The glass bead used in shotblasting duties constitutes an abrasive that allows to perform the following operations:
Unlike other abrasives, the glass bead does not cause any removal of the metal base, does not contaminate and does not leave incrustations in the surface treated, achieving an excellent superficial finishing.
Cleaning and removal
The cleaning action is performed by an impact on the surface eliminating all the pollution without affecting the metal base.
As it is spherical and without edges and rims it does not pull off the covering and metal base as if it were a cutting tool. For that reason shotblasting with glass beads is still admitted in those cases in which strict dimensional tolerances should be kept.
The superficial appearance achieved by shotblasting with glass beads on steel, aluminium, stainless steel, brass, tin, acrylic, plastic, etc, is really unique, obtaining a dull finishing that valorises the piece.
In this item two advantages are added:
As a general rule, the use of glass beads of large diameter are used for obtaining a finishing with deep grain and a dull surface; on the other hand, with smaller size the finishing obtained is finer and duller.
The engraving that is performed by means of shotblasting is obtained by the difference between the zones that have not been treated (shinny) and the zones that have been shotblasted (dull). These engravings are generally performed with masks made especially for this purpose and although it can also be done with other abrasives, glass beads ensure an excellent finishing and also a much longer lifetime of the masks used, due to the minimum abrasiveness of this material.
It is the effect of a flow of spherical particles shot at great speed on a metallic surface compacting it. This hammering action (peening) causes a crushing of the surface due to the plastic deformation that induces compression tensions parallel to the surface, that generally extend from 5 to 10 mils (thousandth of inch) of depth.
This effect is used in pieces as: gears, axles, springs, rods, etc, submitted to flexion efforts that cause traction tensions on the surface.
The most common uses of glass beads:
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