Fill Information for Our Brushes

Our brushes have a variety of options for what material the fill is made from. Check through the options below to get a better idea of how our brushes work.

VEGETABLE FILLS

Vegetable Fills:

Tampico: Produced in Mexico from the stalk of the Agave plant. It has a soft to medium texture and is off-white in color. It is often dyed and blended to give various effects. has naturally occurring calcium oxalate crystals contained within the fiber which gives it a lightly abrasive characteristic similar to Bon-Ami. (Diatomaceous Earth) Carries up to 65% of its weight in water.

Biodegradability: Excellent

Anti-Static characteristics: Its ability to absorb water makes Tampico a good to excellent anti-static.

Specific Gravity: 1.38

Chemical Resistance: Excellent resistance to petrochemical solvents. Resistant to boiling soaps and strong alkalis, as long as immersion is complete. Boiling caustic sodas cause degradation in the presents of air. Attacked by acids. Weak bleaches are acceptable at low temperatures, but degradation occurs at high temperatures.

Wet Strength: Becomes somewhat limp in the presence of water.

Patent Fiber: A select grade of polished tampico, usually dyed black and blended with horsehair. Is slightly stiffer that undyed tampico, and used in floor brushes, truck wash brushes, and other brushes where a finer quality is needed.

Union Fiber: A blend of white tampico and palmyra fiber to give good scrubbing action and improved water resistance. use in floor polishing brushes, bowl scrubs.

Palmyra: Produced from the base of the leaf stalks of the India Palmyra palm. Medium stiff to stiff. natural color is light to dark brown. Stiffer than Tampico. used in scrub brushes, garage brooms and deck scrubs. There are various grades of Palmyra.

Biodegradability: Excellent

Specific Gravity: 1.14

Chemical Resistance: Excellent resistance to petrochemical solvent. Resistant to boiling soaps and strong alkalis, as long as immersion is complete. Boiling caustic sodas cause degradation in the presents of air. Attacked by acids. Weak bleaches are acceptable at low temperatures, but degradation occurs at high temperatures. Use on oily shop floors will show acceleration wear of the fiber.

Wet Strength: Absorbs water, but not as much as Tampico, so it retains most its strength when wet.

Types of Palmyra:
Palmyra fiber, undyed
: available in medium stiff, prime stiff, and extra prime stiff. Cuts are available up to 20 inches.
Bassine: Dyed Palmyra. Usually dark brown, gray or black. Grades and lengths of bassine the same as undyed palmyra, though stiffness is usually a bit higher than undyed. More resistant to water than undyed Palmyra.
Palmyra Stalks: Made from the fibs of the palmyra leaf. This is a stiff fiber, used in street brooms, and as a center filler for more aggressive corn brooms.

 

Sherbro Pissava: Mostly produced in Brazil. It is a stiff, aggressive fiber used in street brooms, Yard and barn brushes, railroad brooms and heavy construction broom. Available in lengths up to 42 inches.

Biodegradability: Excellent

Specific Gravity: 1.03

Chemical Resistance: Excellent resistance to petrochemical solvent. Resistant to boiling soaps and strong alkalis, as long as immersion is complete. Boiling caustic sodas cause degradation in the presents of air. Attacked by acids. Weak bleaches are acceptable at low temperatures, but degradation occurs at high temperatures.

Wet Strength: retains most of its stiffness in presents of water.

Coco fiber: Most popular in Europe, Japan and other parts of the world than in America. It is low cost, and light-weight. Used in light sweeping applications, It is softer and aborts less water than tampico. color is reddish brown, but is often dyed black. Available in cut lengths up to 9 inches.

Calabar Pissava: Produced in Nigeria, but the stiffest grade is no longer exported.

 

Madagascar Fiber: A fine quality fiber production in Madagascar, but only small quantities are exported, usually for specialist brushes in Europe.

Kitool Fiber: A palm fiber produced in Sri Lanka. Very fine quality, but no longer exported.

 

Gumati Fiber (Arenga): A palm fiber produced in Indonesia. Strong, gray-black. Still used in Europe. Available in lengths up to 46 inches  in length.

Palmetto Fiber: A stiff palm leaf fiber. No longer produced for export. Was used in corn brooms to stiffen the action.

Split Bamboo Cane: Used in the Far East for stiff brooms, but replaced palmyra stalks in the US and Europe.

ANIMAL HAIR

Animal Hair

Boar Bristle: Relatively scarce and fairly expensive. This hair has characteristics which make it unique and very suitable to certain application. Each bristle is tapered from butt to tip, which gives it great resilience. The tip of each is split into two or more branches called flags.

In a floor broom, these flags penetrate into cracks, remove the finest dust. In a paint brush, it increased the ability of the brush to smoothly apply paint to a surface, which makes it an unexcelled fiber for use with oil based paints, It doesn’t perform well with water based paints, as it absorbs a great deal of water, which caused it to swell and load, while at the came time loses its snap. Boar bristle is naturally brown, black or gray, but is often found bleached to a unique blonde color. The bristle is produced almost exclusive in China, hence the other name: China Bristle.

There are four main grades of boar bristle. From coarsest to finest: Chunking, Hangkow, Tsentsing, Tsintow.

Biodegradability: Fair

Specific Gravity: (Average) 1.31

Chemical Resistance: Very Resistant to petrochemical solvent and non-oxidizing acids. Attacked by strong alkali solutions, especially at elevated temperatures.

Horsehair: Produced in Canada, U.S., Argentina, Australia, and other countries. Tail hair is stiffer and more resilient than Mane hair. Body hair is also used, but mostly for cosmetic brushes. Horsehair is a medium cost material. It is most often black or gray in color, and is very durable, The soft-slight stiff texture gives good performance in floor brushes and counter dusters. Also used in window brushed, fountain brushes, and radiator brushes. Horsehair can also be flagged mechanically for better dust carrying performance.

Biodegradability: Fair

Specific Gravity: (Average) 1.26

Chemical Reaction: Very Resistant to petrochemical solvents and non-oxidizing acids. Attacked by strong alkali solutions, especially at elevated temperatures.

Goat Hair: Generally used in miniatures polishing brushes for the jewelry and dental trades. The soft fine but durable material  is also great for make up brushes.

Ox and Sable Hair: Use for artist and other fine marking brushes. It is naturally tapered and fine.

METAL WIRE

Metal Wire

Wire – Steel Low Carbon: Soft steel for light material removal and for surface and finishing of soft materials. Color is silvery gray, and will rust easily. Low-carbon steel is magnetic.

Hard-Drawn wire: Gives a more aggressive brushing action than low-carbon steel.

Wire – Hi-Carbon Tempered Stainless type: Generally resistant to corrosion and elevated temperatures. Stainless steels are alloys containing between 12 and 30% chromium. Other metals are added depending on type for additional corrosion resistance and varieties of mechanical properties.

There are two main series of stainless steel. The 300 or austenitic series, and the 400 or martensitic series.

The 300 series are chrome.nickel (and some also contain other metals) carbon steels. They exhibit the highest resistance to corrosion to all the stainless steels, and have fine mechanical properties. They cannot be hardened by heat treating, yet great tensile strength and hardness are obtained by cold-working. These steels are not-magnetic normally, but become slightly magnetic as they are drawn and crimped.

The 400 series contain chrome, but no nickel. They can be hardened by heat-treating and rapid quenching (cooling) in oil or air. This series is magnetic and will rust, though more slowly than carbon or low carbon steel.

Type 302 (or 18-8): A general purpose type with good corrosion resistance. Contains 17-19% chrome, 8-10% nickel, 0.15% max carbon.

Type 304: A general purpose type, it is a low carbon variation of type 302. contains 18-20% chrome, 8-10% nickel, 0.08% max. carbon. Normally, 304 is the best cost effective stainless steel.

Type 316: Has superior corrosion resistance to other stainless steels. Cost is roughly 50% higher that type 304. Contains 16-18% chrome, 10-14% nickel, 0.08% max. carbon, and also contains2-3% molybdenum. the molybdenum improves general corrosion and pitting resistance, and higher temperature strength than type 304.

Type 321: Is a stabilized steel permitting use at temperatures in the 800-1500 degree range. it contains 17-19% chrome, 9-12% nickel, 0.08% max, carbon and also contains 5% or more titanium. the cost is 2 to 5 times that of type 304.

Type 420: Lowest cost, heat treatable, general purpose stainless steel, used where corrosion resistance is not a high priority. it is magnetic. It contains 12-14% chrome, no nickel, and 0.15 max carbon.

Type 430: Most popular of the chromium types. contains good corrosion and heat resistance. It is magnetic and will rust. it contains 14-18% chrome, no nickel, and 0.12% max carbon.

Corrosion Resistance – Most resistant to least:

321 High temp and severe corrosive
316 Severe corrosive
304 Food processing and mild corrosive
430 Industrial Atmospheres
420 Mild atmospheres

Mechanical Properties – Wire strength:

420 Highest strength
304 About 20% less that 420
430 About 30% less that 420
316 About 350% less that 420
321 Least strongest

Mechanical properties – Abrasion wear resistance:

420 Hardest
304
430
316
321 Softest

Mechanical Properties – Fatigue resistance:

321 Highest fatigue resistance
316 Slightly less that 321
304 10-20% less that 321
430 Less that 300 series
420 About the same as 430

Mechanical Properties – Fast cutting ability

420 Fastest because it is hardest
430
304
316
321 About the same as 316

Mechanical Properties – Temperature, Working range maximum

321 800 to 1500 degrees F
316 500 to 800 degrees F
304 300 to 600 degrees F
430 200 to 400 degrees F
420 200 to 400 degrees F
SYNTHETICS

Synthetics

Acrylic: Available in a variety of colors, sizes from .0015″ to .003 inches diameters. The largest uses in the brush industry is for static discharge applications.

Polypropylene: Very popular all purpose fiber due to its low cost, long life and resistance to acids and alkalis. Sizes are .0055 to .060 inches diameters in both straight and crimped.

Polyethylene: Well suited for wet application and available in .008 to .044 inches diameters. Flagable tips.

Nylon: Useful for scrubbing and cleaning applications because of its resistance to acids and alkalis. Available in .06 to .085 inches diameter.

Abrasive Nylons: Use for surfacing finishing, deburring, edge radiusing and decorative finishing on steel, aluminum, stainless, brass, plastic. The nylon has an extrudes abrasive grain impregnated through out. This allows the same cutting action through out the life of the brush.