bristle types

Brush Materials

Bristle Types

Steel Wire:

Most power brushes are made with high-carbon tempered steel bristles from 0.0025" to 0.060" in diameter.

  • TYPE H.C.: (High Carbon) Steel is generally used where aggressive action and deep cutting action are required. This wire offers maximum strength, recovery and brush life.
  • TYPE L.C.: (Low Carbon) Steel is softer wire used for gentle action on softer materials, and for light surface decorating by power brush techniques.

Stainless Steel Wire:

  • TYPE 302: Stainless is highly resistant to corrosion, and should be used in brushing aluminum and stainless steel to prevent unsightly after-rust caused by imbedded carbon-steel bristle particles.
  • TYPE 420: Stainless has lower corrosion resistance than Type 302, but produces stronger, more aggressive brushing action and longer brush life. Use where after-rust is not a problem.

Non-Ferrous Wire:

Aluminum, copper brass, nickel, silver.

Synthetic Bristles:

Generally used for brushing and cleaning applications involving corrosive acids and alkalis. Longer life bristle materials include: Nylon, Polyethylene, Styrene, "Herox"®, "Tynex"®, Polypropylene, and most other man-made fibers suitable for bristles. Gauges from .0025" to .060" straight or crimped.

Vegetable Fibers:

Tampico, bassine, palmetto, palmyra, and other natural vegetable fiber bristles. Tampico is the most commonly used vegetable fiber for scrubbing and washing operations. Treated Tampico is excellent for light deburring and surface finishing operations when used in combination with buffing and deburring compounds.


These materials are used for ultra-fine deburring; edge breaking and cleaning; removing sharp edges and metal slivers from drilled/threaded holes and curves.

Aluminum Oxide & Silicon Carbide:

Synthetic bristle filaments (Nylon) are uniformly impregnated over the full bristle length with a high-cutting speed abrasive such as aluminum oxide or silicon carbide. These abrasives deliver fast cutting rates with the gentle bristle action of synthetic bristles. Grit sizes: 46-60, 80, 120, 180, 240, 320, 500 and 600.

wire forms

Wire Forms

Two forms of metal wire and synthetic bristles are available:

  • Crimped: Bristles have full-length crimping that produces softer brushing action and lengthens bristle life by reducing breakage.
  • Straight: Bristles are straight, not wavy, and deliver a stiffer brushing action.

Safety Requirements

Safety Speeds (MSFS)

Maximum Safe Free Speed is the RPM speed at which the brush can be operated spinning free with no pressure applied. MSFS should not be exceeded under any conditions. Consult your local factory representative for proper MSFS.

Safety Equipment

Safety goggles or face shields should be worn by all operators and personnel working in the area of power brush operators.

Machine Guards

Rotating power brushes should be used only on equipment with safety guards. Keep all machine guards in place.


Avoid excessive brush pressure when using a power brush. Excessive pressure reduces brush efficiency and its worklife.

Storage & Handling

Brushes should not be exposed to high humidity, heat, acid or fumes that might deteriorate wire filaments and cause failure. Do not allow foreign material to accumulate on brush face. Check for distortion that may cause imbalance and excessive vibration.

Mill-Rose experienced significant growth from its humble beginning in 1919, and today operates manufacturing and warehouse facilities throughout the United States and Mexico. Production facilities (over 100,000 sq. ft. of space) in Mentor, Ohio and Mexico feature the latest in manufacturing techniques and quality-control. Production is complemented by a 70,000 square foot U.S. distribution center.


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