Shot blasting

Glass Blast Media - Choice And Use

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Non-abrasive / abrasive blast medias

These glass bead medias are of a hardness on MOH's scale 5 to 5.5


Crushed lead-free glass bead media is somewhat harder at 7 on the MOH scale


It should be noted that any abrasive described as 6 and over on the MOH scale is classed as abrasive



Glass Media 


Glass beads are manufactured from lead-free, soda lime-type glass, containing no free silica and is made into preformed ball shapes.  Glass beads produce a much smoother and brighter finish than angular abrasives.  Glass bead blasting produces a clean, bright, satin finish without dimensional change of components.  Glass beads can be recycled approximately between 30 to 40 times. Chemically inert and environmentally friendly, glass beads are an acceptable method of metal cleaning or surface finishing when controlled. Glass Beads are sometimes used after Steel shot peening to both decontaminate any ferrous material remaining on the surface and or removing of possible high peaks that may remain after employing larger shot for a deeper depth of penetration.


Glass Bead Blasting Applications


Glass beads can be employed without the dimensional change of the component. They are available in a wide range of sizes and are normally used in blasting cabinets for honing, polishing, peening, blending, finishing, removing light burrs and cleaning away  light foreign matter. Thin-walled component parts and especially those joined with thin welds, gain from a peening  process with glass bead media and provides stress-relief.




Crushed Glass Grit (is abrasive)


Crushed glass grit is manufactured from 100% recycled bottle glass.  Glass grit delivers superior performance relative to mineral/slag abrasives.  A screening process is used to create various grades of crushed glass grit.


The use of recycled glass benefits the environment by diverting waste from landfill sites. Glass grit contains no free silica, is non-toxic , inert and contains no heavy metals is free of heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, asbestos, beryllium, titanium, etc.


It produces a whiter, clean finish.


Blasting Applications with Crushed Glass Grit


The angular particles in crushed glass allow for  moderately aggressive surface profiling and removal of coatings such as epoxy, paint, alkyds, vinyl, polyuria, coal-tar, non stick coatings and elastomers.  Crushed glass  can deliver very low surface profile , which produces a whiter, cleaner finish and on architectural stainless steel, produces a very aesthetically pleasing result.


Similar to many slags, crushed glass grit has a hardness of 7 on the Moh's Hardness Scale.


The more commonly used medias are:



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Haydn Kitchen New APost written by

Haydn Kitchen

Shot Blasting Technical Manager