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Utilizing Sandblasted Glass

Milestone has developed processes that yield full uniformity in the sandblasted surface; this includes very large panels of glass. All sandblasted glass is fully inspected to meet Milestone's rigorous quality standards. There are a variety of products available that mimic sandblasted glass, but none have the true luster or longevity of actual sandblasted glass. All the various products available have their applications and limitations. Actual sandblasted and seal coated glass has more stringent cleaning requirement than other products may have. Unlike other products, sandblasted glass is permanent and will last the life of the glass.

Milestone provides a wide range of different sandblasted textures and patterns. From fully frosted panels to intricate art glass. Designs and patterns are created from stock and custom artwork, which can be hand cut or computer based. We also offer a process of photo etching, which can create intricate pictorials in a single blast process. Designs and patterns are really only limited by one's own imagination. Milestone can take ideas from many sources and refine them into sandblasted art. Many of these various patterns and textures are available for close inspection in our showroom. Milestone is always open for new ideas and applications for sandblasted glass.

Tempered glass can be sandblasted, and should be sandblasted after the tempering process. The thinner the glass, in conjunction with the degree of texture, the more fragile the glass becomes during and after the sandblasting process. Sandblasting tempered glass removes some of the compression layer of the glass, causing the glass to bow slightly. This is more evident on larger thin panels.

Laminated glass, in its nature is quite fragile. It is possible, that if laminated glass is flexed, one side fulcrums off the other, causing it to crack. Sandblasting laminated glass adds an additional factor to the fragility. Keeping a clear border, rather than sandblasting all the way to the edge increases the strength.

Milestone currently offers four different textures of finish. Our extra-fine texture mimics satin (acid etched) glass. Not all types of glass are commercially available as satin glass. For those types of glass, or if the application requires a portion of the glass to remain clear, our extra-fine etch texture comes very close to matching the satin finish. It can be applied to all types of glass. Because of the media used, it is significantly more expensive than our standard texture.

Our standard "fine" etch texture is the most economical and is used in most applications that require areas to be masked off. It can be applied to all types of glass. The cost is a bit greater when applying to 1/8" tempered glass as the sandblasting process is slowed to avoid breakage.

Our medium etch texture yields a rougher surface texture and adds a degree of sparkle to the glass. It can be applied to all annealed glass and tempered glass ¼" and over. The glass is typically sandblasted with the standard etch first to ensure a fully uniform frosted panel, and then the texture is added. This two-step process results in a higher cost for this and the course texture. Our course etch texture significantly adds more sparkle than the medium texture. This rougher texture can be applied to ¼" thick and greater annealed glass, and 3/8" thick and greater tempered glass. If unsure of the compatibility of texture to glass type, please call for more information prior to the design creation. These courser textures can compromise polished edges, even when masked.

Although the four different textures have a different feel and look to them, the value, or tone, is quite close. It is possible to mix textures within a design, but this should be discussed with us to ensure that the various limitations are understood for the particular design.

Sandblasted patterns can be executed on one, or both sides of the glass. Milestone specializes in the creation of "Blind Pattern" glass. This is typically where vertical stripes are sandblasted on both sides of the glass. When viewed straight on, the panel appears solid, but when viewed at an angle, minimal viewing is seen through the glass. Milestone creates a wide range of different stripe configurations, along with grid patterns, geometric designs, wavy lines, and organic style textures. Patterns can be selected from our stock designs or easily created from your ideas.

Milestone also offers a wide variety of custom corporate logos and signage. Allow Milestone to assist in the translation of your graphic image or logo into sandblasted artwork.

Art glass panels are executed in a variety of ways. The most economical method is referred to as "Toned Blasting". This is where different areas of the design are sandblasted more, or less, than other areas, yielding tones of gray. Clear glass appears dark, while fully sandblasted glass appears very light gray. In between the two, it is possible to achieve about four tones of gray. This method is typically utilized to give a design a sense of depth. Another method is "Shaded Sandblasting" which employs graduated tones within a given area, much like an airbrush might render. A third method is "Depth Carving". This is a process of blasting the glass until a volume of the glass is removed causing a relief to the glass. Typically, depth carving is done on the backside of the glass, which is then viewed from the front or smooth side. Depth carving is limited to the type of glass and cannot be done on tempered glass, although it can be executed on laminated glass to meet building code requirements. In some cases, an "Art Glass Exemption" can be obtained to exclude the particular glass from safety glazing requirements.

Milestone recommends the seal coating of all sandblasted glass. Raw sandblasted glass is very susceptible to contamination and is very difficult to clean and leave in a fully uniform pristine condition. Milestone's interior sealer reduces the risk of contamination and makes the glass easier to clean, without sacrificing the desired characteristics of the sandblasted surface. The interior sealer is highly durable and will last the life of the glass. However, basic cleaning procedures need to be understood and employed so as not to permanently damage the coating. Milestone Mfg. offers complete instructions and recommendations in all aspects of handling, transporting, storage, and cleaning of sandblasted glass. These instructions need to be disseminated throughout all responsible individuals and the end customer for proper product maintenance.

Milestone also offers "Glue Chipping", a technique of applying molten glue to the surface of the sandblasted glass, which then contracts and pops off the glass, leaving a very unique and interesting texture. Sample of this process are available for viewing in our showroom. We also offer antique style mirror production on a limited size and quantity basis.

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