Bead Blasting does Minimum Damage

Bead blasting is akin to sandblasting, the surface of a given part is cleaned by high pressure but rather than use sand, which is potentially damaging, the media is plastic or glass. Plastic bead blasting as well as glass bead blasting uses small spherical beads, these beads are fired at the surface under pressure and the result is that the coating is removed with little or no damage to the substrate. Small ball shaped plastic beads produce a smooth surface which is quite shiny and is easy to paint.

plastic bead blasting is commonly used on metals such as stainless steel, titanium and aluminum, all of which are used extensively in the aerospace and automotive industries. It is also used on soft metals, those commonly found in use in jeweler’s workshops. The process gives great results at a reasonably low cost as the beads are not expensive and the blasting nozzle can be powered with the same compressor that is used for other pneumatic tools found in the facility. It is common to see bead blasting in situations where corroded metal must be cleaned, cosmetic flaws must be eliminated and surfaces must be prepared for paint or electrostatic coatings.

When plastic bead blasting is used the objective is to do minimal damage to the surface of the base material. The process is often called “peening”, it can be used to clean wood, metal or other materials where the surface would be damaged if more aggressive media were to be used. The process is common in the electronics industry where it is necessary to clean very thin metal connections where any erosion of the surface would damage the integrity of the component or the viability of the electrical path. When surfaces are bead blasted with plastic or glass there is a tendency for metal in particular to be hardened, this gives the metal greater resistance to fatigue fracture and better resistance to future surface damage such as scratches.

Plastic bead blasting can also be done in cooperation with water. This allows for easier bead cleanup as the runoff carries the beads to a collection point. As the beads can be reused a good number of times this makes wet blasting less expensive as well as the bulk of the beads can be recycled.

If your company is using plastic bead blasting as part of the process you are invited to contact Opti-Blast. Opti-Blast produce plastic media from different materials, different shapes and different sizes.

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