Glass Bead Abrasive

Definition - What does Glass Bead Abrasive mean?

A glass bead abrasive is a spherical, clear piece of glass that is used for surface preparation and cleaning. A glass bead abrasive typically provides this abrasion through a blasting method, although other methods may be used. Glass bead abrasives are available in many different sizes.

Blasting with glass bead abrasive is also known as bead blasting.

Corrosionpedia explains Glass Bead Abrasive

Glass bead abrasives are used for many different purposes, with bead blasting being perhaps the most common application. During the bead blasting process, glass bead abrasives of a specified size are projected at a high velocity towards a material's surface. Glass bead abrasive blasting is an excellent choice for cleaning a material's surface prior to a coating operation. Glass bead abrasive blasting is also be used for burr removal, peening and surface finishing.

Glass bead abrasive is available in various sizes, which are selected according to the requirements. Larger beads create larger impacts and remove more surface material when extreme cleaning or peening is required. Smaller beads are used for lighter work that requires a very smooth surface finish.

Glass bead abrasive has several advantages over other media:

  • The glass beads are inert
  • Unlike steel shot or grit, one does not need to worry about residual iron that will rust
  • Glass bead abrasive can be readily recycled and reused many times
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