Testimonial

"I need to take a minute of your time to thank you and your company for the continued support you provide Alpha Heat Treaters. With the quality and turnaround FINISHING SYSTEMS provides AHT, you have enabled us to acquire additional business that requires secondary support."

B Fuhrman, Sales Manager
Alpha Heat Treaters, York PA

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Glass Beads

Glass bead blast finishing offers the flexibility to remove many different types of surface imperfections, including burrs, rust, scales, paint removal and more. Finishing Systems stocks a vast inventory of many different types of abrasive blasting media for use in the pressure blasting and wheel blasting processes. We offer glass bead blasting at our York, PA location.

For Cleaning, Finishing, Peening and Deburring Applications

  • Environmentally Safe – glass media abrasives are one of the safest blasting materials
  • Chemically inert; no ferrous or other residues
  • Contains No Free Silica - crystalline silica is a known cause of silicosis, a potentially serious lung disease
  • Economical - May be reused / recycled several times; in fact, some glass bead media can be recycled up to 30 times, which can reduce costs by preventing the need to purchase blasting media on a frequent basis
  • Provides a uniquely matte, bright, surface finish - – this can add to the aesthetic appeal of the finished product
  • Samples Available - Finishing Systems offers glass bead blast media samples to help you make an informed purchasing decision for your company
  • Cleans quickly and efficiently without significant metal removal – there are few concerns about causing damage to the underlying metal substrate
  • Imparts a controlled, clean finish on a variety of metals - you can safely apply the glass media blasting process to aluminum, stainless steel and many other commonly used industrial metals

If you’re familiar with the expression “smooth as glass,” you likely already possess a basic understanding of the concept of using glass beads in the abrasive blasting process. Glass bead media consists of spherical micro beads that are polished to achieve a smooth finish. As a result, glass bead media is a safe and effective abrasive blasting choice for cleaning and prepping metal surfaces, creating unique surface finishes that can easily be reproduced, and deburring parts without damaging the surface. Because each micro bead works much like a tiny hammer, glass bead media can also be an excellent choice for peening applications.

Examples of Typical Glass Media Blasting Applications

Glass media blasting is a flexible process that is commonly used in a wide range of manufacturing processes. Smaller glass bead abrasive material is well-suited for lighter processes involving fine detail work. Medium-size glass beads make the best choice when working with metal materials such as aluminum and stainless steel and are known for their ability to hide defects on the substrate surface. Large glass beads work well for cleaning and deburring of rough surfaces found on many metal castings and various automotive parts.

Benefits of Using Glass Bead Media

Abrasive blasting with glass beads offers a number of key benefits. The surface or part can be cleaned quickly and efficiently without removing a significant amount of metal. Cleaning, deburring, peening and finishing can all be performed in one operation, which can result in substantial time and cost savings. Finishing Systems uses glass bead media that is manufactured from recycled glass, making it one of the more environmentally-friendly forms of abrasive blasting materials. Specific advantages of glass media blasting when used in various metal finishing functions include:

  • Deburring: Removes burrs from the corners and edges of a metal part, allowing for proper assembly and operation of the finished product
  • Peening: Glass media blasting offers a cost-effective, stress-resistant method of creating a uniform surface on a metal part
  • Cleaning: Thorough cleaning is an essential part of electroplating and other metal finishing processes — glass blasting media will effective remove surface debris without any resulting dimensional changes
  • Finishing: Glass media blasting with smaller beads can product a smoother finish, while the use of larger beads will create a more textured surface if desired


  • Another important benefit of using glass beads for sandblasting is that the process generates a relatively small amount of dust. This is because glass beads can be blasted at a lower PSI than many other types of media. Reduced dust levels enhance operators’ visibility during the blasting process, allowing them to work more effectively. Less dirt and dust also saves time and reduces the costs associated with keeping the work area clean, which can have a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.

    Two Types of Glass Beads


    Glass beads can range from very coarse to very fine and everything in between, making it easy to customize the blasting media to the specific metal finishing application. Coarser beads offer a more intense peening process, useful in applications where a brighter surface finish is required. Fine beads, on the other hand, produce a greater impact per pound, resulting in a faster cleaning process that is suited for removing lighter soils. Fine beads are also more capable of reaching smaller, tighter spaces.

    Contact Us to Learn More About Our Glass Bead Blast Media Products and Services

    
Finishing Systems carries a wide assortment of glass beads in numerous sizes. With more than 40 years of metal finishing experience, we can also provide the know-how to help you design and implement a glass bead finishing process that meets the needs of your operation. Our modern York, PA facility features the latest glass bead blasting equipment for use in both pressure and wheel blasting techniques.

    Contact us today to learn more about the many advantages glass blasting media can provide for your metal finishing operation, as well as our extensive selection of media and glass bead blasting machine and equipment offerings. Glass bead blast media product samples are available upon request.

    Metal Finishing Beads
    PN Designation US Sieve Inches Max Inches Mini Microns Max Microns Mini Min % Round
    A 20-30 .0331 .0234 850 600 65
    GS04 AAA 25-45 .0278 .0139 710 355 65
    GS06 B 30-40 .0234 .0165 600 425 65
    C 40-60 .0165 .0098 425 250 75
    GS10 AA 40-70 .0165 .0083 425 212 70
    GS12 D 50-70 .0117 .0083 300 212 75
    AB 50-80 .0117 .0070 300 180 70
    GS14 AC 60-120 .0098 .0049 250 125 80
    GS16 AD 70-140 .0083 .0041 212 106 80
    GS15 AE 100-170 .0059 .0035 150 90 85
    GS20 AG 120-270 .0049 .0021 125 53 85
    GS22 AH 170-325 .0035 .0017 90 45 85
    GS26 AQ 325 & Finer .0017 & Finer 44 Finer
    Mil - Spec Glass Beads
    PN Designation US Sieve Inches Max Inches Mini Microns Max Microns Mini Min % Round
    MIL3 3 20-30 .0331 .0234 850 600 65
    MIL4 4 30-40 .0234 .0165 600 425 70
    MIL5 5 40-50 .0165 .0117 425 300 70
    MIL6 6 50-70 .0117 .0083 300 212 80
    MIL7 7 60-80 .0098 .0070 250 180 80
    MIL8 8 70-100 .0083 .0059 212 150 80
    MIL9 9 80-120 .0070 .0049 180 125 80
    MIL10 10 100-170 .0059 .0035 150 90 90
    MIL11 11 120-200 .0049 .0029 125 75 90
    MIL12 12 140-230 .0041 .0025 106 63 90
    MIL13 13 170-325 .0035 .0017 90 45 95

Testimonial

"I need to take a minute of your time to thank you and your company for the continued support you provide Alpha Heat Treaters. With the quality and turnaround FINISHING SYSTEMS provides AHT, you have enabled us to acquire additional business that requires secondary support."

B Fuhrman, Sales Manager
Alpha Heat Treaters, York PA

Join our mailing list

Sign up today for exclusive discounts, product news and catalog previews.