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topic 10386

Bead blast with what grit size

Q. I am making a machine part from 316L stainless steel for a German company and they are requesting that I provide a beadblasted finish of RZ-21/2 but they cannot tell me how that translates into a glass bead grit size. Is there a conversion chart I can access?

Mark N [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Maple Grove, Minnesota, U.S.A.


A. Dial up the 800 number of at least 2 major bead manufacturers. At least one can help you. I am not familiar with the spec, but normally a finish quality of SS is going to depend on the quality of the finish before blast. This would not be the case if it were ss shot of abrasive media.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida


A. Like another answer the finish of the stainless is important. However there should be no bad marks on the job if it has been fabricated carefully.
Beadblasting is used to give a sateen finish and blend in weld blue/marks.
In the UK I sold blasting media for 25 years and the size that most ss finishers use to get a really nice finish is 53/105 microns (in inches 002" to 004") in diameter.
I don't think you will want to 'gild the lilly' on a one off, but to pre-treat (blast) the surface with a fine mesh Aluminium Oxide (150 mesh (not microns) and then bead blast gives a great finish.

Ronald Noble
- Leicester UK

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