Steel wire brushes certainly are a common and essential tool in virtually any metal fabrication shop. These brushes can be used as many different applications, including weld cleaning, deburring, rust and oxide removal, surface preparation, and surface finishing.
One reason industrial brushes are so popular is the fact that, unlike solid abrasive wheels, steel filaments will not likely remove base material or change part dimensions. Wire brushes clean surfaces just like as sandblasting, with the exception that as an alternative to particles of sand colliding using the work surface, wire tips speak to the workpiece. The mix of great-quality, hardened steel wire tips with the energy of high surface speeds enables the brushes to separate surface contaminants from base material.
Steel brushes are versatile, with numerous configurations available to meet the requirements of each and every application. By way of example, brushes with long filaments are conformable and able to follow contoured surfaces, and short trim brushes are fast-acting and designed for severe applications. Another variable will be the fill density: Low-density brushes offer good flexibility for surface cleaning operations on irregular surfaces, and high-density brushes produce a fast brushing action and long brush life.
Additionally, steel brushes are nonloading. To put it differently, they do not become clogged with particles and debris when accustomed to remove paint and other coatings.
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Perhaps because wire brushes are this sort of familiar item, they are really easy to overlook and frequently receive insufficient attention. However, five tips can help you improve the performance and life-span of your respective wire brushes.
1. Use the Highest Safe Speed
Power wire brushes, like cutting tools, operate most effectively when the speed and pressure of your operation properly match the requirements of your application. Generally in most operations, using the highest speed together with the lightest possible pressure will guarantee the quickest brushing action and longest brush life.
Increasing brush speed to the highest safe speed improves the face stiffness and brushing action. A fine-wire brush rotating at a high speed often produces the identical results as being a coarse-wire brush rotating at a slow speed, nevertheless it generally lasts longer. Therefore, you can expect to achieve the lowest production costs by utilizing the finest wire that may get the job done.
In the event the brush speed is insufficient, frustrated operators typically apply more pressure (see Figure 1). However, excessive pressure causes overbending from the filaments and also heat buildup, causing filament breakage, rapid dulling, and reduced brush life.
As opposed to applying greater pressure, use a brush with increased aggressive action, for example one by using a larger filament diameter or a shorter filament trim length, or one using a knot type instead of crimped wire. Or you can try increasing brush surface speed by increasing rotations a minute (RPM) or brush diameter.
You’ll need to look for the correct operating speed for each application. For safety, it is actually imperative to never exceed the maximum safe free speed (MSFS) or RPM rating that this manufacturer publishes for every single form of brush.
Figure 1Excessive pressure causes over bending from the filaments, contributing to filament breakage, rapid dulling, and reduced brush life.
2. Periodically Reverse Direction
To improve the performance and extend the life span of wire wheel brushes without nuts, such as the brushes popular on a bench grinder, this is a fast and simple tip: Periodically turn back direction of rotation to benefit from the self-sharpening action that will result (see Figure 2).
To turn back the direction of rotation, simply take away the brush in the spindle, flip the wire brush 180 degrees, and remount the brush securely.
3. Know Which Type of Wire to Use
Crimped-wire brushes are general-purpose brushes which can be used for an array of applications. They are constructed with hard-drawn wire that is certainly crimped to allow individual filaments to back up one another. Crimped-wire brushes provide flexibility for light- to medium-duty brushing action, and they must be used on parts which can be damaged from the impact of your knot brush.
Knot-wire brushes (see Figure 3) are constructed with heat-treated straight wire filaments twisted as a single unit resembling a piece of cable or wire rope. They supply less flexibility and much more aggressive brushing action than crimped brushes in heavy-duty applications on parts that need high-impact action. Knot-wire brushes frequently are employed in welding applications and also to remove large burrs and high contamination, like multiple layers of rust, scale, paint, or oxides.
4. Keep Steel Brushes Clean
Stainless-steel brushes often are used on steel and aluminum along with other nonferrous metals to get rid of the possibility of “after-rust” appearing on the work surface. By simply following a few simple practices, it is possible to maximize the strength of these power tools.
After you work with a steel brush on carbon steel, do not apply it to steel because after-rust can take place. To stop contamination, store all stainless brushes from locations where carbon steel particles might come in touch with the brushes, like steel workbenches.
In contrast to a popular misconception, a stainless steel brush wire is magnetic. Because of this, time-tested practice of employing a magnet to examine whether steel is stainless or carbon does not work with brushes. The drawing process, that is utilized to generate brush wire, causes the material to become interested in a magnet. The consequences from the drawing process could be eliminated by heating the wire with a match until it gets red-hot. When the wire is Type 302 stainless, it does not be fascinated by a magnet after heating.
For critical operations, degrease stainless-steel wire brushes before you begin the operation. If you’ll be storing the brushes after use, degrease them and wrap them in plastic. Should you store the brushes without protection for just about any length of time, their magnetic properties can cause the brushes to recover foreign matter, leaving after-rust when reused.
5. Use Heat-treated, 47dexqpky Steel Wire
Although stainless has the advantage of eliminating after-rust, carbon steel is superior in the critical features of cutting action and fatigue resistance. When selecting carbon steel brushes for industrial applications, it is very important buy ones that contain filaments produced from high-quality material. Seek out heat-treated, oil-tempered or heat-treated, high-tensile steel, specially in wire diameters of .008 inch and greater.
You can aquire twisted wire brushes from your neighborhood home improvement center or do-it-yourself retailer, but in the long run, you might find yourself spending more due to reduced productivity, more changeover time, and brush replacement costs. As an example, a $5 brush might last an hour or so, whereas a $10 brush will most likely last over a day.