Keeping it Practical: Bead Blasting

Bead blasting is one of the many techniques that can help remove coatings, roughen smooth surfaces, smooth rough surfaces, etch, carve, and many more. These blasters are a form of sandblasting equipment but tend to have more variety in function and in application. The high pressured streams are suited for any of your blasting needs. It is unique to examine the differences between some of the extremes of bead blasting applications. For example, we see that the blasters are useful for both smoothing and roughening smooth surfaces. How does this work? The answer rest between the magnitude of functions that bead blasters carry within them. Taking a deeper dive into the various applications, we can see that specifically though different kinds of dry blasting, air blasting, glass blasting, and wet blasting, there are multiple ways how bead blasting can do opposite actions in a practical and logical manner.

Some of the common products that we see from manufacturers in the bead blasting industry are silicon carbide and stain steel beads. We also see a variety of different surfaces like the ones mentioned earlier. The emphasis however, does not seem to rest in the services provided. The emphasis is in how they are used. Dry blasting, for example, has a few different forms that operate in several ways. Dry shot blasting which is used to round steel balls is different to dry grit blasting which can remove heavy rust or thick paint deposits. Dry grit blasting itself can be different whether you are using a suction grit pressurized supply. Even these applications differ from dry bead blasting and vapour bead blasting. There are even larger differences in other forms of bead blasting.

Air Bead Blasting Equipments

Image Courtesy of Empire Abrasive Equipment

Air bead blasting, another form of blasting, is commonly used to clean surfaces like aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium. One of the big industries it is used in is the automotive industry. Air blasting differs significantly in the way that it is used from what it is used on to how it is used. Typically, this is seen as a low cost process and the equipment can be powered on very easily. Glass beading is another essential application that comes in beading process. We see in this process that beads are made lead-free and that they can be recycled up to 30 times which adds to the versatility of the beading processes. Another variation is wet bead blasting which is simply the process of bead blasting with beads created from a stream of water. Typically, this requires less energy and serves for easier clean up. All of these techniques give us the insight into what makes the beading processes different.

Essentially, we could in theory use dry blasting, air blasting, glass blasting, or wet blasting for similar projects but we tend to use different applications for various projects because of tradition and ease of use. But it is still a remarkable feat that some of the same blasting techniques can alter a surface in two different ways. It is unique that we see this and that our industry has evolved to the point where we can diversify a process. This benefits us in cost-effectiveness and in practicality.