Dry ice is an unstable product. From the moment it is produced it begins to deteriorate by subliming from its solid state into CO2 gas. This deterioration cannot be avoided unless the product is kept under extreme pressure or at temperatures below -78.6 degrees C. Either of these options would be extremely expensive and totally impractical for transportation. For this reason din dry ice is always packed in insulated boxes or containers that economically minimise the losses , but cannot completely stop the product deterioration.
Dry ice is also very hygroscopic and attracts condensation out of the atmosphere, especially when the relative humidity is high. This means that dry ice exposed to humidity will form a layer of water condensate on its external surfaces that will then freeze to water ice. This will result in the pellets sticking together and, in extreme cases, forming a fairly solid block of mixed water ice and dry ice.
Our dry ice shipments of less than 100 kg are generally packed in Styrofoam boxes which offer good cost effective insulation. A 25 kg package will, depending on climatic conditions, loose on average 2 kg in the first 24 hours through sublimation, but the cost of a better insulated container will cost more than the lost ice, meaning that a better level of insulation is not cost effective. Clearly a Styrofoam box cannot completely stop the ingress of moisture into the dry ice, so the formation of water ice inside the box will also take place in humid conditions. Both these factors make it impossible for us to guarantee the condition of the dry ice our customers receive, and also make it unrealistic for us to accept any return of material for refund.
Our policy is to provide our Customers with a good quality product in the most sensible combination of packaging and to advise them of the risks involved in the transportation of the product that are beyond our control. The risks that will affect the quantity and quality of dry ice received will be the weather conditions during transit, where the parcel is stored during transit and any unforeseen lengthening of the delivery time.
Our guarantee is that the weight and quality of the product dispatched will be correct as it leaves our premises, which is the point that risk passes to the Customer. If a package is received more than 24 hours late or in a damaged condition we will reimburse any undue loss of product or send a replacement shipment if none of the material can be used. In all cases of claim the goods must have been signed for as late or damaged and confirmed to have been so by the courier. We cannot be held responsible for any consequential losses resulting from partial or complete loss of dry ice in transit.
We appreciate this may appear to be a hard line to take, but please remember that dry ice is a very unusual product that reacts significantly to small changes in storage conditions.
DIN dry ice shipped in large returnable containers is also subject to similar losses, but as the containers are better insulated, less permeable and are more massive than boxes, the losses during shipment are less noticeable. However, the same policy on losses during transit apply to all shipments.
If you are of the opinion that you have suffered a larger loss of material than expected, please call us to discuss how we may help to prevent a recurrence on future shipments.