Glass Beads

Glass Impact Beads

Glass Impact Beads


Ballotini® Impact Beads manufactured by Potters is a name synonymous with unsurpassed quality and dependability.  Finishing Systems is proud to be a major stocking distributor of Ballotini® Glass Beads from our York warehouse for your abrasive blasting and finishing applications.  The performance benefits of glass beads are vast.

Ideal for metal cleaning, surface finishing, peening and deburring.  Its recyclability makes it an economical choice to remove many different types of surface imperfections, including burrs, rust, paint removal while maintaining the surface tolerance of your work piece. Finishing Systems also stocks a vast inventory of various types of abrasive blasting media regardless of your blasting application.

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Benefits & Applications

Benefits of Using Glass Bead Media

Abrasive blasting using glass beads offers a number of key benefits. The surface of a 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. Glass Impact Beads are 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:


Removes burrs from the corners and edges of a metal part, allowing for proper assembly and operation of the finished product.


Glass media blasting offers a cost-effective, stress-resistant method of creating a uniform surface on a metal part.


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.


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.

Types of Beads

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.

Glass Impact Beads

Blasting with glass beads offers the flexibility to remove many types of surface imperfections, including burrs, rust, and paint removal resulting in a brightly polished matte type finish. Finishing Systems stocks a vast inventory of many different types of abrasive blasting media for your blasting processes.  If you would prefer to outsource your blasting we promise affordably priced and rapid turn around blasting in our York,  PA job shop.   Allow us to go to work for you!

Cleaning, Finishing, Peening, and Deburring Applications

    • Environmentally Safe – glass media abrasives are one of the safest blasting materials
    • Economical – May be reused several times reducing your material and disposal costs
    • Glass Impact Beads contain No Free Silica
    • Chemically Inert – no ferrous or other residual contaminants
    • Provides a bright, matte, surface finish – adding to the aesthetic appeal of a finished product often seen in architectural pieces
    • Cleans quickly and efficiently without significant metal removal – thereby reducing damage to a metal substrate
    • Imparts a controlled, clean finish on a variety of metals

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.

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.

Metal Finishing Beads:

PN Designation US Sieve Inches Max Inches Min Microns Max Microns Min Min % Round
 A  20-30  .0331 .0234 850 600 65
 GS04  AAA  25-40  .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
 GS15  AD  70-140  .0083 .0041 212 106 80
 GS16  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 Siece Inches Max Inches Min Microns Max Microns Min 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 .0025 .0025 106 63 90
MIL13 13 170-325 .0035 .0017 90 45 95


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.

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