Here are a few of the most common questions we have gotten over the years.

We sand hardwood, and our belts appear to be worn out and not loaded when we pull them. Can I benefit from cleaning with your system?

During sanding, the belts and abrasive get hot. This friction heat contributes to a much faster abrasive wear. As the abrasive wears, even more pressure from the sander is needed and applied to the sanded product, causing the addition of even more heat. By cleaning the belts periodically (at about ¼ to 1/3 of the life of the belts prior to implementing a cleaning program), the belts and abrasive stay both clean and cooler, allowing the abrasive to remain intact and perform much longer. More consistent quality and less sander bearing wear are other benefits. Hardwood sanding does eventually wear down the abrasive, and periodic cleaning with our system generally results in increases between 100% and 300% of extra belt life. This is less than the increase in belt life when sanding softwood and cleaning regularly, but a 50% to 75% reduction in belt use and belt cost is significant.

Once installed, does this system clean the belts all the time the sander is running?

No; your cleaning frequency should be at about 1/3 to ½ of your normal belt life. For example, if you change your belts once every 24 hours of sanding, clean your belts every 8 hours. This also depends on wood type. Softwoods may need to be cleaned more frequently. By cleaning before excess loading, you keep the belts and abrasive particles cool and the sanding quality more consistent.

What is the Environmental Impact using dry ice to clean abrasives?

It is truly a belt recycling program that offers huge environmental benefits. Significant waste to the landfills, in the form of abrasive sanding belts, is cut every day. The dry ice is made from waste CO2 from manufacturing facilities, such as refineries, fertilizer plants, and ethanol plants. This CO2 would have been vented to the atmosphere; instead it is made into dry ice, which is used to perform cleaning procedures that would otherwise require aromatic cleaners, solvents, and water, which are pollutive, waste resources, and don’t work as well. When cleaning with water, the removed load goes into the sewer system and contributes to higher COD (chemical oxygen demand) and higher BOD (biological oxygen demand) required to process your effluent. You get charged for that in your sewer or water rates.

Tell me about dry ice availability, cost, and use.

Dry ice is available almost everywhere. We recommend that we do the initial searching for the dry ice suppliers, as we have worked with all of them for over 20 years and can evaluate them on price, quality, and delivery. We make nothing on the dry ice supply, but can help you obtain the best cost and other variables. We will train your personnel to maximize your dry ice and minimize your cost. The average price per pound in the US is about $.35/lb. Our system uses 2.5 lbs /minute and cleans most belts at the rate of about 1” per second; so the cost for one cleaning of a 43” wide belt is generally about $.38 USD.

What can I expect for belt life extension and abrasive cost reduction?

Belt lives vary dependent upon type of belt, type of wood, and sander rpm and pressure. Regular cleaning with our system regularly provides dozens of belt lives for paper belts with softwood sanding. As belt durability increases by using cloth or poly-backed belts, individual belt cost increases; but belt life normally increases dramatically. With hardwood sanding, the same factors apply, but belt life is generally increased by 1 to 3 times.

Should I choose on-sander automatic cleaning, on-sander manual cleaning, or cleaning in an off-sander cabinet?

For many reasons, we recommend on-sander cleaning. Ease of use, maximum belt life extension, environmental benefits, production uptime enhancement, labor savings, and safety are the biggest reasons. If economics does not justify the automatic system due to limited belt use, we have a more economic on-sander manual cleaning option where one or more heads can be used as a cleaning station for like-sized belts. If clients have many different sized belts and limited use on each sander, our cleaning cabinet that adjusts to various sized belts is a good option.

What are other methods of belt cleaning and how does dry ice cleaning compare?

There are several ways to clean belts. Please refer to our section containing a comparison of all the cleaning methods. IceClean Systems’ award winning, dry ice cleaning method is easily the best option available, as rated over many variable by Howard Grivna, sanding expert. He evaluated all methods for: Effectiveness and Increased belt life, Types of belts able to be cleaned, Cost, Quality of sanding after belts are cleaned, Effect on sander’s production uptime or downtime, Labor, Time required for cleaning, Safety, Ergonomics, Floor-space requirements, Waste: Trash and effluent, and Guarantee. IceClean Systems wins on all counts. Our system also allows less pressure to be put on the sander’s bearings by eliminating the sanding load.

What type of wood manufacturers are using IceClean’s system?

IceClean Systems abrasive belt cleaning systems are being utilized in all types of wood product manufacturing facilities: Flooring, Windows and Doors, Cabinets, Furniture, Trim, Panels, Laminates, etc. Recently, we successfully installed in a particleboard mill.

How is the installation of the system on our sander accomplished? How much downtime is required for installation?

Our installation crews do their homework upfront and determine all of the requirements for an installation before the fact. The installation usually is completed very quickly, with on-site operational training and dry ice use and handling training immediately following. Our crews make every attempt to minimize your downtime, including installing over weekends if needed.


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