Materials and features of manual brushes

Brushes for hand work are useful in many situations, such as polishing materials, removing rust, caring for machine tools, and polishing, etc. Each material used for the brush part has its own characteristics, so you should choose the right brush for the right purpose and use. This article will introduce the types and characteristics of manual brushes.

Materials and features of manual brushes

The following is a list of typical materials used for manual brushes. Please understand the features and select the material that best suits your application and the place where it will be used.

Wire

  • Wire refers to metal wire, but the term ‘wire brush’ generally refers to brushes made of copper wire. Wire brushes are cold drawn to increase their hardness, making them highly abrasive and suitable for rough work. They also have good grinding power and are used for rust removal. Plated types are also available.
  • Main applications: rust removal, paint stripping, deburring, base treatment for plating, various polishing operations, etc.

Vinyl chloride

  • Among plastic materials, it is excellent in elasticity and flexibility. It absorbs little water and does not rust. For this reason, it is used for simple stain removal. It is not affected by acids or alkalis, but is not suitable for use in places with high temperatures. It is weak in tensile strength and wears relatively quickly.
  • Main applications: dust collection, vehicle washing, vegetable and fruit washing, and glazing of painted surfaces.

Pig hair

  • Among animal fibers, it is particularly excellent in elasticity and flexibility. It does not generate static electricity easily and does not rust. Since it is a natural material, its length is limited, but it is suitable for dusting and simple stain removal, and can also be used as a brush. However, care must be taken, as acids and alkalis may cause aging.
  • Main applications: cleaning and dusting of utensils and equipment, washing of bottles, etc., glazing of plated products and plastic products, etc., dyeing, etc.

Brass

  • Among metal bristles, it is thin and soft to the touch. Since it is hard to scratch, it is mainly used for polishing brass and copper, and for grain removal. On the other hand, it is not suitable for removing stubborn rust. There are straight-haired and frizzy-haired types.
  • Main applications: polishing of brass and copper, grain removal of woodwork, polishing and finishing of alloy products, etc.

Stainless steel

  • It is an alloy steel to which nickel and other metals have been added, and is extremely resistant to rust. It is relatively strong and powerful. It has excellent resistance to acid, alkali, and heat, and is less likely to break, making it suitable for grinding under high temperature conditions or in acid or alkaline solutions. It is also characterized by some magnetism during processing. Straight and frizzy hair types are available.
  • Main applications: polishing of wet areas in the kitchen/toilet/bathroom, stainless steel products, aluminum products, etc.

Steel

  • An alloy of iron and trace amounts of carbon, it is slightly stronger than iron. It has tensile strength and tenacity, making it suitable for abrasive work and rust removal. Straight and frizzy hair types are available.
  • Main applications: polishing of wet areas in the kitchen/toilet/bathroom, stainless steel products, aluminum products, etc.

Nylon

  • It is a representative chemical fiber with excellent abrasion resistance and durability. It is mainly used for cleaning because it is resistant to alkalinity and microorganisms, and is resistant to gasoline, detergents, while it dissolves in strong acids and phenols.
  • Main applications: vehicle cleaning, cleaning of belt conveyors and printers, etc., cleaning of bottles, etc., woodworking surface polishing, etc.

Polypropylene

  • It is a chemical fiber stiffer than nylon. It has excellent elasticity and flexural recovery, but one aspect is that it is prone to vertical movement during use and wears quickly. Compared to nylon, it does not absorb water and is hardly affected by acids and alkalis. For this reason, it is mainly used for cleaning. It is insoluble in general solvents.
  • Main applications: vehicle washing, polishing, cleaning of belt conveyors, polishing machines, etc.

Horse hair

  • It is softer than pig hair and has moderate strength. Parts such as tail hairs and standing hairs are used as bristle material for various types of brushes and bristles. Because it is a natural material, its softness, length, and thickness are not constant, but it does not easily generate static electricity and is suitable for dusting. Although it has a little more chemical resistance than chemical fibers, it may cause aging with acids and alkalis.
  • Main applications: cleaning and dusting of utensils and equipment, washing of bottles, etc., glazing of plated products, plastic products, dyeing, etc.

Summary

Manual brushes such as hand brushes, gold-handled brushes, bamboo brushes, oval brushes, etc., are essential for workers in the field. Select brushes suitable for your work and take good care of them to ensure long-term use.