Sandblast & Glass Bead Blasting Finishes

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There are several finishing techniques out there, with so many to choose from. Media blasting stands right at the top of the list. There are several types of media blasting techniques ranging from sandblasting to plastic abrasive blasting and bead blasting. Each of these methods has its advantages and drawbacks. In this article, we will be focusing on brad blasting and bead blast finish.

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What is Bead Blasting?

Generally, blasting is a finishing process that manages the surface of a wide variety of objects. Bead blasting is one type of shot blasting. This process releases, at high pressure, fine glass beads to clean or finish a surface.

In this process, a bead blaster shoots bead-shaped media from a high-pressured tool towards the material’s surface. A bead blast finish aims to leave a smooth, shiny, and cleaner surface. You find manufacturers using bead blasting for materials like metals, plastic, glass, and rubber to create an excellent surface finish.

How Does Bead Blasting Work?

The bead blasting process is quite similar to those of other abrasive blasting techniques. However, it involves the projection of sphere- or bead-shaped media against a substrate. Bead blasting is carried out with jagged media to leave a coarser bead blast surface finish. The impact of the glass beads on the surface of the component leaves a more uniform finish on the material.

This bead blast finish is due to the spherical media dimpling the material’s surface. This process is most desirable when there is a need for a smooth uniform finish.

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Also, this surface finish will leave a “dull” or “satin” finish on your part. Bead shots, sometimes, also offer tensile conditioning of the given component. Suppose you’re looking to achieve a finish that can be rough but consistent. In that case, the bead blasting technique should be among your top choices. The fine glass beads produce dull or satin finishes on such materials.

On the other hand, coarse glass beads give the material surface a uniform “rough” bead blast finish. They also help to mask any form of imperfections on the substrate surface. While garnet, aluminum oxide, etc., leave substrates with darker finishes, bead blasting ensures that the component maintains its base color. Therefore, you have a brighter surface finish.