You may have seen glassware or glass gifts that are emblazoned with a name, a date or other personal touches. This is often the work of a process called sandblasting. Sandblasted glass is a great way to make a lasting memory of an event like a wedding or to commemorate an event like a retirement celebration.
But what is sandblasted glass?
What is the meaning of “sandblast,” exactly? Well, it’s not too far off from the name. At its core, sandblasted means just that—an object is blasted with sand with extreme precision at an incredibly high velocity. This leaves an imprint of the desired design or message on the glass that is permanent.
The process technically involves scratching the glass in a precise pattern. Sand is used because it is naturally abrasive. In glass, this process can also be called etching or engraving, though engraving is more often associated with a chemical process. Sandblasted glass is also often called frosted glass due to its similarity in appearance to ice forming on a pane of glass. Frosted glass is an overall term used to describe any type of glass that has been etched or engraved, including sandblasted glass.
The way sandblasting works begins with a mask placed on the glass. No, this isn’t a goopy face cream—it’s a design term used to explain when a pattern is applied to glass with a primer material before it’s sandblasted. It can be thought of like tracing paper—but with an automated process to complete the tracing rather than it being done by hand.
There are many ways to sandblast glass, including with painter’s tape, paper or a UV-light-sensitive adhesive material. This light-sensitive material is a reliable method for transferring text or images onto glass quickly and efficiently.
In this type of process, an image is printed onto paper; then the paper is laid onto a material that is sensitive to UV light. That paper is then placed into a UV light, which hardens the printed area but leaves the rest of the paper soft. When the glass is sandblasted, the hardened area of the paper is blasted away, putting that section of the glass in direct contact with the sand but protecting the rest of the glass from contact.
It is possible to freehand a design or text with sandblasting. This requires a lot of experience and artistic talent, however, which is why a mask is most often used in sandblasting.
There are many different types of sandblasted glass products. Common examples include vases, drinking glasses and commemorative paperweights and other types of knickknacks. It’s possible to order a piece of glass to be sandblasted with a custom design or message, and it’s also possible to have a special piece you already own sandblasted to give it even more sentimental value.
If you’re looking for an experienced, professional glass company that’s seen and done it all, including sandblasted glass, get in touch with Santa Fe Glass & Mirror today.
Categorised in: Sandblasting Glass
This post was written by Writer