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Brush Applications - Brushes 101


Brushes perform optimally in a number of different areas including cleaning, moving, sorting, deburring, finishing, sealing and protecting. Select a brush type below to learn more about the spectacular range of brush applications and how they can work for you.

Abrasive nylon brushes are ideal for any common applications requiring cleaning, deburring and polishing. Some of the applications pertaining to specific abrasive brushes include:

Wheel brushes are ideal are deburring machined castings, turbine blades, cam shafts, machined parts, edges on saw-cut extrusions, powdered metal components and gears, part finishing and sharpening for cutting tool inserts, edge radiusing on parts, surface finishing on steel, stainless steel, aluminum, brass and other materials, light cleaning and polishing for ferrous and non-ferrous parts.

Abrasive Wheel Disc

Disc brushes are used for deburring fine-blanked parts, edge radiusing on fine-blanked parts, polishing machined parts and surfaces, deburring cast engine blocks, airframe components, wheel rims, tubing and aluminum extrusions, blending tool marks and finishing flat machined surfaces, generating specific edge radii on tooth profiles of machined gears, surface preparation and finishing on metal and wood, deburring and finishing cast aluminum wheel rims, deburring and edge radiusing aluminum engine heads, removing burrs and sharp edges on machined flat surfaces of cast aluminum engine intake manifolds, surface finishing and burr removal on hydraulic components, rust and scale removal, scrubbing and cleaning steel and aluminum sheets, clean pre-cast concrete molds, finishing surfaces prior to painting, plating or powder coating, sanding and texturing wood surfaces.

Twisted brushes are used for deburring cross-hole intersections in machined valve bodies and manifolds, deburring camshaft bores and crankcase bores, debris removal and cleaning internal bores on cast engine blocks, finishing and polishing small inside diameter holes on machined parts, deburring and cleaning inner walls of tubing and pipes

Abrasive Twisted

Metal-back strip brushes are used for deburring cast engine blocks, defuzzing wood flooring, finishing flat metal surfaces, polishing and finishing aluminum cans and more.

Abrasive Strip

Ferrule end brushes are perfect for deburring, cleaning, polishing, and finishing metal surfaces and parts.

Ferrule end brushes

BRUSH ADAPTERS

Tanis offers our slip-fit Abrasive Nylon Wheel Brush Adapters for mounting nylon abrasive wheel brushes onto smaller shafts on hand drills, drill presses and automated machinery. We adapters available in either standard face (1-1/4” brush I.D.) or wide face (2” brush I.D.). Sold separately in packs of two.

Brush Adapters

OPERATIONAL CONSIDERATIONS

SPEED

Abrasive nylon brushes function at optimum effectiveness when operated at speeds that allow for relatively deep penetration of the filament into the work piece. An optimal brush life and cutting action can be achieved by finding a balance between brush speed (RPM), part penetration and line speed. Faster speeds do not typically work as well as slower speeds and the maximum RPM indicated on the brush is not the ideal working speed. Lower speeds and lighter pressure extend the brush life, while generating less heat and requiring less power.

Recommended maximum speed for abrasive wheel and disc brushes is below 3,500 SFPM (Surface Feet per Minute).

It is recommended to use a more aggressive brush in applications requiring higher brush speeds and increased pressure and can be done simply by doing one or more of the following:

  • Increasing the grit size and filament diameter
  • Changing filament shape
  • Increasing fill density
  • Decreasing the trim length
  • Increasing the brush diameter
  • Slowing the line speed

WHEEL BRUSH PENETRATION

As the abrasive nylon wheel brush is operating, the filaments flex to all the angles and contours of the part. As the filaments conform to the work piece, the sides of the filament perform the work. Wheel life is optimized when the part is virtually encompassed by a slower moving brush face to achieve maximum aggression, burr removal and edge radius. While operating a brush wheel it is recommended to penetrate the work piece 1/8” deep into the brush face.

Wheel Brush Penetration

DISC BRUSH PENETRATION

As the abrasive nylon disc brush is operating, the interference depth will create optimum results maximizing the brush life and aggression. The recommended penetration depth should begin at 0.100” and the feed rate at 18”/minute. Adjustments should be made to achieve the most efficient operational conditions.

Wheel Size O.D. Maximum RPM 0.100"
4" 1,500 0.100"
5" 1,500 0.100"
6" 1,250 0.100"
8" 1,000 0.100"
10" 800 0.100"
12" 700 0.100"
14" 600 0.100"

COOLANTS AND LUBRICANTS

Tanis abrasive brushes are constructed with filaments intended for dry or wet applications. Our brushes are able to withstand most dry applications. Operating at speeds of 2,500 feet/minute or more can cause an undesirable effect referred to as “nylon smear.” The use of coolants and lubricants are recommended when operating at higher speeds and for parts requiring deeper part penetration to provide an ultimate working environment, especially on thin parts.

BRUSH TOO AGGRESSIVE

  • Reduce filament diameter and/or grit size
  • Reduce surface speed by reducing RPM
  • Increase trim length and decrease fill density
  • Increase feed rate
  • Use a smaller diameter brush

BRUSH NOT AGGRESSIVE ENOUGH

  • Increase filament density and/or grit size
  • Increase surface speed by increasing RPM
  • Decrease trim length
  • Reduce feed rate
  • Use a larger diameter brush

BRUSH NOT CONFORMING

  • Increase trim length enough to part
  • Reduce filament density
  • Use a smaller diameter brush
  • Reduce surface speed by reducing RPM
  • Reduce feed rate

FINAL FINISH TOO ROUGH

  • Increase surface speed by increasing RPM
  • Use a larger diameter brush
  • Use a finer abrasive filament
  • Use a coolant or cutting oil
  • Use a buffing compound

FINAL FINISH TOO SMOOTH

  • Reduce surface speed by reducing RPM
  • Use a smaller diameter brush
  • Increase filament density and/or grit size

FILAMENT SMEARING/MELTING

  • Reduce surface speed by reducing RPM
  • Decrease brush diameter
  • Use a coolant or lubricant

MORE ACTION NEEDED ON EDGES PARALLEL TO BRUSH AXIS

  • Reduce surface speed by reducing RPM
  • Reduce feed rate
  • Maintain longer brush contact on problem area

MORE ACTION NEEDED ON EDGES PERPENDICULAR TO BRUSH AXIS

  • Reduce surface speed by reducing RPM
  • Increase feed rate
  • Oscillate brush on problem area

BRUSH ACTION NOT UNIFORM ENOUGH

  • Increase trim length
  • Reduce filament density
  • Use automated equipment for brush motion

SHORT BRUSH LIFE

  • Increase filament density
  • Reduce pressure/depth of interference

RECOMMENDED SUGGESTIONS FOR MAXIMUM BRUSH PERFORMANCE

DIAMETER

Increase

  • Increasing outside diameter at a constant RPM increases surface speed: SFPM (Surface Feet per Minute). Increasing surface speed increases work results.

Decrease

  • Assuming constant RPM, a decrease in tool diameter decreases surface speed.

RPM

Increase

  • Increasing RPM at a constant outside diameter increases surface speed.

Decrease

  • Assuming same diameter brush, decreasing RPM decreases surface speed

TRIM LENGTH

Increase

  • Allows the filament to be more flexible and to conform more readily to irregular surfaces.

Decrease

  • Stiffens filament action, thereby increasing work accomplished.

FILAMENT SIZE

Increase

  • Provides faster cutting action and thereby increases work accomplished.
  • NOTE: Coarser filament/grit sizes work faster than finer filament/ grit sizes, with faster wear.

Decrease

  • Provides superior surface finish and maximize tool life.
  • For best results, choose minimum diameter, and increase as needed.

GRIT SIZE

Increase

  • Provides faster cutting action and thereby increases work accomplished.
  • NOTE: Coarser filament/grit sizes work faster than finer filament/ grit sizes, with faster wear.

Decrease

  • Provides superior surface finish and maximize tool life.
  • For best results, choose minimum grit size, and increase as needed.

FILAMENT DENSITY

Increase

  • Provides more filament to do work, thereby increasing work accomplished.

Decrease

  • Provides greater brush flexibility; leaving more room for individual filaments to conform to irregular work piece shapes.

COMMON APPLICATIONS OF THESE BRUSHES INCLUDE:

  • Product sorting and moving
  • pharmaceutical applications
  • food industry
  • printing
  • packaging and material handling

Deburring is a major application use of power brushes. Throughout the manufacturing process, metal is put through various steps to reshape and trim parts, during which small scraps of metal, known as burrs are left behind. Power brushes are an effective way to remove these burrs to produce a clean, finished, final product. Tanis has power brushes to deburr any size or type of material, from large flat plane surfaces to small, irregularly shaped areas.

With the variety of available filaments and limitless design specifications, power brushes have the ability to work in almost any environment including high temperature, corrosive, humid, or sparking environments. Slightly altering the trim length, diameter or the fill density has huge implications in the brush’s overall performance, giving you a lot of flexibility in finding the perfect power brush. Tanis has the capabilities to provide or design a durable power brush to fit almost any size or shape equipment, saving time and money by conforming to current equipment specifications.

COMMON APPLICATIONS OF THESE BRUSHES INCLUDE:

  • Surface finishing: Brushes are incorporated to refine and improve surfaces at various junctures into the machining process. The brushes can remove surface particles without altering the product dimensions.
  • Edge Blending: Power brushes used to round or blend corners to reduce part fatigue by relieving stress concentrations and part fatigue.
  • Cleaning: Power brushes are used in wet or dry applications for the removal of surface particles.
  • Roughening: Power brushes are used to roughen surfaces prior to bonding or painting for better adhesion.

Rotary brushes are used for many applications in the printing, glass processing, wood products manufacturing, food processing and manufacturing, metal finishing and agriculture industries.

SOME OF THESE APPLICATIONS INCLUDE:

  • Conveyor cleaning
  • Glass washing
  • Printed circuit board scrubbing
  • Vegetable and fruit washing
  • Sheet metal polishing and conditioning
  • Deburring cam shafts and engine blocks
  • Cleaning trammel screens
  • Buffing leather hides
  • Debris removal
  • Product positioning and material transporting
Rotary Application 1 Rotary Application 2

As there are endless shapes, styles and configurations for stapled set brushes there are an equal number of applications for this brush construction. The PVC flexible strip brushes enhance this product category by offering a reduction in weight and cost, flexibility, erosion resistance and ease in transportation and installation.

SPECIFIC APPLICATIONS FOR STAPLED SET BRUSHES INCLUDE:

  • Cleaning plates in printing/processing developing machines
  • Guiding paper in sheet offset printing
  • Brush seals for doors, overhead garage doors and dock levelers
  • Transporting and separating paper and corrugated product
  • Cleaning conveyor belts
  • Positioning and transporting product on conveyor lines
  • Seals for product containment
  • Washing and cleaning glass
  • Wax and polishing fruits and vegetables
  • Packaging pills in the pharmaceutical industry
  • Texturing and waxing downhill and cross-country skis
  • Carpet vacuuming and cleaning
  • Labeling and cleaning plastic and glass bottles
  • Product support for sheet metal processing
  • Seals for shot blasting industry
  • Wood surface treatment
  • Applications requiring non-metallic or self-cleaning features

Due to the versatility and customizability of strip brushes, we can produce a strip brush to meet many application needs in a variety of industries. While the traditional metal back strip brushes are essential in such industries as material handling and packaging and food processing and manufacturing, stapled set brushes are finding widespread use in an increasing number of industries.

SOME OF THE BENEFITS STAPLED SET STRIP BRUSHES OFFER:

  • Reduction in weight compared to a metal back strip brush
  • Easy to transport, store and install
  • Chemical resistance
  • Metal-free for erosion resistance
  • Flexible

One of the most common applications of strip brushes continues to be weather stripping and sealing to reduce and prevent the penetration of uninvited environmental elements including dust, light, blowing dirt, sand, rain, snow, fumes, insects, and rodents. Brush seals are also extremely effective at reducing heating and energy costs.

OTHER THAN WEATHER STRIPPING SOME GENERAL APPLICATIONS OF STRIP BRUSHES INCLUDE:

  • Cleaning and polishing
  • Shielding and protecting
  • Guiding
  • Wire management
  • Splashguards
  • Deburring
  • Static control
Strip Application 1

TANIS HAS AN IN-STOCK BRUSH FOR EACH OF THE FOLLOWING SPECIFIC APPLICATIONS:

  • Seals for industrial rolling steel, sectional and sliding overhead doors and commercial sectional doors
  • Controls traffic and remove footprints and vacuum tracks and spots in carpet pile grooming and conditioning
  • Seals gaps for mechanical arm on a RV to reduce dirt, air and insects from penetrating.
  • Prevents liquid mist spray from escaping a coating unit on an industrial finishing system
  • Cleans each orifice and removes debris to solve clogging problems from a liquid spray system
  • Acts as a cathode terminal contact during a plating process
Strip Application 2 Strip Application 3

Twisted brushed can be manufactured for handheld use and for use in power drills, drill presses and CNC machines. These brushes are a critical component to the total quality control in many manufacturing industries and clean environments including automotive, metal finishing, medical, food service and construction and utility equipment.

General applications include cleaning, deburring, polishing, reaming, finishing or removing debris and burrs from internal non-metallic and metallic surfaces. Some of the more specific applications for twisted brushes include:

  • Cleaning internal tubing and piping
  • Deburring machined and threaded holes in engine castings
  • Deburring spuds on water heater tanks
  • Deburring blind holes and cross-holes intersecting on machined parts
  • Cleaning medical devices and equipment
  • Cleaning laboratory equipment and beakers
  • Cleaning hydraulic fittings and nozzles
  • Clean electronic and computer components
  • Used to dissipate lightning
  • Remove gases during vacuum distillation process
  • Used in removing water bubbles in air fluid control
  • Clean refrigerator coils
  • Clean valve guides
  • Clean automotive and aircraft parts

Hand brushes are ideal for any common applications requiring cleaning, scrubbing and deburring in hard-to-reach, confined areas. Some of the specific applications include:

  • Gluing
  • Stippling
  • Scouring
  • Scrubbing
  • Cleaning welds
  • Descaling
  • Oil, grease, dirt removal
  • Burr removal
  • Rust and scale removal
  • General industrial cleaning
  • Spot cleaning
  • Buffing
  • Polishing
  • Cleaning ink rollers
Scratch Brush Application 1 Scratch Brush Application 2

Tanis artist brushes are ideal for many general utility or industrial painting and cleaning applications as well as fine art. These brushes can be used to apply various types of paint – oil, acrylic, watercolor, fabric – lacquer, adhesives and cleaning agents in specific applications including:

  • Painting
  • Dusting
  • Lettering
  • Photo retouching
  • Fine scroll work
  • Lacquering
Artist Brush Application 1

Paint brushes are used in various painting, cleaning and liquid transferring applications within many industries, and because they are hand-held they are ideal for use in smaller or hard-to-reach areas. Their small size also allows a lot of control and precision. Another benefit of many of our paint brushes is that they are disposable, making them an economical choice for one-time applications.

SOME OF THE APPLICATIONS PERTAINING TO SPECIFIC PAINT BRUSHES INCLUDE:

  • Parts cleaning
  • General industrial cleaning
  • Removing metal chips
  • Commercial painting projects
  • General painting
  • Gluing
  • Applying resins, acetones or other solvents
  • Painting trim
Paint Brush Application 1

Parts cleaning brushes are used in various cleaning and liquid transferring applications within many industries and, because they are hand-held, they are ideal for use in smaller or hard-to-reach areas. Their small size also allows for control and precision. Another benefit of many of our standard parts cleaning brushes is that they are disposable, making them an economical choice for one-time applications.

SOME OF THE APPLICATIONS PERTAINING TO SPECIFIC PARTS CLEANING BRUSHES INCLUDE:

  • Light-duty industrial cleaning
  • Liquid transfer applications
  • Chemical and acid transfer
  • Heavy-duty parts cleaning
  • General purpose cleaning
  • Lead work
  • Spreading solder
  • Sealing seams
Parts Cleaning Brush Application 1 Parts Cleaning Brush Application 2