Glass as an abrasive

"Glassblast" or surface cleaner

Glass Cullet

The majority of container glass is recycled back into new containers to package food and beverages. However, many companies and counties are exploring alternative recycling options for post-consumer glass.

Glass beads are used in blasting and surface-cleaning applications. Blasting with glass beads made of recycled glass can perform better in certain applications than virgin glass beads. The abrasion of the crushed glass can improve the quality of the blast. Beads sold in Minnesota range from 95-100% recycled post-consumer content.

OSHA-approved. The federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has classified the dust created from glass blasting as a "nuisance dust." Glass does not contribute to the lung disease silicosis. However, dust resulting from surface cleaning with sand (crystalline silica) is considered a contributor to the lung disease silicosis. (29CFR1910.1000)

Vendors of recycled glass and glass beads

File Glass Advantage

Blastglass media is a crushed glass abrasive in a range of grit sizes, especially suited for preparing a variety of surfaces for painting. It is particularly recommended where the health and safety of workers and environmental concerns are critical issues.

Binary Data Potters Industries

A leading producer of engineered glass materials serving the highway safety, polymer additive, metal finishing, and conductive particle markets. Potters produces most of its glass beads by utilizing recycled glass as a starting material.

HTML icon TriVitro

VitroGrit abrasive blasting media made from crushed recycled glass. Manufacturer claims that sandblasting can be done much more safely and effectively by using this product in place of sand or slag.

HTML icon ESCA Glass

An engineered sandblasting media manufactured from 100% recycled container glass. Approved for use in numerous federal and state government agencies, and military branches.

Related research

HTML icon Purchasing blasting grit (U.S. EPA)

U.S. EPA's Recovered Materials Advisory Notice recommends recycled-content levels for purchasing blasting grit, including 100% recycled glass.

PDF icon Evaluation of substitute materials for silica sand in abrasive blasting

A multi-part study commissioned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. (1999)