Glass beads are one of the many media you can use. Like any blasting media, it has a variety of advantages and disadvantages. This guide will cover important knowledge about glass bead blasting, including advantages and disadvantages, equipment considerations for glass bead blasting, and more.
Compared to other explosive media, glass beads are safe. In particular, depending on your application, glass bead blasting media can be a good alternative to silica sand, which, while still legal, is becoming more regulated and is considered a source of various health problems, including silicosis.
Other benefits of glass bead blasting include the fact that you can use them for several cycles before they no longer clean the surface. Glass bead media will typically last 4 - 6 cycles before needing to be replaced. Finally, glass beads can be used in suction or pressurized air cabinets. This makes them versatile and helps provide a blast cleaning media that reduces blast cabinet costs.
It is not as fast in cleaning as other media and will not last as long as harder blasting media such as steel. Since glass is not as hard as steel grit, steel shot or even cinder, it does not clean as fast as these blasting media. In addition, glass beads do not leave a profile, which can be problematic if you need the profile to adhere to paint. Finally, compared to steel grit or steel shot, aluminum oxide glass bead blasting media can only be reused a few times, while steel blasting media can be reused many times.
It is good to know the benefits of glass beads and to understand the common uses of glass bead blasting. Glass bead blasting is ideal for use in a blasting cabinet where the blasting media will be recycled. It can effectively clean a surface without leaving too much of a blast profile. This makes it ideal for cleaning paint or coatings on parts and for removing rust. If contouring is required, sandblasting media such as steel grit or aluminum oxide may be needed .
While glass bead blasting media is available in a variety of sizes, ranging from 40 to 325 mesh sizes, there are also more common mesh sizes. Common mesh sizes for glass bead blasting include 50-70, 60 -80, 70-100, 120 - 200. The fastest cleaning glass beads are typically 60-100 mesh. The right size of blasting media ultimately depends on your individual application.
Glass beads are intended to be reused and therefore require specific equipment. Glass beads are typically used in sandblasting cabinets. Specifically, because it is not a very heavy blasting media, it works well in suction blasting cabinets. It is not common to use glass beads with standard sandblasting pans, but you can use broken glass with standard sandblasting pans.
Generally speaking, the more pressure you use, the greater the impact, and the faster you will be able to blast. However, it can also make a difference in the surface of your product. Between pumping and pressure blasting, the pressure is faster, but again, it will create a change in the surface. It is always a good idea to start with a low burst pressure and gradually increase it to determine the best burst pressure for your needs.
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The Use and Function of Glass Beads