Bead Blasting Media: What It Is Used for and More

When you are doing bead blasting, understanding the bead blasting media used in the process and that choices you have is important. Learn exactly what bead blasting is and why the bead blasting media you use in this process is significant below.

Bead Blasting: What Is It?

Bead blasting involves a type of abrasive blasting process where a type of media is projected or blasted onto a surface. The process usually involves abrasive blast cabinets, which often use compressed air to accelerate the speed of the media. These cabinets also usually allow the operator to work up close with the surface he is spraying and to help avoid spreading contaminants or dust into the air.

Bead Blasting Media: What It Is, Why It Is Important for the Process

The media used in bead blasting is usually round glass beads or plastic beads that can be of varying shapes. This is important because, unlike many other types of media blasting that used angular-shaped media, round glass beads are spherical-shaped and plastic beads can be any shape a manufacturer makes it, including spherical. Spherical-shaped media create a dimple at the location where it strikes the surface of the object being impacted.

As the bead blasting process continues, the media striking the surface will create thousands of dimples in that surface. This can lead to the surface appearing to have a satin-like texture to it because of the way the light reflects off the dimpled surface. Conversely, if coarser beads are used instead during this process, the surface will still appear uniform, but it will have a coarser, rougher surface to it.

While round glass beads or plastic media are most commonly used in bead blasting, other options that can be used include aluminum oxide and steel shot. It is important to note that bead blast media can be custom made based your needs if you work with the right US blast media manufacturer.