Glass spheres are not laboratory curiosities but could be considered to be one of the oldest manufactured products in the world. The ancient Egyptians in 2600 B.C. were making glass beads that were used for adornment and decoration. Early glass beads were produced in limited quantities and required much hand labor which made them expensive. Then, in 1918, Rudolph and Paul POTTERS, the founders of our company, developed the spheridization process for manufacturing large quantities of small glass beads at an economical cost. This method is still used today by all producers of glass microspheres world-wide. These beads found wide usage beginning in the 1930's on painted highway lines to give retrorefectivity and remain nowadays a major portion of the company’s production.
Glass beads have found use in both thermoplastic and thermoset resins since their introduction to the plastics industry in the early 60’s. Solid microspheres are being used as a reinforcement/filler to improve physical properties, reduce cost, and solve production problems.
Potters Industries LLC is the world’s leading manufacturer of solid glass beads. Potters operates 25 glass bead production plants, with 10 located in the and the rest spread amongst 10 other countries across the world. Over the last 90 years, Potters has become also a major supplier of hollow glass beads and engineered glass materials used in numerous applications, such Metal Finishing, Abrasives, Plastics, Industrial Explosives, Automotive and Marine Putty, Construction Materials and Conductive Beads a metal-coated beads that provide electromagnetic shielding in electronic devices
The glass composition used for making solid Microspheres is mainly of the soda lime or A glass coming from recycled materials.
Every years Potters recycles glass in excess of 500,000t.
The compositions of the hollow spheres and High Refractive Index beads are generally proprietary and are produced from our own glass making factories.