The Difference Between Bead Blasting and Sandblasting

The Difference Between Bead Blasting and Sandblasting

The Difference Between Bead Blasting and Sandblasting

Enviro-Tech Coatings Blog

Items made of metals, concrete, or brick are often cleaned with a blasting process that uses a high-pressure instrument to do the cleaning. However, the term “sandblasting” has come to represent this process regardless of what is used to clean the equipment. The main difference between sandblasting and bead blasting is that sandblasting uses fine sand, whereas bead blasting uses tiny bits of glass. Both strip paint and other materials off a variety of equipment. Let’s look at the difference between these processes:


Sandblasting uses a very high-pressure tool and, therefore, is a faster process than using bead blasting. That being said, sandblasting is also harsher on the metal than bead blasting. Sandblasting is like using sandpaper on the metal. As well as being faster, sandblasting is more powerful than bead blasting so that it can smooth and even shape the underlying material.

Bead Blasting

Bead blasting is a process similar to sandblasting, but the air pressure used is much lower, making it a slower and gentler process. It is perfect for stripping the metal clean when causing any damage is a concern. When you utilize bead blasting, the result is a more polished look than projects that utilize sandblasting.

Safety Concerns

The safety concerns for both blasting types differ because of the processes used. Sandblasting produces silica dust, which can cause serious health problems if a worker is exposed for a long time.

Because of this issue, sandblasting is heavily regulated. On the other hand, bead blasting produces no silica dust and is also a lead-free process. It is simply a much safer process than sandblasting.

At Enviro-Tech-Coatings, we maintain Air Permits and are a fully approved site for blasting and painting to assure the safety of our crews and the quality of our work. We offer a wide range of coating, painting, and metal finishing services for many industries. For reconditioning of used equipment, we provide full surface reconditioning services on industrial equipment and machinery. To learn more, please contact us today.

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