Cleaning Comparisons of CO2 Snow to  Ultrasonics and High Speed Air Jets

A paper by Jantzen et al. in 2018 compared CO2 snow cleaning compared to ultrasonic and high speed air jet cleaning of small parts with sub-millimeter features.  The parts tested were an external spur microgear (metal, 0.4 mm, 17 teeth), an internal spur microgear (metal, 0.08 mm, 254 teeth), a brass nut (M4), and a ceramic bore (Y-TZP, Ø 3 mm, height 6 mm).  Contamination included aluminum granulates, alumina powder (400 mesh), titanium oxide power, and silicon carbide.  Average particle sizes were in the 20 to 50 micrometer range with a large spread from the average, both larger and smaller.  

Overall cleaning results from 72 samples indicated CO2 snow cleaning showed the highest cleaning efficiency
in comparison with the high-speed air jet and ultrasonic cleaning.  CO2 snow removed 95 % of the contamination on average, while ultrasonics had 88 %, and high speed had 74 %.  

Overall, for parts with complex geometries, CO2 snow cleaning may offer an advantage.


Jantzen, Stephan, Thomas Decarreaux, Martin Stein, Karin Kniel, and Andreas Dietzel. "CO2 snow cleaning of miniaturized parts." Precision Engineering 52 (2018) 122-129