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Several factors need to be considered to select the right brush for an application.
These factors include:

  • Application Type: shielding, closing gaps, static dissipation, etc.
  • Environment: wet/dry, acid/alkaline/solvents, hot/cold, direct sunlight
  • Operation Cycles: heavy or light duty
  • Physical Properties: soft or aggressive bristles
  • Special Materials: FDA-approved, etc.

When these factors are properly considered, selecting the right size brush with the best filament and channel material for your application is ensured. SEALEZE® Sales Representatives have extensive industrial experience and can help you make the right choice.

The following are descriptions of some of the materials and their basic properties as they pertain to strip brush. Familiarization of this material will help you in choosing the right brush for your application and aid in discussing your needs with a SEALEZE® Sales Representative.

Filament Materials:


Nylon: One of the best general-purpose filament materials, nylon is a good choice for contact with oils (petroleum and vegetable), alcohols, strong and dilute acids and dilute alkaline. Durable, resistant to common chemicals, excellent bend recovery and abrasion resistance, nylon is available in three grades: Nylon 6.0, 6.6 and 6.12. Nylon 6.12 absorbs less water and is more resistant to bio-growth activity. Crimped and level filaments are available.

Polypropylene: “Polypro” is good for wet or dry applications and is unaffected by most oils, acids, solvents, alcohols, and chemicals. Polypropylene has excellent stiffness when wet, fair abrasion resistance and fair bend recovery. Because it has very low water absorption, it is resistant to bio-growth. Crimped and level filaments are available.

Polyester: Characteristics are similar to nylon. However, it has very low water absorption, maintains excellent stiffness in water, and is resistant to bio-growth.

Many synthetic brush filament materials suffer from rapid oxidation with prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light (sunlight). This can cause nylon, polypropylene and polyester brushes to lose flexibility and tensile strength and become ineffective. To protect against the damaging effect of UV light, carbon black is added to the polymer filament. Carbon black, chemically inert to almost all environmental factors, absorbs the UV light before it damages the chemical bonds of the polymer filament material.


Mild Steel: High carbon steel wire with excellent fatigue resistance.
Stainless Steel-Type 304 and 304L: Highly resistant to corrosion and high temperatures.
Stainless Steel-Type 316 and 316L: Superior corrosion resistance and in FDA-related applications.

Brass: Softer wire as compared to steel or stainless steel, this non-ferrous wire is effective in static dissipation applications

Phosphorous Bronze: Harder than brass with non-corrosive properties.


Tampico: A medium-soft texture, resistant to heat and chemicals, and highly water absorbent. Most often used in light scrubbing and washing applications and wiping wood products.

Horsehair: Depending on bristle length, is relatively soft to moderately stiff and is used dry for polishing or scratch-free cleaning. Often used for applying adhesives or in anti-static applications.


The following definitions will help in understanding the properties in the table below.

  • Shape: Level refers to filament or wire that is straight. Crimped filament or wire is wavy and measured by amplitude and frequency and produces a denser appearing brush.
  • Flex Life: Amount of times a filament can be bent back and forth without damage.
  • Springiness or Flicking: How fast a filament snaps back to its original position after being bent.
  • Bend Recovery: A filament’s ability to return to its original position after being bent for a short period of time.
  • Resistance to Set: A filament’s ability to return to its original position after being bent for a long period of time.
  • Abrasion Resistance: A filament’s ability to resist wear.
  • Water Absorption: The ability to retain water. Measured by percent of fiber weight.
  • Stiffness in Water: The ability of the filament to retain its original stiffness with full water absorption.
Properties Nylon 6 Nylon 6.6 Nylon 6.12 Polypropylene Polyester Synthetic for
Elevated Temp
Horsehair Tampico
Shape Level or Crimp Level or Crimp Level or Crimp Level or Crimp Level or Crimp Level Level Level
Flex Life E E E E G E E F
Springiness/Flicking E E E G E E F G
Bend Recovery E E E G E E F P
Resistance to set G G G F G G G F
Abrasion Resistance E E E F G E F P
Water Absorption 9% 9% 3% <0.2% <0.5% 9% -- --
Stiffness in Water F F G E E G F P
Working Temperature
(degrees F)
200-230 200-230 200-230 180 200-230 250-300 na na
Hot Water G G G E E G P E
Melting Point (degrees F) 410 500 415 320 430 495 -- --
Acidic G G G E G G -- --
Alkaline E E E E G ? -- --
Petroleum Distillates E E E G G E -- --
E = ExcellentG = GoodF = FairP = Poor