Ice pigging is a highly effective line-cleaning technique in which ice slurry is pushed through production pipelines to clean and clear away any remaining product or unwanted material left in the pipe.
Integrated in the production process to maximise efficiency, ice pigging can significantly reduce the time and water used in flushing a pipework system. This non-destructive method is suited to a wide range of products in diverse industrial applications, and it can be adapted to maximise cleaning benefits through the sheer wall forces it generates within the pipe.
In manufacturing processes, increasing the cleanliness of transfer pipes may boost production, improving product yield and reducing spoil.
As part of a preventative maintenance regime, ice pigging can provide a solution for pipes that suffer from restricted flow due to product build-up and other unwanted materials, such as biofilm.
Water in the ice pigging machine is mixed with an additive that supresses the freezing point and controls the structure of the ice slurry, preventing the formation of large crystals.
Depending on the characteristics of the product in the pipe, a compatible additive is selected – such as salt, sugar, various types of acid, or alcohol.
The ice slurry is injected directly into the pipe system via a normal connection point of a valved flange. It can then be moved through the line under pressure. Water may be used to propel the ice slurry through the pipe, or compressed air, or even the piped product itself.
Ice pigging tends to be a rapid process, achieving excellent cleaning results compared with conventional water flushing.
SUEZ’s patented ice pigging technology is a highly effective and proven line-cleaning solution that can be adapted for a wide variety of products and sectors – from food manufacturing to aggressive chemicals and pharmaceutical products.
The ice pigging process is highly flexible, making it suitable for a diverse range of products and industries: