Bead blasting is one of the many finitions de surface available for a wide array of manufactured parts. It is widely used to deliver a smooth, clean, and shiny appearance on the surface of plastic or metal parts. It can be used across injection molded parts, 3D-printed parts, CNC-machined parts, and more. Today, we explore the process itself, its advantages and disadvantages, and why it is one most popular surface finishing techniques.
What is Bead Blasting?
Bead Blasting is a surface finish technique that is used to improve the cosmetic appearance of a variety of objects. It is carried out by projecting fine glass beads against the surface of a material to achieve a smooth, uniform finish on the material.
How is Bead Blasting done?
It is a type of shot blasting done with abrasive media. It utilizes high pressure, and an abrasive media (often fine glass beads) shot from the bead blaster gun aimed at the surface of the material to leave a smooth, shiny finish on a part or component. Bead blasting can be used for finishing materials like plastique, glass, metalset caoutchouc. The process is usually completed in a bead blasting cabinet. The glass beads used are lime-free, soda-limed, and spherical. They are environmentally friendly and may be recycled for several rounds.
What are the Advantages Of Bead Blasting?
There are many advantages to a choice of surface finish. Some of these advantages include the soft, smooth, and even nature of its finishes. Bead blasting can also improve certain functional properties like mechanical strength, aesthetics, and fatigue performance. Some of the many advantages of bead blasting include the following:
- Diverse material compatibility
- Environmentally-friendly process
- Highly recyclable
- It is very safe compared to other abrasive blasting processes
- Achieves uniform surface finish
- Enhances durability and strength of materials
The versatility of bead blasting makes it compatible with a wide array of industries. Some of the industries that utilize this finishing technique include:
- Firearms and Military
- Medical Components
- Food Processing Materials
Disadvantages Of Bead Blasting
While the advantages largely outweigh its cons, the process still has some disadvantages. Here are some downsides to the process:
- This kind of finish may not last as long as other abrasive media like steel
- It is largely used for soft to medium materials as it may take a longer cycle time to apply to tougher materials
Applications of Bead Blasting
Bead Blasting can be used for many purposes related to surface finishing. They include but aren’t limited to:
- Cosmetic finishes
- Material preparation for painting
- Paint removal
The size of the bead materials can also determine the type of application for the process. For instance, smaller beads may be used to perform finishing works that require light finishes, while medium and larger beads find their usage around cosmetic finishing, deburring, and cleaning rough surfaces on parts.
Prototool Manufacturing in China
Prototool is one of China’s leading manufacturing hubs for Additive manufacturing, CNC machine services, and Injection Molding. We offer kinds of supporting surface finish processes, such as bead blasting, to deliver the perfect combination of aesthetics and functionality to your CNC-finished and injection-molded products. Click here to get in touch with us and receive a free quote and project review.