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November 22, 2017

Port Alberni-based company wins top honours for industrial cleaning machine that uses ice

A Port Alberni company has blasted its way into the top ranks of global innovation and technology with a new industrial cleaning machine heralded as one of the 100 most innovative technologies of 2017.

The Coulson Ice Blast’s IceStorm90, which received an R&D 100 Award in Orlando, Fla., last Friday, is the first such machine in the world to use ice as a medium.

“We’re the only one in the world to do this, and we have good, strong intellectual property to protect it,” said the firm’s vice-president, Foster Coulson. “There hasn’t been any innovation in the industrial-cleaning industry since the invention of dry-ice blasting (in 1947). We think that’s one of the reasons we are seeing overwhelming success. There has been nothing else since then.”

Most machines are abrasive-blasting, using sand, grit or glass as the media. Other machines use dry ice or pressurized water. The IceStorm90 uses ice you can get out of your freezer or from the grocery store and is the most environmentally friendly machine out there, said Coulson.

“Dry ice and sandblasting create airborne contaminants, which are very dangerous for breathing in. We are a safer technology to use in confined spaces,” he said.

The IceStorm90 doesn’t use chemicals and doesn’t release dangerous contaminants into the air, he added. It also uses 95-per-cent less water than pressure-washers and is less expensive than dry-ice pellets.

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