FreeShip- 0.6 mm Reflective Glass Beads, Paint Additive, Filler, or Peening Media- (Contact to request actual ship cost for multi items)

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----> Go here to see all listings for this material: <----
https://www.etsy.com/shop/NorthernWestStuff?ref=hdr_shop_menu&search_query=reflective+glass+beads

This is a pretty coarse grade. You can see the individual glass beads. Very free flowing and "slippery". I may have one size that's come from different suppliers, so you may see slightly different colors in the same size bead (more on that below). Also, on the topic of sizing: I have usually listed sizes based on my own measurements. I've used average readings from my measurements because measuring them is difficult. Different suppliers "grade" the sizes with differing methods and I've found that the labeled size of beads to be sometimes puzzling. It's probably a case of expense versus exacting size tolerances. There are very few glass beads that don't have size variations. If you need close tolerances you will pay substantially more. If that's important to you, send me a message asking what the variances are for a particular size grade.

Please note that glass beads are like miniature ball bearings. If you spill them on a hard floor and walk on them, it's like walking on ice. I've almost crashed a couple of times when I've spilled them unknowingly on a concrete floor.
Another thing I'd like to mention is that glass beads are relatively expensive which is not so much a factor if you're using them for their reflective properties by incorporating them into a coating. But if you use them as fillers for castings either to add weight or translucency to the cast part, the cost starts to matter. There is another form of glass that is much less expensive and that is crushed glass. All the properties of glass beads except weight and some degree of translucency are not present in crushed glass. The particles are irregular in shape and may not be as transparent as glass beads depending on the supplier and the separation of glass grades they used. Also, you probably won't get as great an increase in weight because the resin viscosity increases much more than with the spherical shape of the beads. If you want to try crushed glass I do have 3 mesh sizes and you can get to the listings with this link:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/NorthernWestStuff?ref=hdr_shop_menu&search_query=crushed+glass

These are tiny glass beads that have many possible uses and I have many different sizes. They are from several different suppliers and manufacturers and they vary by the type of glass used (which influences their color), and by their size tolerances. Some are also post treated with surface agents for a particular application.
A good website to browse for an eye-opener of all the uses glass beads have is the Potter's Industries site. For example, here's what they list as the benefits of glass beads as resin (polymer) additives/fillers:
-Fewer defects: excellent mold flow, uniform dispersion, improved surface appearance
-Very high filler loading: precise geometry for uniform dispersion, better surface wetting, closer packing
-Dimensional stability: reduced molded part shrinkage and warpage; improved part flatness
-Improved product characteristics: higher flex modulus, better abrasion resistance and surface hardness
-Available uncoated, or with coupling agent coatings designed to optimize performance in specific resin systems
-Partial replacement for expensive fiberglass
Their home page is here:
http://www.pottersbeads.com/egm/NorthAmerica.aspx
Major uses for glass beads include:

--In paints to give interesting reflective properties to the paint coatings when dry. Glass beads are what give road signs and those reflective stripes and lines on roads their reflectivity at night. Technically it's called "Retroreflectivity", and there's a nice Wiki article on how it works:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retroreflector
There are lots of articles on the internet about Retroreflectivity. YouTube also. I even saw a webpage where someone had made a retroreflector tuxedo. Most people who are buying glass beads are buying them to make retroreflective (or lets just call it "reflective") surfaces by mixing them with different paint materials. You see a lot of application these days on safety clothing. Bicycles use it and bicyclists use it on straps and clothing.

--As a "weight" material, since glass is heavy, it's used as a filler in dolls and other items. Glass beads make whatever you fill with them into a neat "squishy" soft bag, that's made more interesting by its weight. They can go into any casting material to add weight. They're not cheap though, so small projects would be a more appropriate use.

--As a filler in resins and plastics, since glass beads are very low-friction, mobile, and free flowing (except for the smallest sizes), they can add weight to a resin while maintaining relatively low pouring viscosities. And since they are clear glass, if their refractive index matches a clear resin, they give a relatively clear, filled, casting. Usually you won't find that right combination of matching RI's, however.
If they don't match, there are still other interesting effects besides just reflection. At a minimum you'll get a translucent, filled resin that is way more translucent than the standard filler used to make so called "Cultured Onyx", namely ATH (Alumina TriHydrate). Glass beads are much more expensive than ATH, though.
As an aside, many years ago the "Cultured Marble" phenomena started when people began making sinks and counter tops out of liquid polyester resin and calcium carbonate. (I'm referring to what's technically called "unsaturated polyester", a thermoset resin, versus "saturated polyester", a thermoplastic resin, that's used in fabrics amongst other things). Calcium carbonate can be had from crushing marble (and some other minerals) into a powder, thus the name "Cultured Marble", a marketing way of saying "Fake Marble". Cultured marble was inexpensive, hard, easy to clean, and looked sort of like the real thing, with muted swirls of color, and so it became very successful. Next came "Cultured Onyx", which had more appeal because of it's translucency which gave it depth. It was developed when someone added ATH to unsaturated polyester. (Ironically, "Cultured Onyx" is really a "Fake Fake Onyx", because the real mineral "onyx" is quartz based and not at all translucent, the name "onyx" was stolen and used as a name for a calcite base mineral [much softer and translucent], from which carvings were made).

--As a shot peening media used in a sand blaster. Glass beads leave a smoother finish than sand, more of a cleaning and brightening effect than abrasion because they are not removing much material like abrasives used in sand blasters do. Peening a surface is more complex than just cleaning or smoothing it. It creates a compressed layer, each round particle acting like a ball peen hammer. If done correctly it can harden metals by surface compression, protecting against stress cracking from surfaces by relieving tensile stresses in surface layers. In general it can be thought of as providing an outer layer of protection to the metal. There's a good Wiki article on the subject:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shot_peening

--A use I discovered while experimenting with CA liquids (like 'super glue', CyanoAcrylate, or just CA), is that some of the glass beads I had would cause CA to harden, like it does with several powdery fillers (the main one now going around the internet is baking soda- there are several others, such as the above mentioned ATH), and if you find just the right combination so that the CA doesn't almost instantly harden like it does with baking soda, and has time to soak into the spaces between the beads, you can make small castings in silicone rubber by dumping some glass beads (of the correctly found type) into the silicone mold, then squirt some CA onto the beads until the mold is "full". I only got it to work with small objects because it's tricky to match it to the CA so that it sets up, but not too soon (if it sets too soon it will also discolor the CA, causing it to "whiten"). Both the type of glass bead and the type of CA can be variables. You can also alter the timing of the cure reaction by altering the surface of the glass beads yourself, making the surface pH lower or higher. Another possibility is to prevent reaction between the CA and the glass beads and cure the CA by raising the temperature of the mold and its contents. Go a step further and replace the CA with a very low viscosity resin? Nah, there is no commonly available resin that has viscosities in the single digits, with the exception of MMA or EMA monomers (which are more difficult to use and which have crazy shrinkage percentages [but now that I've mentioned them, I'd like to try them for this!]. Here's a link on MMA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methyl_methacrylate ). The size of the glass beads used with this idea is pretty crucial. CA is more expensive than the glass beads so if you used larger beads you'll have to use larger amounts of CA because of the bigger spaces between larger spherical objects. Use beads that are too small and the spaces between beads becomes so small that the CA won't readily penetrate the bead mass. I used this as a guideline: try using beads that are very small but are still free flowing. If the CA won't penetrate, go up a size.

You may notice that the color of the beads shown in the pictures varies between close to white, to slightly tan, to slightly greenish. This is due to the type of glass the manufacturer used. Common soda-lime glass has a level of iron in it (which comes from impurities in the silica sand used). The iron is actually beneficial in the manufacturing process for making sheets of glass, but it does tint the glass. Manufacturers can use "low iron" soda-lime glass which eliminates the green tint. There's also "flint" glass which is a purer glass used for optics and other application where a "water-white" glass is needed (I was previously misinformed about "flint" and "soda-lime" glass. I had picked up incorrect information about glass types in my old medicine bottle hunting days and thought "flint" glass was the greenish tinted kind and soda-lime the non-greenish type. Soda-lime can be greenish or colorless and flint is more colorless still).-
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-------------------------------> COMBINED SHIPPING <----------------------------------
Shipping cost will be reduced when buying multiple items that are small & light weight. To see total cost with actual shipping, mark the items you want as favorites, then message me with a request for actual shipping of your favorited items. Or, list your items in a message, requesting ship cost. I'll send you the cost & if you approve I'll make a reserved listing.
Or, just buy the items in your cart. I will do a refund for the ship overage as soon as I see your order. (Don't want to message me? I automatically check for ship overages, & will make a refund if applicable).
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FAQs

I'm sorry, but at this time we do not ship internationally.

If you would like a smaller or larger quantity of a raw material, click the "Request a custom order" button and tell us how much you would like. Or just contact us and let us know what you'd like. We'll get back to you ASAP.

This problem usually occurs with multiple items. Where possible, we're converting to calculated shipping. We originally didn't provide it because we sell so many dissimilar items (size, weight, etc), that it would not be possible to do it accurately. If your shipping cost is high, you can do one of the following: If you see "Request a Custom Order", "Contact", or "Ask a Question" on an item's page, you may use it to request a reserved listing. You may copy and paste a list of the items in your cart, send a screen shot of your items, or simply favorite them, and request a "reserved" or "custom" order. Or you may do nothing. We will see your multiple items & will always refund excess shipping charges before shipping your items.

If you have a technical question about an item we've listed, please don't hesitate to ask. We enjoy helping people out with a material or a process. We give anecdotal information in our listings if we have any. If you disagree with it or think we're being inaccurate or misleading please let us know that, too. If there are discrepancies in any of our listings let us know, we make mistakes like everybody and we'd like to be set straight and get those mistakes corrected.

I'm sorry, but at this time we do not ship internationally.

If you would like a smaller or larger quantity of a raw material, click the "Request a custom order" button and tell us how much you would like. Or just contact us and let us know what you'd like. We'll get back to you ASAP.

This problem usually occurs with multiple items. Where possible, we're converting to calculated shipping. We originally didn't provide it because we sell so many dissimilar items (size, weight, etc), that it would not be possible to do it accurately. If your shipping cost is high, you can do one of the following: If you see "Request a Custom Order", "Contact", or "Ask a Question" on an item's page, you may use it to request a reserved listing. You may copy and paste a list of the items in your cart, send a screen shot of your items, or simply favorite them, and request a "reserved" or "custom" order. Or you may do nothing. We will see your multiple items & will always refund excess shipping charges before shipping your items.

If you have a technical question about an item we've listed, please don't hesitate to ask. We enjoy helping people out with a material or a process. We give anecdotal information in our listings if we have any. If you disagree with it or think we're being inaccurate or misleading please let us know that, too. If there are discrepancies in any of our listings let us know, we make mistakes like everybody and we'd like to be set straight and get those mistakes corrected.



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