Shot-Blasting, Sandblasting, Glass Beading, and Ceramic Blasting

Shot-blasting, sandblasting, glass beading, and ceramic blasting are all methods used to clean, strengthen (peen), or polish metal. Shot blasting is used in almost every industry that uses metal components, including aerospace, automotive, construction, foundry, shipbuilding, rail, and many others. Sandblasting and glass beading are used in applications where the material being blasted is softer or requires less abrasion than what is provided through shot blasting.


Applications of Blasting Methods

Various blasting methods cater to different needs across industries.

  • Shot-Blasting: Ideal for heavy-duty cleaning and strengthening in automotive and construction.
  • Sandblasting: Suitable for softer materials and lighter cleaning applications.
  • Glass Beading: Used for achieving a uniform finish on softer metals and delicate parts.
  • Ceramic Blasting: Provides a high-quality satin finish, especially for stainless steel.

Ceramic Blasting

The results of ceramic bead blasting are not comparable with the results of glass bead blasting. The technique of glass bead blasting is well known and often used in order to obtain a uniform finish, specifically for tooling stainless steel. Glass bead blasting of stainless steel, however, has a number of important disadvantages. Material is often blasted with a high percentage of broken beads caused by the high breakdown rate of glass beads, resulting in a relatively high roughness (1.5-3.0 microns). In practice, it has been proven that surfaces that have been blasted with glass beads show a high rate of dirt adhesion and are difficult to clean. As a result of contamination of the surface and a high roughness, combined with difficulties to clean and rinse, corrosion can occur even in a relatively mild (atmospheric) environment.

Advantages of Ceramic Bead Blasting

This method offers several benefits over glass bead blasting.

  1. Lower Breakdown Rate: Ceramic beads have a significantly lower breakdown rate, ensuring consistent quality.
  2. Uniform Finish: Achieves a satin shine finish with less than 1.0 micron roughness.
  3. Reduced Contamination: Less likely to cause dirt adhesion and easier to clean, reducing the risk of corrosion.

By contrast, blasting with ceramic beads does not have the disadvantages mentioned. The breakdown rate of ceramic beads is 50 times less than that of glass beads. Because of this, it can be guaranteed that purely round beads (approximately 100 microns) are always used. This immediately results in the visual effect of ceramic bead-blasted surfaces: a uniform satin shine finish. Depending on the roughness of the beginning material, a roughness less than 1.0 micron can be achieved.


The principal use for shot blasting in the foundry industry is to clean castings after they go through shakeout or are removed from the sand mold. Shot blasting can also be used to provide a more uniform surface quality and appearance to castings after they have been ground or upgraded.

Benefits of Shot-Blasting

This method ensures the highest quality surface for cast parts.

  • Surface Cleaning: Effectively removes sand, scale, and other residues.
  • Uniform Finish: Enhances the surface quality and appearance.
  • Strengthening: Improves the mechanical properties of the castings.

Sand Blasting and Glass Beading

Sand blasting or glass beading can be used to clean thin-walled castings and remove unwanted material without risking damage to the part.

Applications of Sand Blasting and Glass Beading

These methods are perfect for delicate and precise cleaning tasks.

  • Thin-Walled Castings: Ensures cleanliness without damaging the part.
  • Delicate Components: Ideal for parts that require gentle handling.

Quaker City Castings also provides commercial blasting of shot blasting, sand blasting, glass beading, and other abrasives to a variety of industries including automotive, aviation, and others.

Work With Us

If you’re looking for a reliable partner for your blasting needs, Quaker City Castings is here to help. Visit our contact us page directly to discuss how we can assist you. We are dedicated to providing solutions that enhance the efficiency and productivity of your operations.

Request a Quote