Glass Bead Size Chart

Glass beads are a common abrasive blast media used in abrasive blasting. All of the bead blasting cabinets at Raptor Blasting Systems can use glass beads. Use the glass bead media size chart below to see what sizes correspond to each brand and spec.

Glass beads used in abrasive blasting are come in different sizes and diameters. Much like you would use different grades of sandpaper for different jobs, you would want to use different sizes of glass beads for different levels of blasting. Choose a No. 7 or No. 8 to clean or strip surfaces quickly.

In industrial blast cabinets, glass beads are for removing small burrs, cleaning, peening, honing, polishing, blending, and finishing. For delicate metal or thin welds, peening with glass beads can provide the right amount of stress relief without going overboard and causing damage.

Glass beads can usually be re-cycled 30 times under normal use.

US Standard Screen SizeMIL-PRF-9954BMIL-S-13165CPotters Ballotini®Glas-Shot®Blast-O-LiteZeroSAE Intl J1173Bead Size Range (Diameter in Inches)
12-14No. 11BT 1801-201.0661-.0555
14-20No. 22BT 2801-202.0555-.0331
20-30No. 33313 or AMS-XGXBT 3801-203GB-70.0331-.0234
30-40No. 42324 or BBT 4801-204GB-50.0234-.0165
40-50No. 51655BT 5801-205GB-35.0165-.0117
40-60CBOL 21.0165-.0098
50-70No. 61176 or DBT 6801-206GB-25.0117-.0083
50-80ABABBOL 23.0117-.0070
60-80No. 7987 or EBT 7801-207GB-20.0098-.0070
60-100BOL 24.0098-.0059
70-100No. 8838 or FBT 8801-208GB-18.0083-.0059
70-140ADADBOL 25.0083-.0041
80-120No. 9709 or GBT 9801-209GB-15.0070-.0049
100-170No. 1010 or AEAFBT 10801-210.0059-.0035
100-200BOL 26.0059-.0029
120-200No. 1111BT 11801-211.0049-.0029
140-230No. 1212BT 12801-212.0041-.0025
140-270BOL 27.0041-.0021
170-325No. 1313 or AHAHBT 13801-213.0035-.0017
170 and FinerAL.0035 and Finer
200-325BOL 29.0029-.0017
270 and FinerAIMS-XL.0021 and Finer
325 and FinerAQBOL 30801-214.0017 and Finer
400 and FinerAS.0015 and Finer

The most commonly used glass bead sizes are highlighted. MIL-PRF-9954B No. 8 is the most commonly used glass bead size.

The MIL-PRF-9954B spec is for glass beads used for cleaning and peening, approved for use by all Departments and Agencies of the Department of Defense. This spec was approved on September 26th, 2005.

The MIL-S-13165C spec is for for glass beads used for shot peening of metal parts, approved for use by all Departments and Agencies of the Department of Defense. This spec was approved on June 7th, 1989.

In the SAE International J1173 spec, published on September 1st, 1988, the following applies:

This specification covers the characteristics of glass beads used for peening, and provides for standard glass bead size numbers. The glass bead classification number is the approximate nominal diameter of the glass spheres in that classification, in hundredths of a millimeter, with the prefix GB added. Glass beads used for peening shall be made from high quality glass of the soda-lime type. They should be as resistant as possible to breakage from shock-impact, or by abrasion during shipment and handling. The particles should be substantially round, free-flowing, and free from chemical impurities or contaminants that might be detrimental to the workpiece.

Blast-O-Lite, Potters Ballotini®, Glas-Shot®, and Zero are commonly found brands of glass beads for bead blasting. We usually use Potters Ballotini® beads, which we normally get from Kleen-Blast.

Other Sandblasting Conversion Charts

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Built for heavy-duty use, our media blasting equipment and bead blasting accessories are manufactured in the USA, using the highest standards. The Raptor Blaster brand means solid construction, high performance, and consistent results over time.

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