True Grit...“not the movie, pilgrim.”Tuesday, March 1, 2011
I is one of the many questions, regularly asked by the customer. What brush is appropriate for what situation or environment? In many cases I prefer to suggest grit brushes. Why, you may ask, “grit?”
Unlike poly, nylon, union mix and so on, grit will hold up against just about anything. The materials just mentioned above do have their place when it comes to sweeping. Please keep in mind I am discussing scrubber’s only.
So, what is a grit brush? The word “grit” in the Webster dictionary is defined in this way:
- Rough hard particles of sand, stone etc.
- The texture of stone, with regard to the coarseness of its grain.
- Brave perseverance as in John Wayne. Sorry, I made the last one up.
The grit brush is either rotary (disc) or cylindrical (cylinder). They consist of bristles made up of silicon carbide steel. Invented in the late 1970’s the bristles are tiny pieces of carbide, cover in a silicone material.
Another use of carbide you may be more familiar with is carbide tipped blades for a tablesaw, radial arm saw, etc. So, carbide is a very aggressive cutting material; hence floor scrubbing is a perfect application. Another advantage is that you can also strip floors with this brush.
You may think, and rightfully so, that being so aggressive certain applications are impossible such as quarry tile, marble floors, “NOT TRUE.” This is the beauty of these brushes. There are six different bristle diameters. The diameter determines the aggressiveness of your scrub. The sizes I am listing below are; 36 grit, 46 grit, 80 grit, 180 grit, 240 grit, and 500 grit. The numbers are derived from its measurement in thousands of an inch. For example, 46 grit, the bristle is 60/1000 of an inch in diameter. 80 grit is 50/1000 and so on. Another thing to keep in mind is that the larger the number, the smaller the diameter, hence, the less aggressive. So, 500 grit is the least aggressive and 36 grit is the most aggressive. Many of the scrubber manufacturers are colors to help define what grit they use. For example, red maybe 36 grit, blue 46 grit and so on. The problem with this is that another manufacturer may use blue for their 500 grit, so the point here is when ordering, don’t go on color alone, go by grit size. Trade names are also used to help define the grit size. Strata-grit, midlite, Hi-Gear Plus, clean-grit and so on, but here again, when in doubt go by grit size.
Now, let’s talk about the applications. Below is how I like to list the scrubbing/stripping application guide:
For extreme, heavy-duty scrubbing or stripping of of floors. This brush has extra large diameter silicon carbide grit impregnated synthetic bristles. Recommended for use in place of black pads.
For aggressive, heavy-duty scrubbing or stripping of floors. Recommended for use in place of brown pads.
For general purpose scrubbing or sealed or unsealed concrete, stone, terrazzo, quarry tile and other resilient hard floor surfaces. Recommended for use in place of green or blue pads.
For general purposes scrubbing when you need a lighter action for sealed or unsealed concrete, stone, terrazzo, quarry tile and other resilient hard floor surfaces. Recommended for use in place of green or blue pads.
For light scrubbing when used wet; buffing or polishing when used dry on urethane coated, sealed concrete or other resilient hard surface floors. Recommended for use in place of red or white pads.
This should be used as a guide only so I would like to hear from you. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy scrubbing, pilgrim.