Industrial Cleaning for the Nuclear Industry

Nuclear facilities require an increased attention to detail, higher qualifications, and greater commitment.

Professional Industrial Cleaning Services

We hold ourselves to the highest standards of safety, quality and integrity.

Specialized Equipment, Technology and Personnel

Few can match our twenty plus years of experience, customization and diversity.

Industrial Cleaning for the Nuclear Industry

Nuclear facilities require an increased attention to detail, higher qualifications, and greater commitment.

Professional Industrial Cleaning Services

We hold ourselves to the highest standards of safety, quality and integrity.

Recent Posts

August 22, 2016

Cleaning Heat Exchanger Tubes in Short Order

A great deal of the work that we do for our clients is in the form of scheduled maintenance. We have many clients that have us come to their facility on an annual or other regular basis, and it’s not uncommon for a new client to schedule us to accomplish a long-overdue, exceptionally difficult cleaning job. But another important segment of our work at Thompson Industrial Services is responding to emergency cleaning needs. Cleaning heat exchanger tubes that have suddenly fouled out, vacuuming spills of hazardous substances, and clearing blocked lines are a few examples of our emergency cleaning services, which we approach with the same sense of urgency that the client is experiencing when a situation jeopardizes the production or safety of their facility.
A before/after comparison of the heat exchanger tube bundle

Responding to the Call
Our emergency cleaning hotline (1-800-849-8040) is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and staffed with full-time Thompson personnel. That’s because no one can predict when a spill, blockage, or contamination event is going to bring production to a halt or endanger employees and property. That’s what happened exceptionally early in the morning as a major oil refinery in Tennessee experienced fouling in one of its crucial heat exchanger tube bundles. The production schedule required the tubes to be cleaned as soon as possible, so the unit manager made a wise choice: he called Thompson Industrial Services and asked for our immediate help.
Cleaning heat exchanger components is one of our core services, so we were ready to respond to the refinery’s call. We sent out a highly skilled four-man team, and they arrived at the site early to scope out the job and set up the necessary equipment. That initial work was finished by 9:00 AM, and the team was ready to work well before the bundle was opened up at 11:00.
Minimal Downtime
Cleaning the heat exchanger tube bundle was a particular challenge since the deposit had been “cooked” due to severe overheating. There were 480 tubes in total, and our team needed to clear the plugged fouling as quickly as possible in order to minimize downtime. The clock was ticking once our team began work at 11:00—every hour represented downtime and lost production, so we worked as quickly as possible while upholding our zero incident safety policies. Just after 3:00 PM, we completed the cleaning and an IRIS inspection was conducted to verify that the tubes were cleared of the fouling and ready to return to operation. As expected, the cleaning was a success and the oil refinery returned to full production.
Relieved Management
As always, we contacted the facility’s manager overseeing the team cleaning the heat exchanger bundle later in the afternoon to get his review of our team’s performance. The minimized downtime had made quite an impression, and the manager specifically thanked our team for their speed in getting to the site and getting set up for the cleaning process. He also noted that the team’s leader stayed present at the bundle from the beginning of the job to the end, closely monitoring everything that the team did and ensuring that the cleaning observed all safety precautions for the unit.

Business as Usual
Accomplishing an urgent, pressing job like cleaning heat exchanger tubes on short notice is business as usual at Thompson Industrial Services. By keeping advanced cleaning equipment on hand at all times, such as automated lancing equipment, we maintain a state of readiness to respond to emergency needs like that of the oil refinery in Tennessee as well as pulp and paper mills, power plants, manufacturing facilities, and other industrial sites. Our commitment to automated technology research is changing the game when it comes to emergency cleaning processes that used to require many hours or even days of downtime. Once we set up our remotely controlled positioners and hydroblasters, the incredible precision and power of the equipment dramatically accelerates the pace of cleaning compared with traditional methods.
Many clients that contact us for an emergency cleaning end up engaging our services for cleaning heat exchanger and other industrial equipment on an ongoing basis as well. It’s always a pleasure for us to see the relief on the faces of facility managers when we resolve a potentially disastrous problem for them in record time, minimize lost production, and earn their trust for regularly scheduled cleaning in the future.

July 14, 2016

Three Things Hydrolazing Can Do

Like many of our industrial cleaning processes, hydrolazing is very versatile. We think you’d be quite surprised at the range of different projects that we have accomplished using this technique, often after the clients have been repeatedly disappointed by failed attempts to do the same job using other methods. Unfortunately, we can’t tell you the whole story for each of these projects, but we would like to give you an introduction to hydrolazing by explaining three things that it does very well. If any of these problems sound familiar to you, it might be time to contact our experts and arrange a meeting!
Our automated hydrolazing equipment hard at work
1. Surface Preparation
A homeowner might feel like he has a big job ahead of him if he has to scrape “popcorn” texturing off the ceiling before painting it. But we are talking about jobs far beyond that—surfaces in commercial and industrial facilities that have been coated with heavy-duty materials such as non-slip coatings. These coatings are made to last, and removing them from a surface can be a prohibitively long, expensive process using traditional methods. Another common situation is the presence of multiple paint layers, all of which must be stripped away before the new surface coating can be applied.
Our hydrolazing experts have handled these surface preparation challenges with flying colors. One project even required our team to remove over 20 layers of paint from a very large surface area—to the client’s surprise, we wrapped up the job well within the estimated time frame.
2. Process Line Cleaning
Depending on the type of process line, debris buildup can be hard enough to withstand normal cleaning applications. The manager can easily come to the conclusion that the facility’s only option is to perform frequent “partial” cleanings, removing part of the buildup but leaving the toughest deposits intact. Even decades-old layers of debris, however, are no match for an experienced hydrolazing team. The ultra-high water pressure (“UHP”) generated by our equipment cuts through essentially all types of buildup without causing damage to the surface underneath.
Our hydrolazing approach is ideal for pre-commissioning system cleaning (e.g. steam piping, hydraulic and lube oil equipment), boiler tubes (internal and external), heat exchangers, pipe, reactor chambers and pressure vessel cleaning, restoring equipment to its full efficiency—this is no partial cleaning!
3. Automated Solutions
Part of the secret of our hydrolazing success is the arsenal of automated, robotic positioners and associated equipment that we use in tandem with our ultra-high pressure water blasting tools. The simple truth is that there are limitations to the accuracy and thoroughness that a human technician can achieve when handling an extremely hazardous hydrolazing tool in person. In addition, tight spots are difficult or impossible for a human technician to reach and clean completely. By planning the entire cleaning process ahead of time, setting up cleaning tracks, and mounting hydrolazing equipment on specially designed positioners, our teams aim not just for a successful job, but one that is completed on time, within budget limitations, and to a degree that exceeds the expectations of the client.
About Hydrolazing
Hydrolazing is also referred to as ultra-high pressure (UHP) hydroblasting or water blasting. Obviously, it is similar in its basic concept to our standard hydroblasting services, but the extremely high water pressure (40,000 PSI) expands its capability to demolish layers of even the toughest deposits and surface coatings. Another major difference is the low total water volume that hydrolazing uses. A typical cleaning only uses two to four gallons of water per minute, and by utilizing our vacuum recovery equipment, our teams have the capability to avoid environmental contamination completely during a job.
Because hydrolazing removes layers of deposits so thoroughly, clients often find that they can cut back on scheduled equipment cleanings compared to past requirements. With fewer overall cleanings, reduced downtime for cleanings, and dramatically higher efficiency for equipment that is cleaned completely, hydrolazing offers huge financial savings for facilities that take advantage of its power.
To learn more about hydrolazing, our industry-leading automated solutions, or our additional hydroblasting services, get in touch with us today. If a surface preparation, process line debris buildup, or other difficult cleaning need has defied all attempts so far, our hydrolazing experts can tell you whether this revolutionary approach is the answer you have been looking for.

June 22, 2016

Vacuum-Excavation Services: “Potholing” and Other Tasks

The word continues to spread about the multitude of benefits from Thompson’s vacuum-excavation services. Industry magazines have published stories about them, and clients that have had our teams perform excavation projects for them regularly refer us to others. What is so different about what we do? Our approaches to safe digging—often times referred to as “daylighting”—which utilize either semi-high pressure water or compressed air strategically in harmony with our vacuuming service safely in lieu of intrusive heavy equipment (AKA “yellow iron”), which allows us to do what used to be extremely impractical or dangerous: dig in areas that may have buried utilities without causing any damage to even delicate wires and cables. Using a recent successful project as an example, we’d like to introduce you to the huge benefits that our pneumatic and hydro vacuum excavation services provide for our clients.

One of our vacuum excavation trucks

Anticipating Buried Utilities
Many times, a client of ours needs to excavate a site in order to begin construction, but can’t risk damaging water pipes, gas lines, buried power cables, communication wires, fiber optic cables, or the many other utilities that run below the surface of the ground. Prints of these sites may be long outdated or simply incomplete, if they exist at all. This was just the case at a port on the coast of North Carolina, where a client needed some “potholing” done to prepare for the construction of a new structure. Our team got to work digging the holes, and after just a few days of work, we discovered the same fact that we discover on almost every vacuum-excavation job: there were, indeed, buried lines that no one knew about. Thanks to our process’ gentle and non-aggressive technique, the lines were readily exposed but not harmed whatsoever, and the client was able to avoid the expense and project interruption that would have occurred if traditional digging equipment had been doing the work.
Keeping it Contained
While our work at the North Carolina port was in a relatively open area, our pneumatic vacuum excavation services often operate in much tighter circumstances or even remote distances from our vacuum truck. Within the context of a nuclear power plant, for instance, clouds of dust from mechanical excavation dumping or generating mud from hydro-excavation may not be ideal or even acceptable. The “vacuum” element of our excavation services helps our team keeps the radius of the excavation very small, minimizing the effect of the work on the surrounding area. With pneumatic-excavation, our compressed air tools dislodge the soil loose and to the proper, size, complemented by vacuuming the debris immediately and either dispose of it or store it for use as (dry) backfill when needed for same.
Hydro-Vacuum Excavation Services
Hydro vacuum excavation is the complementing partner technique to our pneumatic approach. In some cases, using pressurized, low volume water instead of air is more effective—for cutting through rocky soil, for instance—while still safely exposing buried utilities. Generally, hydro-vacuum excavation incremental rate is faster than the pneumatic version, but in many specialized situations, the introduction of water complicates the project or task at hand. It can make it difficult, for example, to shore up the sides of an excavation site, and if electrical lines are involved, the conductivity of water is a serious concern. Another significant benefit of utilizing a dry (i.e. with air) process is the ability to “step down” the terrain slope and thus minimize shoring, plus readily permitting work in a dry trench without the mud to contend with, not to mention the ability to backfill with the extracted matrix immediately without having to wait for it to dewater and dry out. In these situations, the slightly slower pace of pneumatic-excavation is a great trade-off for the benefit of the increased safety, feasibility, and stability during the digging project.
Repeat Clients
There is one unmistakable sign that our pneumatic-vacuum excavation services are getting the job done right, and that is when a client calls us again to do additional work. After we completed the potholing job at the North Carolina port, the client asked us to take our vacuum-excavation services to some of their other job sites to perform similar work. Once a company sees firsthand the safety, efficiency, and financial benefits of this unique digging approach, it is very common for managers and field supervisors to develop an ongoing working relationship with Thompson Industrial Services for other excavation needs.
Pneumatic excavation truly shines when we put it to work in settings that seem to make digging all but impossible. If you have been puzzling over an upcoming excavation project at a nuclear plant, another highly sensitive area, or a site that has no reliable information concerning buried utilities, we hope that you will email us or give us a call. Our vacuum-excavation services may be the perfect solution for your difficult problem. We look forward to telling you more about them as well as our many industrial equipment maintenance and emergency cleaning services.

June 9, 2016

Accomplishing a “Mission Impossible”Boiler Cleaning Project

Boiler cleaning is one of our core competencies here at Thompson Industrial Services. Our teams clean a vast spectrum of these units, from Super Critical design to basic industrial boilers as well as BOP (balance of plant) equipment on a regular basis, so it’s not too often that we come across a boiler water blasting job that makes us scratch our heads a bit. But that’s just what happened recently when a major power plant in Virginia came to us and told us about their cleaning need. Here’s the full story of this exceptionally difficult boiler cleaning job and how our great team of engineers and technicians completed it successfully.

A Long Overdue Cleaning
Because boilers can be so challenging to clean and/or require excessive outage time, facilities often let them go a little longer than they probably should between cleanings. We were a little surprised, though, to find out that because of the extreme restrictions of the plant’s “zero waste discharge” environmental permit, the two utility boilers we would be water blasting had not been thoroughly cleaned since they were installed…in the 1970s! This would certainly be an involved job, requiring specialized hydroblasters, support equipment and ingenuity to remove decades’ worth of debris inside the boilers. As usual, the facility was interested in having this cleaning completed as quickly as possible to minimize downtime, which in this case gave our team just one weekend in which to do the job.
The Twist
This boiler cleaning job would have been tricky enough, but the power plant manager had a twist—an added requirement that would put a whole new spin on the project. Due to contamination concerns, the waste water and debris created inside the boilers during the water blasting process could not be allowed to make its way into the plant’s normal runoff systems. Instead, our team would have to capture, retain, and dispose of every drop of water and particle of debris removed from the two boilers. To accomplish this, we pulled in experts from our different offices within Thompson Industrial Services and came up with a creative plan.
Preparing the Job Site
To capture all of the water and waste from the water blasting, the team had to anticipate with certainty where the runoff would occur while the cleaning was underway. They identified the three runoff points, built a temporary system for capturing the water, and covered the surrounding areas with tarps and 40 large sheets of plywood to avoid contamination in the event of an accidental leak excursion. We set up two separate areas for vacuuming the water and debris into our storage trucks—two separate areas because the final stipulation for the cleaning was that the waste from each of the two boilers had to be kept separate from the other. The plant wanted us to analyze the chemical content of each boiler’s waste water, so the waste could not be combined as it was removed.
Let the Water Blasting Begin
On a Friday evening, all of the equipment and precautions were in place and our team began water blasting the boilers. Thanks to an incredible team effort by a lot of incredible Thompson Industrial Services’ employees, everything went according to plan and our equipment rolled off the job site just as the sun was coming up on Sunday morning. Our clients breathed a sigh of relief and expressed to us how impressed they were with our team’s performance from beginning to end. They had come to us with a job that seemed impossible due to its strict stipulations and tight time frame, but our team had tackled it enthusiastically and finished it according to expectations and on schedule.
“We recently presented Thompson with a tough challenge we needed solved quickly.  Our boilers hadn’t been cleaned in many years because we thought it was impossible within our zero-discharge constraints. Thompson not only engineered a safe and successful solution, but they were able to turn it around in record time. We knew we were in good hands turning this important project over to Thompson, and we couldn’t be happier with the results.” – Operations Manager, VA Power Plant
Looking to the Future
It’s not our way at Thompson Industrial Services to be complacent with a job well done when we know that there is a possibility we could improve on it. The power plant in Virginia has decided to have us clean their boilers much more frequently in the future, and now that we have done the job once, our experts are at work to customize the next cleaning using automation to further improve safety, precision and efficiency.
If you have a water blasting, safe excavation, or cleaning task that you have been avoiding because it seems impossible, we hope that this story inspires you to give us a call! These kinds of tough projects are our specialty, and we have the custom solutions required to get them done on time and on budget.

April 28, 2016

Automating Heat Exchanger Cleaning for Best Results

The precision needed for effective heat exchanger tube cleaning makes the application ideal for an automated hydroblasting solution. At Thompson Industrial Services, we have been developing automated approaches for years, aiming to benefit our clients by minimizing the time it takes to perform a cleaning job, optimizing efficiency and substantially improving all facets of safety. A recent heat exchanger cleaning project illustrates just how well our automated systems accomplish these goals.

An automated heat exchanger cleaning job in progress
Benefit #1: Reduced Manpower

A major paper mill in Florida contracted Thompson Industrial Services to clean a set of large, vertical evaporator heat exchangers, using our advanced automated solutions. We used a simultaneous triple- lance arrangement, mounted on our specialized “X-Y” axis equipment and controlled remotely by our highly experienced team members. The first benefit of this approach for the paper mill was the dramatic reduction in manpower required for the job. In fact, the team that performed the job was only half as large as the team that would have been needed for a traditional heat exchanger cleaning. Fewer technicians on the job meant less interruption to the facility’s operations as a whole and a lower chance of injury, with fewer people involved.

The risk of injury was further lowered, as it always is with automated equipment, by removing the technician from the immediate vicinity of our powerful hydroblasting tools. One of the most visible benefits of our automated solutions is the way it keeps our employees and those of our client facilities as safe as possible.

Benefit #2: Reduced Downtime

Not only was this hydroblasting job safer, but it was also quicker than a traditional heat exchanger cleaning. The estimated length of a non-automated cleaning is 16-20 hours, but our team was able to complete the Florida paper mill cleaning in 9.5 hours—about half the time! The most obvious benefit of the shorter job is the cost savings for the mill. Not only is the final invoice for the cleaning lower, but the heat exchanger itself spends less time offline for maintenance and production can resume more quickly.

Benefit #3: Cleaner Heat Exchangers

Taking the human element out of the direct manipulation of heat exchanger cleaning equipment increases the precision and power of our service. We can use higher water pressures, practice fewer safety measures needed to protect human workers, and increase cleaning duration by 100% with full-pressure use with both the inlet and exit strokes and complemented by more precise targeting when we control robotic positioners from a distance. The end result is a heat exchanger that has often been cleaned more thoroughly than ever before in its service life. Our clients regularly provide feedback to that effect, expressing their surprise at the clean condition of their equipment and its dramatically increased efficiency after an automated cleaning by Thompson Industrial Services.

Benefit #4: Expansion of Automated Services to Other Equipment

One result of our successful automated heat exchanger cleaning at the Florida paper mill was the plant’s decision to use Thompson Industrial Services for all of its automated cleaning needs. The facility quickly scheduled another appointment to have our technicians clean a boiler—another service in which automation dramatically reduces or eliminates downtime, increases precision and thoroughness, and protects the safety of our crew members. Our new clients very often become returning clients once they experience the financial and efficiency benefits of our automated solutions, and our returning clients come to rely on our high level of service.

The commitment to safety, integrity, and effectiveness that drives our automated hydroblasting and heat exchanger cleaning services extends throughout the other services offered by Thompson Industrial Services. We also conduct chemical cleaning, dry ice cleaning, combustible dust removal, high volume/automated hydroblasting, and our industry-changing in-situ SCR catalyst cleaning with speed and quality unmatched in the industrial cleaning field. Regularly scheduled maintenance comprises the bulk of our activity, but we also keep a highly trained team on hand to respond to emergency situations via our 24-hour hotline (1-800-849-8040). Wet and dry vacuuming, including dangerous waste materials such as hot fly ash, is one of our emergency cleaning specialties.

March 29, 2016

Three Reasons to Select Our Boiler Chemical Cleaning Experts

Boiler chemical cleaning is not a task that should be entrusted to a service provider that is still in the early learning stages, does not have depth to cover multiple projects at once, or that has less than a stellar reputation with past clients. A lot can go wrong during a chemical cleaning, and the consequences of that can ultimately be extraordinarily expensive, devastating to process equipment, and potentially hazardous to all the employees in the immediate proximity. If you are in the process of choosing a company to provide boiler chemical cleaning services, or perhaps looking to switch from a provider that has not quite inspired your confidence, we would like to point out three great reasons to confidently depend on Thompson for your needs.

1. Decades of Boiler Chemical Cleaning Experience

The longer a team has worked in this industry, the more unusual, unique, and at times potentially dangerous situations it has encountered to prepare the team for future projects.  For decades, Thompson Industrial Services has cultivated a national reputation for excellence in the specific field of boiler chemical cleaning from super critical units to package boilers. Our boiler cleaning division cleans, on average, one boiler every five days—that experience adds up over the years! That’s the level of knowledge that our team brings to your facility when you entrust your cleaning job to us. Our chemical handling and blending equipment is custom designed, and we analyze in-progress samples on site with our mobile labs in order to save time during each boiler chemical cleaning job.

Our culture of safety includes researching and handling cleaning chemicals with the attention, carefulness, and skill they demand. We understand the destructive potential of the acids, additives, and other solutions that we introduce to your equipment during a cleaning, and we take every precaution necessary to ensure that operational deposits and other impurities are removed to the client’s satisfaction without damaging the equipment itself. In the interest of maximizing effectiveness and safety, our experts always design a customized cleaning process for each client and application.

2. Client Testimonials

We greatly value the feedback of our satisfied clients. We believe that the comments of an on-site manager or supervisor are worth far more to a potential client than our own claims of expertise, so we are very appreciative whenever a client takes the time to write and tell us about specific ways that our personnel helped their company. There are a few things that we hear consistently from those routinely satisfied clients:

  • The boiler chemical cleanings performed by Thompson Industrial Services were more complete and comprehensive than those done in the past by other providers.
  • Thompson’s team was “invisible” at the job site during the cleaning—that is, they interrupted the plant’s operations as minimally as possible.
  • Clients were surprised by the level of knowledge that our team inherently had. Instead of walking our professionals through the process and job scope, managers are able to essentially take a near “hands-off” approach and let our experts do their work.
  • Our teams work efficiently and quickly! On a regular basis, we shorten traditionally lengthy cleaning jobs by hours or even days.

3. Foundation of Excellence

The high standards of Thompson’s boiler chemical cleaning division are not unique within our company—they are representative of the hydroblasting, cryogenic cleaning, vacuum excavation, and other divisions as well. We are committed to the best possible safety and efficiency practices, and have been since our company’s founding thirty years ago. Recently, an industry newsletter for the pulp and paper industry published an article introducing readers to the Thompson Industrial Services’ headquarters in Sumter, SC. You can read the whole article on the TAPPI website and also get a glimpse inside the restored historical building where we meet every morning to discuss the day’s projects.

Our family atmosphere, unrelenting pursuit of higher quality of service, and emphasis on safety are the driving forces behind the specific benefits of our boiler chemical cleaning service. We place the highest possible value on the safety of our employees, and we consider it our duty to protect the employees and equipment of our clients as well. If those sound like qualities that you would like to see in the teams that work in your plant, we look forward to speaking with you about your upcoming boiler chemical cleaning needs.

Our President, Greg Thompson, and Vice President, Larry Rocco at our Sumter, SC company headquarters

March 11, 2016

The Benefits and Risks of Dry Ice Cleaning

Here at Thompson Industrial Services, we make it a priority to push research forward on cleaning solutions that are safe for the environment. This does include the “environment” in the larger sense, that is, the ecosystem consisting of the atmosphere, waterways, and soil, but it also includes the immediate environment. When we are conducting routine maintenance or addressing an emergency at a client’s plant, we prefer to use a solution that does not present a threat to the plant’s equipment or employees.

Sometimes, it is necessary to use a chemical cleaning solution, and in those cases we adhere to strict safety standards to make sure that the activity is contained and the surrounding workers and equipment are protected. But when a non-toxic, zero residue cleaning process is available and just as effective, we always opt for it. Dry ice cleaning is one of those processes.

“Explosions” in the Plant

Believe it or not, when one of our technicians cleans a surface with our dry ice cleaning process, he is triggering hundreds of thousands of gaseous “explosions”—right inside your plant! Before you picture your facility going up in a mushroom cloud, however, let us explain that these are usually referred to as “micro-explosions,” or more technically, “sublimation” when converting from a solid to a gas. Each one is the result of a small pellet of frozen carbon dioxide at minus 109 degrees F rapidly turning into a gas at atmospheric temperature. Because the gas form of CO2expands to take up so much more space than the solid form, this rapid phase change has a devastating removal effect on the residue in its immediate vicinity, i.e., the debris built up on the surface being cleaned.
See the results of dry ice cleaning for yourself!

These micro-explosions are very effective at stripping away debris, but not aggressive or strong enough to negatively affect the surface itself. This makes dry ice cleaning an extremely desirable option, especially when compared with competing services. Sandblasting, for instance, can easily damage underlying surfaces.

Where Does it Go?

Surface cleaning with dry ice isn’t just safer than chemical cleaning and sandblasting—it’s also quicker, due in large part to its lack of residue. After each micro-explosion, the resulting CO2 gas dissipates into the immediate atmosphere, creating no solid or liquid waste residue. The only debris left on the floor after the cleaning is the substance that was removed from the now-clean surfaces, and almost always in a “dust” form. This is easily swept or vacuumed up and disposed of, drastically shortening the overall time needed for the cleaning project and therefore the budget required for it.

Although the CO2 does not create a solid or liquid residue, it does have a short-term effect on the immediate environment when in a confined space or stagnant area, which technicians must understand and address in order to conduct a dry ice cleaning job safely.

Dry Ice Cleaning Risks to be Mitigated

There are two primary risks that dry ice cleaning technicians must protect against: burns and suffocation.

Dry Ice Burns

Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide becomes a solid at about -109°F, so it must be stored at or below that temperature in insulated containers to remain frozen. If dry ice comes in contact with human skin, it causes instant frostbite and potentially permanent damage. Gloves, protective clothing, and goggles are absolutely essential when handling a substance at this extreme temperature.


Once the CO2 has become a gas, it temporarily takes up a great deal of space in the immediately surrounding atmosphere and thus can displace oxygen under certain conditions. This is especially true if the work site is in an enclosed, poorly ventilated area. Humans cannot breathe carbon dioxide, and the sudden expansion of CO2 displaces the oxygen naturally occurring in the atmosphere. Unless a technician is protected with extra ventilation or personal oxygen equipment when exposed to these conditions (i.e. confined space or inadequate ventilation), he is in danger of suffocating due to the reduced oxygen levels unless an auxiliary supplied-air system is utilized.

Trust the Dry Ice Cleaning Experts

Like any powerful tool, dry ice cleaning comes with both great benefits and serious risks. At Thompson Industrial Services, we approach this application with the same high level of safety training as all of our services. Whether our teams are handling powerful hydroblasting equipment, toxic chemicals, or frozen CO2, they are fully trained to do so safely. Our clients routinely provide positive feedback expressing their surprise at the level of knowledge and safety-consciousness that our teams display, from the project manager to every member of the crew. Get in touch with us today to find out more about this time-saving, money-saving, and incredibly effective cleaning method.