Glass Bead Blasting: The Ultimate Guide
Glass bead blasting offers a range of surface finishing options. However, this is only possible with an in-depth understanding of glass bead blasting process. This guide explores all fundamental aspects of glass bead blasting process – keep reading to learn more
What Is Glass Bead Blasting?
It is a process that entails releasing of fine glass beads usually under high pressure levels to finish a material surface. The process involves tools that shoot the beads under high pressure directed to the surface.
Advantage Of Glass Bead Blasting
There is no any kind of reaction that is going to take place with the coatings since glass bed blasting is non-reactant.
Any type of residue or other contaminants are not left out. Also, the surface dimension is not affected in any manner.
The process is safer compared to other blast media and other methods of treatment which involve chemicals.
Glass bead blasting can be used up to six cycles before replacement is done thus cutting down costs of regular replacements.
The blast process creates a clean, bright and a smooth surface which improves on the beauty.
The process does not involve at any point the use of materials that are hazardous.
Glass bead blasting has a different variety of grades which can be used for different work applications and profiles.
There is improved corrosion resistance when using this type of blasting; also, they have the ability of smoothing surface flaws away.
Disadvantages Of Glass Bead Blasting
The process is not durable because it does not last longer like other hard blast media such as steel. Glass does not leave a profile where your paint can adhere to; you need to use other blast media for profiles.
Moreover, it is only reusable few times.
Glass Beads Vs Glass Crushed Glass
Glass Beads: Glass beads are mostly used in a blast operation that are reclaimable or in blast cabinets. Among their applications include etching of glass and frosting.
Glass Crushed: Crushed glass is mostly used in removal of paint layers, heavy coatings and rust to bring out a clean surface. Since they are irregular in shape, crushed glass produces better results on pieces of work making it easier for subsequent coatings.
Step-by-step Glass Bead Blasting Process
The process requires a blast media holder, a nozzle and an air compressor. An air compressor is tasked by taking the surrounding air and forcefully channels it through a hose under a determined pressure.
Compared to other media, glass beads require lots of pressure reserves. Blast media is held by the hamper, thereafter, it is mixed with the air at the required time.
Then, the media is directed by the nozzle in a stream that is jet like and is effectively aimed on to the surface. To protect the environment from damages, blasting should be done in a tightly controlled place.
Glass Bead Blasting Tips
Using Low Pressure Levels
You need to ensure pressure levels are literally low at around 50 psi during the start of glass beading process. The pressures should be low since the process works best at low pressures.
Through doing that, the stay of your glass beads will be increased thus getting a great metal surface finishing. In case the process started at overwhelming pressures, the beads will smash against the component because of the impact. This will lead to high costs of processing and excessive production of sharp particles and dust.
Removing Oxides Layers Or Rusts Before The Blasting Process
Before starting this process, you need to ensure any oxides or rust tracings have removed from the surface. It is difficult polishing or burnishing an oxide layer on a surface. Glass beads cannot in any way help in stripping off an oxide layer because their design does not allow cut.
Types Of Blasting
Here, at high velocity levels, the machinery shoots silica abrasive particles that are dry. Their size in consistency makes them a great abrasive in having a uniform finished surface.
A stream of highly pressurized water is used in the removal of chemicals and old paint with damaging the initial surface. The process is best for cleaning external and internal surfaces since the stream sent to places where other methods cannot reach.
Here, a blasting machine that has a vacuum suction is used to remove contaminants and propelled abrasives from the surface.
At high speeds, a blade wheel that is motor operated is used to throw abrasives towards the surface to be cleaned.
Sodium bicarbonate is used as an abrasive which under air pressure, it is blasted on to the surface.
It removes contaminants from the material surfaces.
Glass Bead Blasting Tools And Equipment
This is the equipment responsible for undertaking the whole bead blasting process. To ensure success of the process, the cabinet should be high quality which will also protect the operator. It should be constructed from steady solid materials.
You need to have glass beads as the main media which is used in the process. Blasting of glass beads is environmental friendly and also they can be reused up to 30 times compared to other abrasive techniques.
They are an essential asset when it comes to safety during the bead blasting process as they protect your hands. Also, they offer comfort during the process as they give a solid grip thus better handling.
The bead blasting process cannot effectively take place when there is no a bead blaster gun. There are various gun designs; it becomes the user’s choice to choose the most appropriate gun for their blasting processes.
To ensure debris and dust are not leaving the cabinet, you need to ensure you have a proper seal inside the cabinet. If inhaled, debris and dust can cause health problems to the operators and slippers media leads to injuries.
You need to have a view window on the cabinet which enables observations of parts and work in the cabinet. For you to blast longer without problems, you need to have protective sheets that are replaceable on the windows.
Applications Of Glass Bead Blasting
In this industry, beads of glass are widely used in the removal of dust and paint during vehicle’s body workings. It is easier using this method during the processes.
In the pharmaceutical industry, this process is used in the disinfection and cleaning of medical devices because of their gentle actions.
Glass beads are used in this industry when it comes to the cleaning and shot peening of specific equipment like engine blades.
Glass beads are often used in firearms in the prevention of metal cracking and fatigue resistance.
Glass bead blasting can be used while preparing metal surfaces for paintings or doing coatings using powder on the surfaces.
The process is used in cosmetic finishing cleaning surfaces before favorite colors or coating choice of customers is applied. Also, the process is used in aesthetic features in cosmetics.
This is a common application where bead blasting is used since rough ridges and edges of metals can be smoothened.
People Also Ask:
Yes, glass bead blasting can remove rust. The glass bead blasting has the potential of cleaning any tarnished metals, contaminants and cosmetic flaws like unappealing textures. Also, they are used when preparing a surface for coating or painting.
Yes, glass bead blasting is safe.
Compared to other blasting media, this process is safer since it is less linked with debris compared to processes like sand blasting. With protection, you are going to have a comfortable process.
Glass beads are environmental friendly since they can be reused to six times before their performance reduces hence minimizing generated waste. It’s a safe option for blast operations since it does not contain silica which usually has a health effect.