ago. The painted wood ceilings needed to be cleaned in a few areas that would become main offices and a conference room. The Nitrofreeze® Dry Ice Blast Cleaning Service removed the paint and left the wood with a rustic smooth finish. In less than ten days the third floor of 89 Shrewsbury Street was cleaned and construction began on the new office space. The third floor now houses the Worcester Business Development Corporation with a total of 7,200 square feet of office space. I have added a link to a brochure about the third floor project, which can be viewed below.

Worcester Business Development Corp. at 89 Shrewsbury Street

In the summer of 2009, we are revisited by Cardinal Construction. They are interested in having the second floor dry ice blasted. The tenants moving into the second floor liked the look of the fresh brick on the third floor. As a result, they requested that the same process be carried out on the second floor. A mix of brick walls and wood ceilings needed to be cleaned utilizing dry ice blast cleaning. Many walls needed significant blasting as different paints had accumulated on them over the years. Some ceiling areas required blasting as designated by the customer. In particular, the conference room and a few offices would end up with fresh wood ceilings without any imperfections or paint.

The entire job only took nine days of dry ice blast cleaning. Our cleaning process allowed us to complete the entire second floor job on time and within budget. Historic restorations have become one of the mainstays of our Nitrofreeze® Dry Ice Blast Cleaning Service. We take pride in cleaning buildings to the point that they are at or near new condition. I have added pictures below to show you various areas of the second floor of 89 Shrewsbury Street before and after dry ice blasting.

Before & After Pictures

We can dry ice blast clean your renovation projects. Call Ian Scott, our dry ice blast cleaning manager, at (508)-459-7447 today, to discuss possible projects requiring dry ice blast cleaning. For more information about dry ice blast cleaning, please visit Nitrofreeze Dry Ice Blast Cleaning Service.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Cryogenic Deburring Consultation

Cryogenic deburring is one of the mainstays of our business. We take pride in solving our customers’ burr problems with efficient, fast, and affordable solutions. Within the last week, we ran the parts that are pictured at the top of our cryogenic deburring page for a new customer. I have included a photo of the part that was deburred above. We had run these parts previously for another one of our customers. It was a familiar part for us, but there were some variations from the original customer’s part. However, our new customer was very enthused with the results of our cryogenic deburring process.

Below is the email I received from our new customer.

Good Morning Ryan,

I received the parts back yesterday the 1st. of Sept.

They look great. The next time I run these we will change the ball end mill more often to get rid of the heavy burr that you noticed on some of the slots. And also I have a groove tool being made to cut the O.D. grooves in one plunge to prevent the chips from wrapping around the groove. I know you noticed these also. But your process made it much easier to remove those with just an air hose. This entire order has been a learning experience.

It will be a couple of months before these get in the machine again. I will give you a heads up at that time.

But your work has opened my eyes to approaching plastic parts in regards to quoting for the future.

Thanks again for the help,


Emails and responses from customers like this one make my day. We have many customers who are pleased with our deburring work. If you are unpleased with the way a company is currently deburring your parts, then give us a call at (800)-739-7949 or email us at We can review your parts and burr issues and give you advice as to how we can solve your problem with a safe, efficient, and affordable solution.

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