Glass Bead Cleaning Caution

Almost every machine shop has a Glass Bead machine in their shop and most of them see a fair amount of use every day. Glass beading a part makes it appear more acceptable to the customer, even when it may not require it. According to several shops, there are also parts that should not be glass beaded because of media retention.

Glass bead often remains in internal passages where it can travel into cylinders or the crankcase when the engine is started. Some of these are: baffled rocker covers or oil pans, the ring grooves of pistons and any part that is not completely clean and dry externally and internally. The cleaning media is retained in nooks and crannies and is only released when the engine is started, when it causes either piston ring or bearing damage. Prevent this type of comeback by double checking engine components for residual glass bead before assembly.

When disposing of the dust from your glass bead cabinet consider that it may be hazardous waste depending on what has been cleaned.

The AERA Technical Committee