A common representation of a brush is a handle with some form of bristles and is the one that most people have in mind when thinking of a brush. Writing a description of brushes is more challenging since there is such a wide variety of types, styles, uses, and designs. Simple common tasks such as painting a wall in a house involves the selection of different brushes to perform specific jobs. If you’re going to paint a wall with wallpaper, a wire brush would be used to shred the paper to assist in removing it. When selecting a brush for painting, there are a variety of angle from angular to flat to pointed tips that vary in size from a quarter inch to five inches or larger.
These descriptions fit the common versions of brushes, which do not include the many other forms from makeup, tar, automotive, delicate archeological, tooth, preservation, and on. This simple ancient tool has become a staple of our society and has drastically changed over the years as well as being updated each year by brush manufacturers attempting to create new and unique ways for designing and using brushes. What may be presumed to be a common ordinary tool has taken on multiple shapes, designs, and Categories.
Though the bristle and handle form of brush is common, there are other forms that are also referred to as brushes but fall outside the normal parameters. One unique function of brushes is in generating electricity where coils turn inside a magnetic field creating electrical current in the coils, which are connected to slip rings. The brushes touch the slip rings, brush against them, making electrical contacts. This form of brush is a central part of generators and alternators. The brushed pieces of metal are named brushes for their function and not their similarity to the traditional definition of a brush.
It seems impossible to divide brushes into categories though there are descriptive words that can be used to define a brush’s function such as applicator brushes used to apply paint, varnish, or make up. Plus, there are brushes that fall outside categorization such as brushes at the bottom of a door on an elevator designed to remove dirt that may accumulate in the track of the door. What all this boils down to is the difficulty of taking the term brush and conveniently categorizing it. As soon as someone says, there are “X” number or kinds of brushes, there will be someone else protesting.
To assist in developing a greater understanding of brushes, it may be helpful to cover some of the basic ones that are well known as well as touch on others that may be surprising. Years ago, before the mechanical application of black top, hardworking men would labor over the hot black goo and spread it using long handled brushes. Just watching the process was excruciating. This is just one of the unusual methods this reliable tool has been used to assist us in making life easier.
Applicator brushes are the form of brush most people think of when describing a brush. It normally consists of a handle with some form of bristles, which are flexible and able to absorb some form of liquid. The numbers and forms of applicator brushes are innumerable from applying paint and wallpaper paste to putting grease on a bearing or Rotor.
One of the more interesting applicator brushes are ones used to apply paint to canvas to create an artistic masterpiece. Artists are very sensitive about their brushes and hesitate to share them indiscriminately. Good artistic brushes can cost close to a thousand dollars and be so precisely designed that they can apply a minute dab of paint using only four or five bristles. Artistic brushes can be very large and round such as ones used for stippling a pattern. When watching an artist work, it is interesting to note how carefully they select their brushes for the piece they are creating.
Even with the advent of the paint roller and the improvement in spray painting, it is still necessary to use brushes to reach hard areas and do trimming. An interesting factor in this is how specialized brushes have become and their differing forms. Each type has a special function such as the angular trim brush versus the flat trim brush. Added to the different shapes and types are the specialization of brushes for the material they are going to apply from ones for acrylic paints to those designed for water based paint. Visiting any home improvement store can be a confusing business requiring the aid of a specialist when choosing the specific brush for the job.
Makeup brushes are an extremely interesting variety since they are designed to barely touch the skin but apply coloration. In the past, women would apply makeup using a soft cloth or a form of sponge. In many cases, this method did not prove precise enough and required several corrections. Since the middle of the twentieth century, a wide variety of brushes have been introduced that can apply the appropriate amount of coloration in exactly the right spot.
Oil brushes are designed to reduce corrosion and wear by applying a lubricant onto moving components and remove contaminants. A correct application can help lower operating costs by reducing friction. This type of brush is essential for chains, certain types of conveyors, and chain lifts. For most applications, an oil brush is fitted before the mechanisms sprockets allowing the sprockets to apply the lubricant to the links or Pins.
Anti-static brushes are made from low-charging materials and natural bristle materials that sit near neutral on the triboelectric chart. These materials neither give nor take electrons, thus remaining essentially electronically neutral. Sometimes, however, a slight charge can still materialize. If the application at hand exists in an extreme voltage situation, anti-static brushes with such a charge should only be used in a liquid environment. Natural bristle materials include wood, hog bristle, horse hair, camel hair, ox hair and goat hair. A brush with these materials may be used in an electrostatic discharge (ESD) sensitive area as long as the brush remains in a liquid environment.
Other materials from which anti-static brushes can be made include brass, stainless steel, carbon, anti static nylon, conductive nylon or high density nylon. Custom anti-static brush fibers are available in numerous length and densities. In order to maintain and lengthen the lifespan of a brush, it is best to use the softest fill material appropriate for a job.
Anti-static brushes are helpful because many equipment issues, like material flow interruption, are caused by static electricity problems. Anti-static brushes can be customized or bought from a standard stock line. Standard anti static brush types include: applicator brushes, strip brushes, vacuum brushes, aluminum handle brushes, hand laced brushes, plywood handle brushes, curved wood scratch brushes, long handle brushes, flat scrub brushes, wood block brushes, rectangular block brushes and upright brushes.
Artist brushes are high quality brushes that serve a variety of artistic and industrial applications. Offering many benefits, artistic brushes have the ability to form a sharp tip, which allows for precisely placed painting media. In addition, artistic brushes have the ability to hold and dispense paint predictably, which allows for excellent control of paint flow. Since many of the benefits of artistic brushes are derived from their bristles, high quality bristle materials are required.
There are five main types of artist brushes: flat brushes, bright brushes, round brushes, Filbert brushes and sable brushes. In flat brushes the shape of the brush is relatively wide but not very thick. In addition, flat brushes can have either long or short bristles. A flat brush can produce both broad brushstrokes and thin brushstrokes. Also, flat brushes work best with oil, acrylics and alkyd media. Bright brushes have the same brush shape as a flat brush but typically have shorter bristles. Bright brushes create short, controlled brush stroke and work best with heavy paints such as oils. Round brushes can be either fat or fine brushes. Fat round brushes produce thick brush strokes, while fine round brushes work well for outlining and detail painting. Round brushes are greatly affected by hand pressure and provide excellent control of oil and other heavy paints. Filbert brushes are highly versatile thick brushes with an oval-shaped top edge and flat ferrule, which is the metal band that holds the bristles to the handle.
Also called flue brushes, bottle brushes are a type of brush in which the bristles radiate from a central stem and are most commonly used for cleaning hard to reach areas in bottles. Designed for strength and long term use, bottle brushes can also be used to clean holes after drilling; they can also be used to clean air and water purification systems as well as the interior surfaces of test tubes. Test tube brushes differ slightly from typical bottle brushes in that they offer tufted ends that provide effective cleaning of test tube bottoms.
There are a wide variety of bottle brush configurations because they are designed to work best for various bottle shapes, specifically ensuring the right size to get into the bottle's neck. Typically linear, some bottle brushes are curved to better suit the shape of the bottle. Different bottle types and shapes that bottle brushes are used to clean include water bottles, baby bottles, thermos bottles, vinegar bottles, narrow-necked bottles, coffee cups, carboys, flasks or beakers. Bottle brushes are useful in a broad range of industries including laboratory, pharmaceutical, residential, food processing, industrial, medical, electronics and petrochemical.
Brooms are bristled, long-handled cleaning brushes used for the collection and disposal of dust and debris in places of business, homes and in public spaces. Brooms are the most limited of all brush varieties in terms of their use on an industrial scale. Every broom variety must be operated manually, which constrains their use to light duty cleaning applications almost exclusively. Within that context, though, brooms are very effective and have enjoyed prominent roles as cleaning tools in homes and businesses since antiquity.
Brooms can be assembled in a few configurations. The most common variety is the traditional sweep broom. A sweep broom is a collection of bristles connected directly to a handle. The bristles can be simply tied around the handle, as is the case with besom brooms, or they can be tied around the handle and fanned out into a flat shape by weaving them. These brooms are swept back and forth manually and are a good tool for sweeping small areas. These two broom varieties are not the most ergonomic and can cause neck and back discomfort after sustained use.
Carbon brushes are electromechanical conducting devices that connect to moving parts to provide an electric current and are found in motors, generators, and alternators. Their basic application is for machines that run on AC or DC currents, which can include automotive motors and household appliances.
In households, carbon brushes can be found in power tools and gardening equipment. Vacuum cleaners, hair dryers, and washers and dryers commonly use this type of brush. Micro-carbon brushes have been perfected for us in toys and electric razors as well as audio and video equipment. In their miniature form, they are placed inside a battery operated motor to send power with the least amount of friction.
Cars generally use carbon brushes for their DC motors such as starters and alternators. Automotive carbon brushes supply current to the wire coils of an alternator and are found in passenger vehicles, motorcycles, and trucks. Specially designed types are used in steering wheels and airbag contacts.
Industrial carbon brushes are used on large commutator machines, in which the current between the rotor and external circuit is periodically reversed. The brushes connect the generator to the rotor through the commutator, which has copper segments or lands.
The brushes bear the brunt of wear and tear between the rotating rotor and the non- moving generator conducting electricity between them. A requirement of industrial carbon brushes is the ability to withstand drastic changes in temperature and endure extreme conditions.
Cleaning brushes were assumed to be the first form of brush. As civilizations developed, it became necessary to keep living spaces clean. Trying to clean a house by hand was too time consuming and inefficient. Somewhere along the line, an inventive person took a branch and tied some form of bristles to it to be used much like a modern day broom.
As time has progressed, more efficient methods have developed such as the street sweeper with its array of circular brushes. For centuries, streets of cities were cleaned by wandering trash men who picked up pieces of garbage and swept up dust, much like they do at Disneyland today. In 1896, an industrious gentleman from New Jersey developed the self-propelled street sweeper that is similar to the ones in use today thus revolutionizing the cleaning of city streets.
In this age of technology, our electronic instruments have to be cleared of dust and dirt to be able to work properly. To that end, a wide assortment of brushes have been developed to clean keyboards and delicate circuit boards. As with paint brushes, they come in multiple sizes designed for specific cleaning purposes. Some of the more specialized ones are anti-static and conductive brushes developed for protection of electrical components.
Other brushes that fit into the cleaning category are bottle, spiral, and pipe brushes. Bottle brushes are handy for getting into enclosed spaces that have limited access while pipe brushes are used to clean pipes having a buildup of sedimentary materials. Spiral brushes are similar to bottle brushes and come with a variety of bristles and handles.
Conveyor brushes are a secondary cleaner that can normally be used on any type of conveyor belt, though they are particularly well-suited to nonskid and cleated applications. Tools that can either be stationary or rotary, conveyor brushes can be positioned so that they contact the belt very lightly. This prevents them from wearing against belts or other raised belt components. Conveyor brushes take many forms, in order to clean a variety of materials, like powders and dusts. Such forms include spiral coils, spiral wound on core, and strips and scrapers. Each of these conveyor brushes has a different strength.
A conveyor cleaning brush should be installed on the outlet end of the conveyor, after and below the head roller or rollers. Additionally, the brush should be mounted in proximity to a support roller for consistent brush surface pressure. The second factor to consider is design width and diameter. A conveyor brush should have enough room that, when installed, it is wide enough to overlap each side of the belt surface by half an inch. This ensures complete coverage and accommodation of normal belt weave. The next thing to consider is size and selection of fill material. After that, a potential customer must consider brush density. Then, he or she must consider refillable versus replaceable and integral versus removable shaft. Finally, a customer must consider operating size and speed.
A cup brush is used in light and medium duty applications to clean flat or irregular surfaces as well as bevel buffing. There are several manufacturing styles for cup brushes. A traditional cup brush just has steel wires extending from it in a circle all the way around the head. For more heavy duty uses, cup brushes are made with a series of spiraled steel wires that are more like thick cables.
Miniature cup brushes connected to a long arm are also made to clean hard to reach areas or components. The mounting portion of cup brush usually has a threaded hole or a stem that can be fitted into a drill head or some other rotation machine. A cup brush with a threaded nut is usually designed specifically for use with an angle grinder for smooth and efficient operation. Most power tools that are used with cup brushes have varying speeds to help control the operation of the brush.
Cylinder brushes are typically found in industrial applications where large objects need to be cleaned using an automated system. The wires of the brush are installed all the way around a cylinder that is usually mounted on a bar where it can rotate a full 360 degrees. Sometimes cylinder brushes are mounted directly over conveyor belts to scrub objects as they pass underneath, or they can be mounted vertically and clean objects by moving beside them. An automated car wash uses large cylinder brushes that are vertically mounted to clean the sides of a vehicle.
Small cylinder brushes are used for finer applications like cleaning the circuit board of a computer before it is installed in its plastic or metal housing and paired with the rest of the assembly. For computers to function properly once they reach consumers, manufacturers need to ensure that no dirt particles have entered the components during the fabrication process. Small amounts of dirt could disrupt connections and hinder the computer’s function. A small cylinder brush can be rolled over the circuit board to remove loose particles and clean the part without damaging it.
The acronym ESD stands for Electro Static Discharge. Many electronic products are vulnerable to damage from static electricity, so ESD brushes are made using materials that dissipate static energy and avoid producing static electricity while brushing. This is important to manufacturers who need to clean or repair electronic products without damaging their components through accidental electro static discharge. Not all ESD brushes are the same because the materials used to create them are chosen specifically for particular applications to insulate, conduct or dissipate an electrostatic discharge.
Applications for ESD brushes include: solder removal, dusting, board prep, lead trimming, edge connector cleaning and static dissipation. Most of these brushes are very small because they are used to clean or treat very small surface areas. They are typically just operated by hand using a back and forth or side to side motion. To stiffen the brush, shorter trim lengths are used. In the same way, longer trim lengths are used to make the brush more flexible.
Custom-made brushes have become a necessity in industry. When applying a liquid or malleable product, a specific type of brush is required to apply the material evenly but not damage the product. In the food industry, a variety of brushes are used to ensure that food producing equipment is clean and sanitized.
In any manufacturing industry, the smooth movement of raw materials from one location to another is essential to save time and keep production moving. The movement of materials can be performed by augers. Also, conveyor systems use brushes to keep the belts clean and clear of obstructions. Since different fiber thicknesses and materials can be used to make brushes, it is possible to design custom brushes to clean even the most delicate electrical components. Businesses that have access to the outdoors use brushes as a barrier against pests. In other instances, they can serve as cable guides and seals.
Brushes can be used to close gaps around doors keeping in heat or cold and reducing electrical costs. An added feature of brushes around doors is their ability to dampen noise from vibrations and assist in maintaining a quiet environment. Since brushes help in sealing doors, they can also be used to direct air flow, aid in controlling dust, or seal gaps between moving surfaces.
Food production uses brushes for more than keeping equipment clean. Produce has to be cleaned prior to being used for a recipe. The simple process of washing the raw fruits and vegetables with water is not sufficient to remove all contaminants. A variety of equipment with brushes are used to scrub the exterior of the vegetables and fruit before preparation.
In the health professions, cleaning brushes are used to increase cleanliness and ensure an antiseptic environment. Surgeons, prior to putting on their surgical gloves, scrub their hands and arms with specially designed brushes using sterilized soap. This added level of protection removes the possibility of contaminating the patient or the surgical theater.
There are many varieties of brushes that are used in the construction industry since keeping work areas clean is a necessity for safety and efficiency. In the roofing industry, several types of brooms are used to clean the surface before and after application of roofing material. Though blowers have become popular in cleaning the work area of a construction site, some form of broom or brush is used to clean areas that are in progress and prepare them for finishing.
Knot wire brushes
Knot wire brushes come in several forms and can be added to any of the various types of brushes from the handheld paint brush variety to a disk or cylinder brush. They are made of partially twisted bristles that are attached to a holder by a shaft or handle. They are perfect for removing slag, heavy contamination, and large burrs. In most cases, they have stainless steel bristles designed to remove stray material but does not leave a Residue.
One of the valuable purposes of knot wire brushes is to remove slag left behind from a welding job especially on finished surfaces. Regardless of the type of welding material, a knot wire brush is coarse and rough enough to remove it easily. It has to be kept in mind that this is not a precise tool and can do serious damage if overused.
Knot wire brushes come in a variety of sizes from two or three inches up to several inches and can be chosen depending on the job. Smaller versions can be attached to a hand drill for household jobs requiring stiff abrasion while larger versions are used in industry to deburr and clean metal pieces.
Miniature brushes are used by artists to add the finishing touches to a craft or painting because their small tips make it possible to add very small details. Miniature applicator brushes can be used to apply a coat of paint or sealant to a small part and they make it very easy to cover even the tiniest spaces on the surface. In industrial settings like factories and fabrication plants, miniature brushes are used to clean equipment or restore parts to their original function and appearance. A variety of materials can be used to create the brush, from wire to plastic to synthetics. The softest material possible is usually chosen for polishing applications, while heavier more harsh materials like stainless steel wire are needed from deburring and cleaning contaminants off of metal surfaces.
Nylon brushes are any type of brush with filaments made from the polymer nylon. Nylon is one of the most frequently used materials in brush creation, for good reason. Brushes made with this nylon filament gain the polymer properties of excellent bend recovery, high heat tolerance, superior abrasion resistance and above average chemical resistance. In addition, they gain and wield positive nylon characteristics such as: exceptional fatigue life, low to moderate water absorption and the ability to work in both wet and dry environments. Thanks to their many wonderful qualities, there are many types of applications nylon brushes can serve, including the cleaning and removing of contaminants, dusting, aggressive scrubbing, surface finishing, rough surface preparation and weld blending, and also speciality industrial applications.
There are many types of nylon that may be used to create a nylon brush. In fact, the properties of a nylon brush, such as its stiffness, are directly related to its bristle grade, length and diameter. A few common nylon grades include 6 and 12. Nylon 6 is known for its toughness, high tensile strength, elasticity, wrinkle-proof nature, luster and resistance to acids and alkalis. Nylon 12 is selected for applications that will benefit from its characteristics of chemical resistance, hardness, tensile stress and insensitivity to stress cracking. Nylon 610 and Nylon 612, or 6 10 and 6 12, respectively, are the most commonly used nylon polymers for filaments. In addition to grades, nylon brush manufacturers make use of many speciality types of nylon, such as abrasive nylon and conductive nylon. Abrasive nylon is created when heat stabilized nylon is coextruded with grains of material that increase abrasiveness, like diamond, aluminum oxide or silicon carbide.
Pipe brushes are used in plumbing and equipment maintenance applications to clean pipes or other hard to reach areas. The brush is usually attached to a long, thin piece of metal that can be inserted deep into a pipe. Ideally the diameter of the brush is equal to or greater than the diameter of the pipe. This way the wires of the brush will push up against the walls of the pipe and remove any dirt or other buildup when they are twisted or pushed up and down. Sometimes using a pipe brush is enough to remove the obstruction in a pipe and restore an even flow for commercial or residential plumbing.
Pipe brushes are also used as part of an automated cleaning system in recycling plants to thoroughly clean bottles and other containers that will be reused in the future. Rather than having a handle on the end, these brushes are attached to a motor that rotates them at high speeds. There are several other types of pipe brushes including double-stem, side-action, and micro spiral. Pipe brushes can be made with a variety of materials for light to heavy duty applications. For heavy duty dirt and contamination removal, wire brush bristles are best because they will scrape the walls of a pipe clean.
Polishing brushes come in a variety of sizes and are used to clean everything from jewelry to cars to shoes to stainless steel dishware. A polishing brush is usually much less abrasive than a wire brush because it is used on the surface after it has already been cleaned. The goal of polishing is to make the object shine and give it a brand new, finished appearance. Nylon filaments are often used to make a brush that is both soft and effective. If a product in an assembly line is polished with an automated brush before being packaged, the brush needs to be durable because it will experience repeated and continual use.
Polishing brushes can be made as roller or cylinder brushes that are attached to a motor and rotate rapidly to polish the surface of any objects that come in contact with them. They can also be made in cup and disc shapes of varying sizes to be attached to a hand drill or some other power tool. These convenient polishing brush attachments make it easy for anyone with a drill to quickly and professionally polish objects.
Power brushes are metal or abrasive nylon filament brushes used to deburr parts during initial phases of the surface finishing process. Designed for precision cutting action, power brushes are mounted in several different shapes that achieve specific precision deburring; wheel, cup, end, wide face cylinder and internal twisted-in wire are the most common power brush configurations.
Power brushes are attached to grinders, lathes, drills or automated machinery that spin at high speeds to achieve deburring and cutting action. A wide variety ranging from forged tools and machined parts to stainless steel tubes and computer parts can be deburred using power brushes. Fill material, or "filament," is crucial in power brushes, since many industrial processes depend on the ability of a power brush to properly remove burrs and sharp edges from parts so they can perform uniformly and safely.
A roller brush is used in commercial and industrial settings to clean parts or equipment. The brush is usually mounted on an axis that is spun mechanically or by hand to scrub the surface of an object. Roller brushes can vary in length and diameter, and they are sometimes referred to as cylinder brushes. The brush itself can be made out of soft or abrasive materials depending on the cleaning needs of the industry or business. Roller brushes can often be found somewhere along the assembly line in a factory and they make clean parts that move underneath on conveyor belts.
Roller brushes are used in automated car washes to scrub vehicles. The brushes roll along both sides of the vehicle, removing dirt from the surface. These particular roller brushes are very large and they are fitted with very soft brush material so that they do not scratch the paint of a car. The roll of a roller brush is made out of heavy duty plastic or metal that has small holes cut throughout it to house the brush material. A rod runs through the center for mounting purposes and this rod is connected to a motor that turns the brush if the brush is powered by electricity.
Rotary brushes can come in a couple of forms such as a cylinder design where bristles in some form are wrapped around a cylinder or long tube. Other forms are mounted on a round flat piece of material such as wood, plastic, or metal. This type has a circular motion and can be found in floor polishers and scrubbers.
Cylindrical rotary brushes have a variety of uses from the household vacuum cleaner to an addition to a conveyor to keep the belt clean. The types of cylindrical rotary brushes varies. In one form, a covering of metal is applied to the cylinder like a blanket and can be very coarse. In another form, it can have bristles like a broom that are attached in rows across the length of the cylinder. The turning of the cylinder is normally driven by a belt or set of gears.
A rotary brush, commonly known as a disk brush, that is mounted on a round platform comes in several types depending on the job. They usual are attached to a motor by a shaft. The shaft can be attached to the motor or the mounting platform. This form of rotary brush comes in several sizes with some being small enough to be attached to a hand drill to those that are large enough to be connected to a street sweeper.
Specialized varieties are capable of controlling the speed of the rotation depending on the surface being treated.
A rotating brush is used in conjunction with a machine that spins it on a cylinder or on a ring. This spinning motion cleans objects that come in contact with the brush’s bristles. These brushes can be found on shoe polishers, street cleaners, conveyor belts, runway sweepers and more. Rotating brushes can be manufactured in a variety of configurations and they are usually made to be replaceable once the bristles wear out from too much use. Over time, bristles that were sharp and stiff will become dull and weak, making them ineffective for most cleaning jobs. Soft rotating brushes can be used to polish or smooth out a surface, like the body of a car.
Rotating brushes are used in heavy equipment that is mobile or stationary. In stationary equipment, it can be mounted horizontally over a table or vertically on a pole. When brushes are installed vertically, two brushes spin parallel to each other and objects are passed in between them for thorough cleaning. In mobile equipment like a street sweeper, there are usually gutter brooms on the outside that spin inward, guiding the dirt to a large rotating brush that sweeps it into the street sweeper’s vacuum system. A rotating brush can also be made using stainless steel wire for heavy duty cleaning and deburring applications.
A critical component in the solving of crimes are brushes that are used to scan the scene of a crime in search of clues. Using a form of powder and special lighting, surfaces are brushed for fingerprints and other clues. As with the other forms of brushes, there are several types of forensic brushes with some of them being similar to paint brushes and others somewhat like makeup ones. The one unusual type from this field is a brush that is very similar to a feather duster that has very soft bristles.
Though archeology employs shovels and spades for digging, when they reach the site of a find, they have to use brushes to remove soil and keep the site clean. Some of the vital tools for these discoveries are brushes that range from toothbrush types to ones that are similar to paint brushes of varying sizes with very fine bristles. They are the main tools of archeology for their precision and gentle design.
As the centuries have passed, many of the ancient artifacts have had to be cleaned to preserve them for future generations. The process of renewing that which is old takes a great deal of time and patience. A perfect example of this is the restoration of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, which was a huge undertaking requiring years of slow and tedious work. The project began in 1980 and ended in 1994. The frescoes had to be bathed with distilled water and washed with an extremely mild cleanser that was gently applied with very soft brushes.
Specialty cleaning brushes
There are several varieties of brushes that have unique functions for special jobs. In most cases, these specialty tools are designed to perform one job on a particular application. They come in a variety of sizes and types having several different functions. Bore Brushes can be hand or machine-operated. They are large diameter blind hole brushes designed to clean the walls and bottom of holes. When a spiral brush cannot successfully complete a task, bore brushes are used to replace them when spiral brushes are not sturdy or strong enough to do the job. Bore brushes are thicker and more abrasive with the ability to attack highly resistant materials.
Car wash brushes have bristles much like a standard broom. The bristles can be made of different materials and vary in size and shape. Unlike standard push brooms, car wash brushes are shaped in a V-pattern allowing them to clean at multiple angles. One variety of car wash brush is the mop head form, which are good when there is concern about scratching the surface of a vehicle.
Spiral brushes are one type of the many types of brushes available to help a variety of customers, from industrial parts manufacturers, to medical professionals, to food processing specialists, to lab workers, clean and treat surfaces and hard-to-reaches places. As one might guess, spiral brushes are characterized by their spiral bristle configuration and cylindrical shape. Some of the most common applications of spiral brushes include: conveyor belt cleaning, deburring, bottle and flue cleaning, polishing and swabbing. Brushes that commonly qualify as spiral brushes also include cylinder brushes, wheel brushes, coiled strip brushes and twisted knot wheel brushes.
For as many spiral brush configuration options as there are, there are twice as many spiral brush bristle material options. Bristle material choice is always determined by a brush’s intended application. For example, if a spiral brush is intended to deburr, it must be made with a strong metal material that will not erode easily or substantially when it comes in contact with another metal.
Steel brushes are used in a wide variety of industrial settings because their bristly steel wires are capable of heavy duty cleaning or deburring. They can also be used for finer finishing work like polishing. Brushes of various sizes are used to remove rust from metal, remove contamination or deburr a rough surface. Carbon steel brushes are used because they are highly durable and have an excellent cutting ability. Carbon steel on a brush makes a great tool for general metal cleaning purposes. Other steel brushes are made out of stainless steel wire. The benefit of this is that the stainless steel is both heat resistant and corrosive resistant. This makes a good tool for cleaning or roughing a surface before adhesion.
Strip brushes are long, thin brushes used for a variety of conveyor product cleaning, sealing and surfacing applications in industrial, commercial and some consumer product contexts. Sometimes referred to as channel back brushes, strip brushes can be composed of natural, polymer or metal bristles securely clamped by aluminum or steel channels.
Strip Brushes can be coiled to form cylindrical coil brushes, outside disks, inverted disks and cup brushes. Other types of strip brushes can be designed to seal doors, windows, conveyor edges, cleanroom doors and other cracks and openings that require a flexible seal. A strip brush’s properties and configuration determine how it will be applied. A strip brush can be as simple as a straight strip used to seal the gap between a door and its frame, or it can be mounted to a tube along with several other strip brushes to form a power brush attachment. They can be twisted around to form spiral brushes, and they can be bent into a circle and attached to form a circular brush.
Sweepers are floor cleaning machines used in many industrial, commercial and public settings to provide safer and cleaner work environments, homes and public spaces. Sweepers can be designed for indoor use on carpet as well as hard surfaces, and it can also be designed for outdoor use on small and large scales. Simple, hand-operated sweepers can be rolled over carpeted floors in order to pick up dirt and debris.
All sweepers, regardless of their size or application, are equipped with brushes. Different types of brushes are designed for street sweeping, indoor sweeping, floor scrubbing, buffing and polishing, all of which are done far more quickly and with far less labor cost when performed with industrial sweepers than when performed by hand. Industrial vacuum sweepers may be large street trucks with sweeping attachments, they may be much smaller riding models for sidewalks, street gutters and large warehouse floors, or they may be even smaller walk-behind models only for indoor floor cleaning.
Tube brushes are used in plumbing and other equipment maintenance/cleaning applications to clean tubes or hard to reach areas. A tube brush is attached to a long, thin piece of metal that can be inserted deep into a long tube. Ideally, the diameter of the brush is at least equal to the diameter of the tube. The wires of the brush will push up against the walls of the tube and remove any dirt or other buildup when they are twisted or pushed up and down.
Tube brushes are also used as part of an automated cleaning system in recycling plants to thoroughly clean bottles and other containers that will be reused in the future. Rather than having a handle on the end, these brushes are attached to a machine that rotates them at high speeds. There are several other types of tube brushes for specific applications. A double stem tube brush can be made from a variety of wire or synthetic materials and is more durable than a single stem. A side action brush has a strong stainless steel stem and provides a high degree of stiffness.
Wheel brushes are circular brushes that are commonly used for deburring parts during initial phases of the surface finishing process and polishing during the final phases. Wheel brushes offer a straight line brushing action and are most often attached to and powered by grinders, lathes, drills or automated machinery. This machinery allows wheel brushes to spin at high speeds, thus achieving the desired action.
The basic wheel brush configuration is that of the wheel hub and the bristles. In the center of the wheel hub is an arbor hole, which is the central hole in a wheel brush through which the arbor fits. An arbor is a spindle or shaft that supports a gear or wheel and an arbor hole is typically either cast or reamed into the wheel hub. The most common method of construction for wheel brushes is to place a piece of material over holes that are either drilled or molded into the wheel hub, securing that material with a metal staple at each hole, folding the material over and creating bristles.
Wheel Cleaning Brushes
Wheel cleaning brushes are used for cleaning in industries like agriculture, solar energy, aerospace, firearms, glass processing, woodworking and more. Because wheel cleaning brushes can be purchased in a variety of sizes and used with regular power tools, they are a cost efficient and highly controllable method for polishing and cleaning delicate or intricate parts. They are useful in many industrial applications, but they are also utilized by hobbyists and handymen who use them to put the finishing touches on a new project. Small wheel cleaning brushes are also useful in equipment maintenance when machines in an industrial setting have to be taken apart and cleaned from time to time. Often the many small parts and shapes of a machine make it difficult to reach many areas, but a wheel cleaning brush helps to do that effectively.
Manufacturers of wheel cleaning brushes usually offer custom solutions to major clients who need brushes that match the specifications of their equipment. Sometimes accessories are no longer manufactured for old equipment that is still in use, so a custom wheel brush can be ordered to fit the machine. Product engineers can take the exact specifications of the old brush and design something the same or similar that works with the existing machine.
Wire brushes are brushes manufactured with a collection of metal bristles that help them tackle aggressive surface cleaning tasks, as well as surface treating tasks, such abrasion and deburring. Composed of a mounting area and the collection of bristles, wire brushes are available in many different configurations appropriate for uses from household applications to industrial jobs. These configurations include machine-operated or power, handheld, broom, cup, spiral, strip, twisted knot, wheel wire brushes and more.
In addition to shape, size and metal type, wire brushes may either have crimped or knotted wire brushes. Crimped wire brushes allow wire to break cleanly and evenly as it wears, thus creating fresh and new cutting edges as time goes on. They are preferred for cleaning, polishing, edge blending and generally creating finished appearances. Most cup brushes, end brushes and wheel brushes have crimped bristles. Knotted wire brushes, on the other hand, are better at attacking aggressive brush action jobs, such as rough surface preparation, weld cleaning and heavy flash removal.
The types and kinds of brushes are growing as new applications and needs arise. As with all tools, it is important to make the right selection of the correct form of brush for the work to be completed. Though it is easy to reach for common and popular brushes, there may be a better and more specific one available.