Specialty brushes use specialized or proprietary technologies, or feature brush designs for specific applications or industries. Often, the bristles or filaments are made of acrylic, aluminum, aluminum oxide, aluminum zirconia, brass, boron carbide, cotton, fiberglass, glass, horsehair, or nylon. Like other types of industrial brushes, specialty brushes and specialty brush products also have a holder that is made of wood, metal, plastic, ceramic, or composite materials. Specialty brush and brushing products vary widely in terms of brush types, product specifications, applications, and certifications.
Types of Specialty Brushes
There are many types of specialty brushes and specialty brush products. Examples include abrasive brushes and sanding brushes. Specialty abrasive brushes are used in specialized applications for metal removal and metal finishing. Typically, these specialty brushes are used to clean rust and oxides, de-fuzz wood panels, and de-nib plastics. Products are designed so that they will not snag on cut edges. Unlike abrasive brushes that are designed for use with metals or plastics, specialty sanding brushes are used mainly with wood. Bristles may be made of organic fiber or synthetic materials. Organic fiber brushes contain soft bristles made of naturally-occurring materials. By contrast, synthetic brushes use filaments made in a chemical process.
Specifications for specialty brushes and specialty brushing products vary by brush type. For example, some specialty abrasive brushes contain an abrasive grit that is encapsulated within an extruded nylon filament. For these specialty brush products, grit size is an important consideration. As a rule, the grit sizes help determine the form, fit and function of specialty brush products for deburring, cleaning, surface finishing, and edge blending operations. Often, specialty abrasive brushes use steel components and have an integral core for a rigid fit.
Specialty brushes are used in many different applications. Examples include conveyor and blanket cleaning, engine cleaning, carpet cleaning, and glass washing. Specialty brushes are also used in food processing applications, the pharmaceutical industry, textile processing applications, and metal-finish circuit board production. Some specialty brushes can be used in environments with electrostatic discharge (ESD) if the brush product remains saturated in liquid and the user is grounded. The Electrostatic Discharge Association (ESDA) has established guidelines for these specialty brushes and specialty brush products.