Cleaning brushes are vital components of industrial manufacturing processes that involve cleaning. Consisting of bristles connected to a handle, cleaning brushes are more useful for abrasive cleaning than other types of cleaning equipment, such as sponges. Cleaning brushes are also able to reach more areas with difficult accessibility. In industrial applications, cleaning usually involves processes such as rust or dirt removal, thread cleaning, removing metal chips, bore cleaning, scraping and dusting.
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Design of Cleaning Brushes
Cleaning brushes can be used to clean just about any item or product that needs to be cleaned in some way, shape or form. With the ability to choose from various shapes, sizes, and materials, there is sure to be a brush perfect for the job. When brushed up against a surface, cleaning brush bristles help to lift and remove any particles, substances, or dirt from that surface to make it clean. These brushes can be made small and thin enough to clean out a piece of small tubing, or large enough to clean a chimney or deck of a boat. Bristles can be hard, soft, or anywhere in between. Handles can be long, short, and made out of many different materials as well. A brush should be selected based on the application or job that is at hand.
Types of Cleaning Brushes
There are two main types of cleaning brushes: twisted-in wire brushes and bristle brushes.
- Twisted-In Wire Brushes
- Made by taking a length of wire doubled over, placing the bristles in between the top and bottom of the doubled over wire, and twisting it up similar to a rubber band. The piece of twisted wire is most commonly made from galvanized steel, stainless steel, aluminum or brass.
- Bristle Brushes
- Made by placing a piece of material over holes that are either drilled or molded into a block and securing that material with a metal staple at each hole, folding the material over and creating bristles. The handles in bristle brushes are typically made of wood or injection molded plastic such as polypropylene. Within the two main types of cleaning brushes, there are many varieties of application-specific brushes such as tube brushes, bottle cleaning brushes, duct cleaning brushes, flask brushes, decanter cleaning brushes and utility brushes. One of the most important aspects for application-specific cleaning brushes is the type of bristle materials used. Cleaning brush bristles are constructed from a variety of natural and synthetic fibers, including nylon, horsehair, polyester and polypropylene; in fact, many types of polypropylene are used, including closed cell foam and non-woven. However, they may also be made from metals such as galvanized steel, bronze, brass and stainless steel for intensive industrial cleaning applications.
- Bottle Brushes
- Commonly used by new moms to thoroughly clean out a baby’s bottle. Nylon bristles, a non-slip handle, suction base, and bright colors for an attractive appearance are features of this cleaning brush.
- Chimney Brushes
- Chimneys are a place filled with dirt, smoke, and soot build up. It is important to keep the chimney clear and clean with a chimney brush to prevent fires and other dangerous toxins from entering a home or building. Chimney brushes are made with strong bristles from materials like tempered steel wire or polypropylene. It is important that the bristles on these brushes are harsh because chimney build up can be very stuck on and stubborn to remove.
- Toilet Bowl Brushes
- Typically made out of plastic and contain a rounded head of bristles. Many are stored in holders next to a toilet to hide the brush to make it look nicer in a bathroom. There are many more applications where cleaning brushes are used and new uses are created everyday.
Applications of Cleaning Brushes
Cleaning brushes are typically used to clean objects or parts such as ducts, hoses, instruments, tubes, ultrasonic cleaners, glassware, pipes, bottles, jars, conveyor belts and semiconductor wafers. Able to be used in both heavy duty and lighter tasks, cleaning brushes, such as brooms and cleanroom brushes, have no substitutes in the industrial manufacturing world, and are a vital part of many processes. Almost all industries require the use of cleaning brushes; some examples include textile, food processing, pharmaceutical, electronics, commercial, automotive, aerospace, semiconductor and medical.