Ice Pigging is a highly effective cleaning technique for pipework of varying diameters. The ice slurry is pushed with water through pipelines to provide a thorough clean.

Ice Pigging™ is capable of navigating complex pipework incorporating changes in pipe diameter, bends and valve systems.


A fast and powerful process for commissioning new, decommissioning old and maintaining current pipes. Ideally suited to applications where there is a need to remove unwanted materials from pipe systems and in applications where time saving, production efficiency and high levels of system cleanliness are required.


Ice Pigging™ employs the special properties of a multiphase ice and liquid mixture in that it flows like a liquid and moves like a solid. The ice slurry is composed of fine ice crystals and an additive that is used to control the structure of the slurry and to prevent it from forming large crystals. By using the additive, the ice slurry is retained in a mobile state, allowing for the navigation through multifaceted pipework.


Each industrial situation is unique. In some circumstances the mobile Ice Pigging™ service can be applied as a one-off or regular programme of cleans. The ice slurry is manufactured at our Ice Pigging™ facility in Bristol and then transported to site and injected into the pipes to clear the blockages and build-ups to provide effective pipe cleaning.


Ice Pigging™ delivery mechanism is a rapid process, achieving excellent cleaning results compared with conventional water flushing.

The process

Ice Pigging™ cleaning service process

An ice delivery unit will pump ice slurry into the pipe through a suitable fitting at one end of the pipe.

Once the ice has been inserted, a pressurised water supply is typically used to push the Ice Pig™ through the full length of the pipe.

At the outlet, the dirty ice is collected in a waste vessel.

After a short flush to remove the ice residues, the cleaning is complete.

Ice Pigging™ machine process

The Ice Pigging™ machine is ready with the ice mixed with the appropriate, compatible additive ready. Depending on the characteristics of the product in the pipe this may be salt, sugar, various types of acids and other options compatible with the customers process and pipe material composition.

The machine then injects the correct volume of ice for the selected recipe into the specified pipeline.

The Ice Pig™ must be propelled to the line end. This task can be achieved using several methods: water push, Clean-in-Place (CIP) liquid push or even the next product. At the end of the pipe the ice is detected by sensors e.g. temperature, conductivity etc.

The Ice Pig™ along with unwanted contaminants, materials or product is then diverted to holding tanks, quarantine tanks or disposed of to a drain.

Low Risk: Exceptionally low risk – if ever the ice gets stuck, it will simply melt

Time: A rapid cleaning process where equipment downtime is significantly reduced

Cost: Overall costs can be significantly reduced as a result of time savings and cleaning efficiency

No-dismantling: Removes materials and residues that have built up over time and may otherwise be impossible to remove without disassembling pipework.

Cleans & Clears: Enhanced cleaning of complex pipework systems clearing problem contaminants and materials, expelling them from pipework

Environmental Benefits: Minimal volumes of water are involved compared with conventional cleaning and no harmful chemicals are used. Significant reduction in waste volumes

Example of Ice Pigging in operation

“The Ice Pigging™ approach has significantly improved the speed and standard of clean. The customer has now adopted this for their hardware cleaning programme and has requested customised machines to be installed at their facility.”  Business Development Manager

The Issue: An international defence industry engineering contractor based in the UK, had a requirement for cleaning multiple pipe systems – fuel, seawater, freshwater – quickly and effectively.


The Solution: Historically this can involve long periods of water flushing as it is difficult to achieve the high levels of turbulence required to remove debris from the pipe systems. Instead, the engineering contractor used Ice Pigging™ using a combination of SUEZ Ice Pigging™ equipment and on-site support. This reduced the cleaning time dramatically (days rather than weeks) and provided a higher level of clean than water flushing. It proved so successful that the contractor is now utilising Ice Pigging™ as a ‘go to’ solution for this but also other process applications that they have.


The Results:

  • A much faster clean – from up to 4 weeks down to three days (including set up time)
  • Significantly reduced downtime
  • Unwanted particulate along with marine debris removed from the pipeline
  • Exceeded the high-quality cleaning standards required
  • Reduced water consumption

With a wealth of collective knowledge and practical experience, The Ice Pigging™ team have developed and delivered this award-winning, patented technology across a variety of sectors worldwide. If you want to know how Ice Pigging™ can solve issues with your pipework systems and processes, and make your cleaning processes more efficient, get in touch.

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