Technox Machine & Manufacturing, Inc. is one of the largest complete machine shops in the Chicago area. Equipped with extensive metal manufacturing experience and a broad selection of metal manufacturing equipment, we serve as a one-stop source for all metal machining needs. In addition to our core machining service offerings, we provide a variety of secondary services to support part production and maintenance requirements, including glass bead and steel shot blasting.
Glass Bead vs. Steel Shot Blasting
Abrasive blasting is a preparation and finishing process used to shape, strengthen, or otherwise alter the surface of a material. While it can be used to prepare and finish a wide range of materials, it is commonly utilized for metals. The quality of the surface finish achieved depends on the size, shape, strength, and hardness of the abrasive media.
Two of the most common forms of abrasive blasting are glass bead blasting and steel shot blasting. Below we outline each process’s unique characteristics.
. Glass Bead Blasting
Glass bead blasting involves propelling tiny, spherical pieces of glass at high speeds toward surfaces. The surface texture achieved depends on the size and shape of the glass beads used.
Industry professionals commonly use glass bead blasting for cleaning, blending, deburring, honing, peening, polishing, and other finishing treatments. Compared to other abrasive blasting methods, it is much gentler, making it suitable for more delicate materials and components.
. Steel Shot Blasting
Steel shot blasting involves propelling small, round pieces of steel ejected at high speeds toward metal surfaces to clear them of buildup, residues, and other contaminants that could affect the strength of the material. There are two main delivery methods used for shot blasting operations, both of which result in varying degrees of cleaned, polished, or strengthened surfaces, depending on the size and grade of the shot used.
- Airblasting. Airblasting operations rely on compressed air to accelerate and project the abrasive media toward the surface.
- Wheelblasting. Wheelblasting operations utilize a rotating centrifugal wheel to deliver shot across a large area.
Steel shot blasting is used as a surface treatment process in many industries, including aerospace, automotive, construction, shipbuilding, and rail, to clean, strip, and improve metal surfaces for subsequent manufacturing operations. It is both effective and economical.
Benefits of Glass Bead and Steel Shot Blasting
Both glass bead blasting and steel shot blasting offer many advantages when used to prepare and finish metal surfaces.
Some of the benefits of using glass bead blasting include:
- Smooth and bright finish. As glass bead blasting uses rounded media, it creates a smooth and bright surface finish rather than the matte surface finish characteristic of abrasive blasting methods that use angular media.
- Environmentally friendly. Glass bead media is highly recyclable, which helps lower material utilization and waste generation.
- Suitability for delicate materials. Since glass beads are not as aggressive as sheet shot and other abrasive media, they are better suited for softer materials or parts with delicate or thin-walled designs.
Some of the benefits of using steel shot blasting include:
- Environmentally friendly. Steel shot is recyclable and reusable, making it an eco-friendly abrasive media option.
- Efficient. Shot blasting effectively loosens even tightly bonded materials from surfaces, speeding up surface prep as much as 75%.
- Easy cleanup. Many shot blasting machines feature strong vacuum and dust collection systems, which facilitate the retrieval and collection of loosened particles.
Quality Abrasive Blasting Services at Technox Machine & Manufacturing
Abrasive blasting processes play an essential role in the manufacture of a wide range of metal parts and products. If you’re looking for a one-stop source for all metal manufacturing needs, from machining to finishing to assembly, turn to the experts at Technox Machine & Manufacturing, Inc.
We are proud to serve as a complete metal machine shop. By partnering with us, you receive efficient, convenient, and competitively priced service under a single roof.