Glass microspheres

The metals industry demands efficiency, quality and cost-effective results. One way to meet these requirements is the use of compressed air sprayed glass beads for cleaning, surface preparation and shot peening. This work is performed by the transfer of energy upon impact on the surfaces to be treated.

As a result, we obtain a clean surface ready for further treatments after the surface has been activated or in other cases as a final finish.

The glass microspheres are recovered and reprojected with an average consumption loss of only 3% per cycle, generating a non-polluting waste, creating an ecologically “clean” and economical process compared to chemical processes.

Glass beads for blasting are regular shaped and non-porous.

A typical analysis is as follows (%)

SiO2Nao2CaOMgOAl2O3Fe2O3K2O
72,513.79.83.30.40.20.1

Mechanical characteristics.

HardnessSpecific gravity
6 mohs/48-50 Hrc2.4-2.5 g/cm3.

Grain size distribution

1-4545-9053-10675-150106-212
150-250180-300250-425425-850

Impact process engineering is based on the proper balance of several variables, including nozzle diameter, distance from the working surface, application angle, working pressure and surface coverage (time). The final element of control lies in the size and quality of the glass microspheres themselves. Consistent quality and compliance with specifications is essential.

The significant advantages offered by the glass microspheres supplied by Coniex are :

  • They are consumed at a slow rate and can be continuously recycled, making them environmentally efficient.
  • It does not contaminate the metal being treated as it is inert and chemically pure, making it clean and safe in the environment, causing less damage to the surface of the parts than traditional sandblasting.
  • This fast cleaning system does not remove the surface layer of metals preserving critical thicknesses in delicate parts and areas.
  • It has a COSHH assessed low risk rating.

Some typical applications for glass microspheres would be:

For surface hardening treatment of parts subjected to heavy mechanical stresses, elimination of residual surface stresses caused by machining processes, cleaning and soft reconditioning, dry and wet spraying of molds, motor parts, post-heat treatment cleaning, electrical contactors, satin finishing, defect correction, wall cleaning, graffiti removal, etc.

As a summary, we would say that it is the application of microspheres when we must act on parts or surfaces that must not be altered, since it has precise tolerances.