Glass Bead Blasting

Fastener Technology Corp. offers a full suite of metal finishing services, including glass bead blasting services.
Glass bead blasting
Blasting is a process that is used in the aerospace industry, and in engineering more widely, to alter the surface of a material in some way.  Glass bead blasting is a safe form of blasting, in that it avoids the use of silica and other abrasive materials that have potentially been linked to health risks.  The process involves firing glass beads under pressure at the surface of a component or sheet metal.  It can be blasted at pressures of between 40 and 80 psi (pounds per square inch), depending on the specific nature of the material to be removed.  It is not as abrasive as some other blast materials and so the blasting process can take longer; however, the glass beads can be used multiple times and so that contributes to glass bead blasting being relatively cost-effective.
Glass bead blasting typically does not mark the surface that it is cleaning.  This means that it is highly appropriate for cleaning but less effective for preparing surfaces for processes such as painting or powder coating. When used at the highest pressures possible, glass bead blasting can be used for peening in order to improve tensile strength, resistance to a range of corrosive fatigues and a reduction in the likelihood of stress fracturing. Peening has advantages as a process as it does not involve heating the metal, and so carries no risk of altering the chemical properties of the metal in unintended ways.
Wide range of materials
At FTC, we use a comprehensive range of metals in the manufacture of our components.  This ensures that we are able to cater for the full range of environmental stresses encountered during the working life of an aircraft.  Our high levels of expertise mean that we are able to deploy a range of techniques such as glass bead blasting to finish our components to exceptionally high standards.
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