Highway Bead

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Highway Bead Road
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Cullet offers a more cost-effective alternative to virgin glass in bead manufacturing.

Once the cullet has been melted into rounded glass pellets, the resulting beads are sold for use in reflective paints for highway striping, as well as for use in peening and cleaning metals. Strategic Materials supplies a majority of the bead industry’s demand for cullet. 

Why should you use glass cullet from Strategic Materials?

Strategic Materials production processes utilize different types of equipment in series to process the various types of inbound material to meet and exceed our customer specifications. We use the latest technology to produce the highest quality cullet and our continuous improvement initiatives ensure we don’t rest on our laurels. When you work with Strategic Materials, you also benefit from our nationwide network that brings materials closer to you.

  • Strategic Materials has many different types of feedstock that can help the bead industry achieve the highest retro reflectivity for the product they are trying to make. We can supply either unprocessed glass for the bead manufacturers grinding process or a sized grain ready to be introduced into the bead furnace.
  • Crushers and screens are used to size the material to a fine grind range suitable for bead making. Fine grind material also has to go thru a drying process to insure proper material flow thru the screening and silo storage process. 
  • Magnets of all types and vacuum systems are used to further clean up the glass stream by removing ferrous and non-ferrous metals and light material (paper and organics) from heavier glass fragments.




Benefits of recycled glass

Manufacturers benefit from using recycled glass in several ways.

Recycled glass reduces emissions and consumption of raw materials, extends the life of plant equipment such as furnaces, and saves energy. Recycled glass can be substituted for up to 100% of raw materials and reduces costs for bead manufacturers while also benefiting the environment—a nice marketing feature.

  • Free from heavy metals: Strategic Materials cullet meets or exceeds highway bead metal requirements.
  • Reduces energy requirements: It is generally asserted that cullet requires 25-30% less energy to melt than virgin batch materials but bead makers realize substantially higher energy savings using cullet.
  • Lowers air emissions and reduces carbon footprint: Since using cullet allows a bead manufacturers to avoid installing a traditional glass melting furnace, they avoid significant air emissions.
  • Creates a competitive cost advantage: Glass cullet costs less than virgin glass and costs less in the manufacturing process. 
  • Saves water & helps the environment: Cullet adds 100% recycled materials diverted from landfills.
  • Supports recycling: Consumers are looking for higher percentages of recycled content in all of their products and motorists benefit from the safety that highway beads deliver by lighting up our roads at night.