Glass Bead is a unique blasting media. Being a solid, round sphere made of soda-lime glass, this media will produce a very smooth uniform finish on a variety of surfaces. Glass Bead is used for cleaning and light stripping but mostly for surface finish preparation without etching or changing part tolerances.
Glass Bead has a similar hardness to sand but is silica-free media and can be re-used many times. Coarse sizes will clean at a slower rate but can produce a more intense peened effect (higher surface RMS). Finer sizes will result in more impacts per pound during blasting producing a lower surface RMS and even more uniform surface finish. The round shape of Glass Bead results in a smooth, clean, bright, satin-like surface finish on metals such as aluminum, steel, brass, bronze and copper.
Unlike most blasting operations, Glass Bead is generally blasted at a 90 degree angle to the surface (instead of 45 degrees). While this may ‘consume’ the media faster, the peening intensity and performance is increased at this angle. The hardness of the surface being blasted and blasting distance from the surface will also determine the media life.