What Brush Type Should I Use on My Industrial Sweeper
Posted on Thursday, September 30, 2021Updated on Monday, August 22, 2022
Opinions & answers are divided depending on such a simple question depending on who you ask.
It’s a bit like asking “what tyre pattern or grip should I use on my car?”
Cars tyres after all come in many different forms, tread patterns, sizes and prices and confuse most buyers when it comes time for a replacement.
The simple answer to this question when it comes to a sweeper is to ask “what kind of surface am I sweeping?”
If it’s the carpet you intend sweeping you can’t have a stiff bristle otherwise it will rip up your carpet.
Carpets are an expensive item so it pays to know how to clean them properly.
If you intend to sweep a carpet surface there are specially designed carpet brushes available which are made from soft fiber nylon stands. These strands ensure the carpet pile gets lifted, swept and cleaned without ripping up & damaging the natural fibers (or tufts) of the carpet. This fibre has the capacity to limit the amount of electrical static that the brush creates while sweeping.
If you are sweeping a warehouse floor then the suggestion is to use a Nylon brush. Why? Because it lasts 3 to 4 times longer than any other bristle available.
On the other hand, if you are picking up very fine dust like flour or mining powder then the obvious choice would be to use a “full fill proex” brush. Proex is a natural fibre much like the old straw brooms found in a barn or garage. It is very soft and being a “full fill” it means that the brush is 100% full of bristle ensuring that everything gets swept and picked up in one single pass. It’s an effective brush but the burn or wear rate is very high. These brooms can last as little as 20 to 70 operating hours.
If sweeping roadways, car parking, footpaths, or hardstand areas the suggestion would be to use a Nylon brush. Why? Because these surfaces are normally made from Bitumen or rough concrete.
Bitumen and concrete are frequently coarse surfaces resulting in the bristles wearing very quickly. It’s important to prolong the life of your brooms and the best bristle to use is the NYLON fibre.
Another brush configuration is a wire mix. These brooms are commonly referred to as; poly and wire; proex and wire and natural fibre and wire.
The argument is that the wire inserts in these brushes make the brush a lot more durable. Given market trials, we would dismiss this argument as a fallacy.
The reality is that the wire content in these brushes are so low and the crimped wire stands so thin that it makes no difference at all to the overall performance of the brush.
In most cases, it increases brush wear pushing up running costs per hour used.
Another common brush bristle is the PPL or Polypropylene brush. This is commonly used & supplied by most manufacturers.
A PPL or poly brush is made from polypropene. It sounds great but it means a plastic fibre brush.
In simple terms, it is a bristle made from the same material as a plastic bag. On a sweeper, this bristle has a very high wear rate. Under sweeping load, its burn or wear rate is very high.
Generally speaking, the most common & recommended brush to be used on an industrial sweeper is a nylon fibre brush.
It tends to last 2 to 3 times longer than any other brush.
An underlying advantage of the nylon material is that its properties are such that it is relatively hard to destroy.
As an aside, it’s quite common for sweepers to pick up loose plastic when sweeping. This plastic gets caught in the brushes and bends the fibres.
The intrinsic quality of Nylon as a material is such that the Nylon material once removed from the bristle will come back to its original shape without destroying the brush.
This benefit alone can save thousands of dollars in running costs per year for users.