Understanding Corrosion in Water Pipelines: A Guide for Pipeline Designers



Last updated: September 11, 2017

What Does Ballotini Mean?

Ballotini are glass beads that are used to abrade a material’s surface. Ballotini typically provide this abrasion through a blasting method, although other methods may be used. Blasting with ballotini is also known as bead blasting. Ballotini come in many different sizes and are spherical in shape and clear in color.


Corrosionpedia Explains Ballotini

Ballotini are used for many different purposes, with bead blasting being perhaps the most common application. During the bead blasting process, ballotini of a specified size are projected at a high velocity towards a material’s surface. Ballotini blasting may be performed for a variety of reasons. It is an excellent choice for cleaning a material’s surface prior to a coating operation. Ballotini, when blasted, can also be used for burr removal, peening and surface finishing.

Ballotini are available in a large variety of sizes that are selected depending on the requirements. Larger beads create larger impacts and remove more surface material. When extreme cleaning or peening is needed, large beads are commonly used. Smaller beads are used for lighter work when the surface finish must be very smooth.

Blasting with ballotini 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.
  • Ballotini can be readily recycled and reused many times.

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