Sand blasting - how is this done and what does it do?

At first glance, glass does not seem to be really suitable for sandblasting. But that is deceptive. Sandblasting is a very commonly used method in glass processing. What they do, what are the risks of sandblasted glass, and how to deal with them, you can read here, as well as how to refine glass yourself.

Effect of sandblasting on glass

The smooth glass surface is roughened by sandblasting. It becomes opaque. By sandblasting you can frost glass surfaces.

It is important that the roughened area is opaque, but still remains translucent, that is, the light is still transmitted.

The method can also be used to apply structures, patterns or figures to glass. In doing so, a template is placed on the glass covering most of the glass, leaving only the areas of the desired pattern exposed.

Due to the fact that the pattern area also remains translucent, even with large patterns, the light output is reduced only insignificantly. This is especially important in elaborately designed glass surfaces with large-scale patterning. There is almost as much light as if the glass remained transparent.

Disadvantage for the glass

Glass which has been treated completely or only partially by sandblasting can suffer in its strength. The microfine channels, which are caused by the sandblasting in the glass, especially the flexural strength suffers. The glass is thus less stable.

However, this disadvantageous effect can be reversed for the most part by a subsequent etching of the glass with hydrofluoric acid. The sandblasted glass gets back to its original strength.

Design glass and mirror yourself

Whether with the glass of the front door or with the life-size mirror in the hallway: Sandblasting technology can be used to create very individual patterns on all glass and mirror surfaces. So if you want to own a unique, can even design an individual pattern.

Some service providers on the Internet, such as the company IFOHA (ifoha-folie.com), already offer finished sample films for all glass surfaces and mirror surfaces. Sample films need only be glued to the glass surface. If the glass surface is then sandblasted, the pattern is created on the glass or on the mirror. Individual sizes or patterns are also produced by many film manufacturers on request.

The prerequisite for this, however, is that a service provider with appropriate experience in sandblasting glass is available. The jet depth, the blasting medium and the corresponding blasting pressure must be adapted to the respective glass as precisely as possible. Blasting media is usually corundum, the blasting pressure is adjusted to an appropriate value between about 6 and 10 bar.

Tips & Tricks

The glass scribing is easier than sandblasting glass. It produces a similar effect, but you can do it yourself with some skill and relatively inexpensive tools. The individualization that is possible makes it possible to personalize gifts by applying a pattern or a dedication.

Video Board: Introduction to Sandblasting / Part 1