Standard Power Brush Applications:
Removing rust, scale and oxidation Weld removal Thread cleaning Surface finishing Cleaning drilled holes and internal threads
Common types of power brushes include tube, end, cup and wheel configurations, which typically come in miniature configurations:
Tube Brushes, also known as flue or bottle brushes, are typically used for deburring applications. They are characterized by their twisted or spiral bristles and are fabricated in different stems and spirals. Tube brushes are generally suitable for cleaning internal applications (bores and cylinders) and are compatible with hydraulic casting materials and non-ferrous materials. In general, tube brushes are fabricated in single and double spiral brush configurations. Wire thickness typically determines how abrasive the wire will be for application treatments. Double spirals are commonly used for heavy duty cleaning in power tools, while the single version is utilized for manual treatment. Common materials that are used for the brush filaments are steel (carbon and stainless), brass, and nylon. Because of their cylinder shape, tube brushes are suitable for various internal precision processes, inside of tubular holes and related applications. Experts caution to be wary of the speed and loading condition of this tool, as the stem for this particular brush may be prone to bending.
Wheel Brushes are a common power brush configuration and are further categorized as crimped wire or knot compositions. Crimped wires produce a fine finish and are composed of steel (carbon and stainless) and brass variants. They are fabricated in different wire sizes and diameter widths and are commonly employed for blending, cleaning and polishing purposes. According to experts they can be used as individual tools or together as a unit to create a wider brush area surface. Knot wheels are comprised of metal filaments that are conformed, or “twisted,” together to create a strong, abrasive action when they are operated by a power tool. These wheels are commonly used in heavy, abrasive removal applications, such as to remove scale and weld. They can be joined in multiples, or stacked to achieve greater width and coverage. Wheel brushes vary in size and application use, (e.g., single handed grinders and larger vacuum applications).
End Brushes are considered a suitable choice for precision treatment and for areas that are difficult to access, as these tools run in small sizes. They are used for deburring materials and tools. Compatible materials include rubber and plastic variations. Aesthetically, the filaments are bundled into the cup, and the filler generally spans outward to contact hard to reach areas when the corresponding power tool is in operation. End brushes are typically available in crimped and knotted configurations.
Cup Brushes are generally used for applications that require heavy duty abrasive treatment. The filaments of these brushes generally touch the surface of the area to be treated at the same time, resulting in a more intense action when the corresponding power tool is in motion. Cup brushes are compatible with numerous grinder and stationary machines, and are commonly used to treat large surface areas for applications, such as ship and structural steel cleaning. These configurations are available in cup and filament types, such as full cable twist configurations and a variety of diameters and sizes.
Each of the aforementioned tools should always be approached carefully, as contaminants may fly off surfaces when the power tool is in operation. Eye protection is recommended for all power brush operations. Experts recommend operating power brushes at the correct speed or R.F.M. (consult manufacturer), as brushes that are operated at excessive speeds may dull quicker and may cause filaments to break down. The American Brush Manufacturers Association (http://www.abma.org) advises consulting the American National Standards Institute (http://www.ansi.org) for “Safety Requirements-Power Brushes.”