Micro Plating Inc.

electroless nickel & composite nickel - nickel/boron nitride

8110 Hawthorne Drive • Erie Pa 16509 • Ph. (814) 866-0073 • Fax (814) 866-0804 • Email: info@microplating.com
Glass Bead Blasting
Mil-C-26074, AMS-2404, RoHS compliant • All Coatings are FDA Approved and RoHS Compliant
Why glass bead blast?

Corrosion Resistance

The most important factor regarding corrosion protection, with all other factors being equal, is surface condition. During salt spray testing, a rough turned part with slivers of metal or burrs will fail miserabley when compared to a finely ground or polished surface, having the same coating thickness. When determining thickness requirements, surface condition of the part should always be taken into account.


Glass bead blasting is not a cleaning process. It is a surface improvement process and is not used until all oils, grease, rust and other oxidation is removed from the surface of the parts by alkaline cleaners and other chemical means. Only then are the parts ready for bead blasting.


When parts are fabricated, shaped, machined, turned or sanded, microscopic burrs may form. These burrs or other surface irregularities, if not removed prior to coating, can become potential corrosion sites when put into service. When parts are plated that have micro burrs, the almost invisible burrs can break off during service exposing the base metal to corrosion. While it may seem minor, these exposed sites may undermine the protective coating causing flaking or worse, premature part failure. Because the blasting media is round, glass bead blasting provides a peening action, rather than a cutting action so familiar with sand blasting and other sharp media. By glass bead blasting, no metal from the surface is removed thereby guaranteeing that no dimensional change takes place. The glass beads used by Micro Plating are medium fine and produce a smooth non-reflective surface. Other grades of glass bead are available for special applications requiring a brighter or duller finish.


The surface of all metal parts contain some degree of micro-cracking, tiny cracks, discontinuities or even tool marks that can be a cause of eventual failure. When a metal part is stressed these micro-cracks enlarge and develop throughout the part and at some point in time the part will fail. High stress areas often occur where there are machine marks, scratches, corners or holes, fillets, keyways, or other changes and interruptions in the smooth surfaces of metal.

Peening with Glass Beads is a low cost form of creating a uniform surface layer of compressed stress in alloy substances. Peening acts to combat stress cracks and corrosion which result in increasing the life of metal parts. In cast iron or powdered metals, bead blasting tends to reduce the micro pores size providing a smoother and less porous surface for better adhesion and less bleed-out of process chemicals. The corrosion resistance of porous metals is greatly improved after bead blasting. Staining after plating is also reduced by bead blasting porous parts thereby adding shelf life to the components.


  • Can be used on all metals regardless of hardness.
  • No dimensional change to the metal surface.
  • No embedded contaminants or surface residue.
  • Smoothly blends away surface defects and improves corrosion resistance.
  • Increases fatigue life by stress relieving machined and forged parts.
  • Produces a much smoother and brighter finish than angular abrasives.
  • Glass bead blasting produces a clean, bright, satin finish without dimensional change to parts.

Micro Plating will, at your request, glass bead blast your parts
prior to coating with any of our nickel products.