Bead blasting is a metal finishing and surface preparation process that uses tiny spherical beads of plastic, glass, or other material to remove impurities from a metal's surface. Using a high-pressure air or water powered spraying tool, the media is propelled onto the part to clean its surface. The impact of the beads removes contamination without damage or dimensional change.
Why Bead Blasting
There are many types of abrasive blasting materials and glass bead media is the least aggressive. Most types of abrasive media are jagged and yield a coarser finish. Glass beads are round spherical media that leaves a more uniform dimpled finish.
Bead blasting produces an attractive satin finish on various metal surfaces including aluminum, stainless steel, titanium, and others. In addition to a pleasing visual appearance, the process can be used to clean corroded metal, remove cosmetic flaws, and prepare surfaces for paint or other coatings.
Depending on the size of the abrasive and spraying velocity, bead blasting can create an aesthetic smooth finish and delicately remove corrosion and contamination without adversely impacting the part’s shape or surface.
Larger-diameter beads make larger dimples, finer bead media make smaller dimples, and blasting variables such as the distance and angle of the blasting gun from the surface, the blast velocity, and the dwell time create subtle differences in the resulting finish. In general, smaller beads produce a smoother, shinier finish, while larger beads give the metal more texture.
Post-Fabrication Bead Blasting
In addition to bead blasting, Franklin Sheet Metal offers post-fabrication finishing processes including other types abrasive blasting, powder coating, and painting.
Franklin Sheet Metal is one of the oldest and most dependable fabrication companies in New England with more than six decades of experience designing and fabricating metal structures, equipment and products. Learn more about our processes and services.