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BRM's Flexible Honing, Surface Finishing, and Deburring Blog

BRM's Flexible Honing, Surface Finishing, and Deburring Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about how to solve difficult finishing problems. For over 50 years, Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM) has helped customers use brushing technology to clean, rebuild, and resurface components ranging from engine cylinders to brake rotors to flywheels to firearms. BRM's Blog on CR4 provides real-world examples of how flex hones and wire brushes work. It also evaluates related technologies and invites questions from the community.

Watch BRM’s 30-Second 350 Chevy Engine Rebuild Video

Posted December 15, 2014 1:21 PM by Brush Research

In the movie Gone in 60 Seconds, master car thief Randall "Memphis" Raines returns to Southern California to steal 50 vehicles in 96 hours. In BRM's new YouTube video, a team from Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM) rebuilds a used 350 Chevy engine in just 30 seconds. BRM's time-elapsed video isn't a Hollywood blockbuster, and the V8 powerplant that we purchased was acquired legally from a Los Angeles junkyard. For members of the performance racing industry who saw the rebuilt block at PRI Show 2014, however, BRM brushing tools are engine maintenance superstars.

BRM's time-elapsed video captures the highlights of an in-depth automotive project that took weeks to complete. The employees in the video don't rebuild engines for a living, and they had plenty of other jobs to do during their busy workdays. Team BRM delivered, however, and demonstrated once again that our flexible honing and brushing tools set the standard for surface finishing success. Engine cleaning is a process, of course, but BRM's 30-Second Engine Rebuild video moves fast. So let's take a look at the engine tools you'll see before this YouTube video is gone in 30 seconds.

Flexible Cylinder Hones

BRM Flex-Hone tools have distinctive abrasive globules or balls that are permanently laminated to flexible nylon filaments. These flexible cylinder hones are self-centering and self-aligning to the bore, and can be used with handheld power tools like the electric drill in the video. Ball hones are also self-compensating for wear, which means that the abrasive you need is always at the outermost edge of the tool. As a Flex-Hone® tool's abrasive globules wear, fresh cutting particles are exposed.

Flexible hones don't require special training or complex setups and clean-ups either. As BRM's 30-Second Engine Rebuild video shows, cylinder wall surface finishing is easy-to-achieve. The plateau finish that flexible honing imparts optimizes lubrication, which is essential to engine performance. Plateau honing also promotes proper piston ring seating and sealing. Additional applications for BRM ball hones include cylinder wall deglazing and removing burrs from cross-drilled holes.

If you watch BRM's 30-Second Engine Rebuild video carefully, you'll notice that two different kinds of Flex-Hone® tools are used. BC Series Flex-Hone tools are small-diameter engine hones that are designed for bores ranging in diameter from 4-mm to 3-in. GB Series Flex-Hone tools are designed for bore diameters from 3-1/4" to 4-5/8" inch, and have an overall length of 13-1/2". Both types of engine hones are Made in the USA.

Automotive Brushes

BRM's time-elapsed video moves fast, but copper center wire wheel brushes also play a role that you won't want to miss. Wire wheel brushes are great for removing rust from engine blocks, and are ideal for use with handheld power tools. Unlike some larger-diameter brushing tools, BRM's small-diameter copper center wheels won't push away from the work surface. Depending on your engine cleaning and maintenance requirements, choose brush tools with either stainless steel or carbon steel filaments.

As the time-elapsed video also shows, wire end brushes are used for general block cleaning. These power brushes clean, blend, polish, deburr, and prepare surfaces in small, tight, or hard-to-reach areas. Typically, wire end brushes are used with handheld power tools. BRM's hand scratch brushes are also part of the engine rebuild video, and are great for hand deburring, thread cleaning, and rust removal. BRM's 30-Second Engine Rebuild video moves fast, so hang on for the ride.

Author's Note: This CR4 blog entry originally appeared in the BRM Flex-Hone Blog.

1 comments; last comment on 12/16/2014
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Watch BRM’s 350 Chevy Engine Cleaning Video

Posted December 09, 2014 1:26 PM by Brush Research

Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM) bought a used 350 Chevy engine and tore it down. As last week's blog entry and engine teardown video explained, our junkyard find needed engine cleaning. The block showed some light rust, and the cylinder walls required surface finishing. As a full-line manufacturer of brushing tools, BRM put its products to the test. As this week's blog entry and engine cleaning video explain, performance starts with the finish - and the results speak for themselves.

Let's take a closer look at the brush tools that are featured in our 350 Chevy Engine Cleaning video. They aren't the only BRM products that we used for this project, but our new video includes some great shots of copper center wire wheel brushes, wire end brushes, toothbrush-style scratch brushes, and (of course) Flex-Hone tools. Not shown in the video are abrasive nylon copper center wheel brushes, cylinder washing brushes, abrasive nylon twisted-in-wire brushes, and the Flex-Hone for Rotors.

Copper Center Wire Wheel Brushes

With the engine teardown complete, the video starts with how BRM cleaned the V8 block with copper center wire wheel brushes. These small-diameter power brushes come in several arbor-hole sizes and are ideal for mounting in handheld power tools. Unlike larger-diameter brushes, BRM's copper center wheels don't push away from the work surface. Wire wheel brushes are great for rust removal, and can have either carbon steel or stainless steel filaments.

Wire End Brushes

As the engine cleaning video also shows, wire end brushes are great for general block cleaning. BRM end brushes are available in solid, knotted, and circular flared designs, and are used typically with a high-speed handheld tool. These power brushes clean, blend, polish, deburr, and prepare surfaces in small, tight, or hard-to-reach areas. Choose brushing tools with carbon steel or stainless steel filaments, and the brush diameter that best suits your application.

Toothbrush-Style Scratch Brushes

BRM's engine cleaning video also shows toothbrush-style scratch brushes for reaching small, tight spaces. These hand scratch brushes are available in several different widths and are ideal for hand deburring, thread cleaning, and the removal of rust or corrosion. Toothbrush scrub brushing tools are staple-set in wood or plastic, or molded in plastic. The bristles are made of stainless steel, brass, nylon or natural filaments.

Flex-Hone Tools

BRM Flex-Hone tools are available for any type or size of cylinder. The 350 Chevy Engine Cleaning video shows flexible cylinder hones in various sizes, and notes that these ball hones come as small as 4-mm. Automotive engine applications include valve lifter bores, coolant lines, valve guides, cam oil ports, cam journals, and cam bearings. The BC Series Flex-Hone tools shown in the video can also be used to surface finish brake and wheel cylinders.

GB Series Flex-Hone tools are used to surface finish, deburr, and deglaze engine block cylinders or liners. Designed for bore diameters from 3-1/4" to 4-5/8" inch, these engine hones have an overall length of 13-1/2". Like BC Series brush tools, GB Series flexible hones are available in a variety of abrasive types and grit sizes. As the 350 Chevy Engine Cleaning Video shows, BRM ball hones can be mounted in a handheld electric drill and impart the ideal cylinder wall surface finish.

Visit the Booth. See the Block. PRI Show 2014 (Booth #5511)

Do your tradeshow plans include a visit to PRI 2014 in Indianapolis this week? Visit BRM in Booth #5511 at the Indiana Convention Center and learn more about all of the automotive surface solutions that we used in our 350 Chevy engine project. Our technical team is ready to answer your questions, and can share the complete list of brushing tools that we used. Plus, you can see the block for yourself!

To arrange a PRI Show meeting in advance, contact BRM today.

Author's Note: This CR4 blog entry originally appeared in BRM's Flex-Hone Blog.

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Watch BRM's 350 Chevy Engine Teardown Video

Posted December 01, 2014 2:20 PM by Brush Research

Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM) doesn't just make brushing tools. Our Los Angeles, California company uses them. Recently, BRM bought a 350 Chevy engine at a local junkyard. We mounted the engine block, started the teardown, and removed the headers. This YouTube video shows our progress, the first part of an engine rebuild that features BRM Flex-Hone tools. Check out the condition of the engine block, and look at the cylinder wall surface finish. There was plenty of room for improvement.

Causes of Cylinder Wear

As last week's blog entry explains, cylinder walls need a cross-hatch pattern of oil-retaining grooves for optimum lubrication. Over time, however, the reciprocating movement of the pistons polishes the walls or cylinder liners and imparts a glaze-like finish. This prevents oil from adhering properly, and causes the piston rings to "skate". In addition to friction, engine cylinders wear because of corrosion, abrasion, and adhesion or scuffing - an engine problem that's caused by inadequate lubrication.

As BRM's engine teardown video shows, the V-8 block that we purchased required engine maintenance and cleaning. A series of grooves or "scratches" in the cylinder walls is still visible, but so is some minor corrosion and piston ring scuffing. To rebuild the engine then, we needed to improve the surface finish of the bores. For inner diameter (ID) deburring and surface finishing, the BRM Flex-Hone is the industry standard. This flexible honing tool mounts in a handheld electric drill, and requires no special training.

How Flexible Honing Works

Flex-Hone tools feature abrasive balls that are permanently laminated to flexible nylon filaments. As the abrasive globules wear, fresh cutting particles are exposed. Flexible cylinder hones are also self-centering and self-aligning to the bore for consistent 360° surface finishing. Engine builders like BRM ball hones because they impart a uniform surface finish along the length of the entire cylinder. By contrast, rigid hones can impart an uneven or unidirectional crosshatch.

Flex-Hone tools also put little pressure on cylinder walls, which means these brushing tools won't gouge out metal and cause torn or folded-over edges. Plus, since pressure against the cylinder wall is equalized, engine builders don't have to worry about making cuts in both directions. Honing stones are recommended for cylinder resizing, geometry correction, and heavy-duty material removal, but flexible cylinder hones are the right choice for cylinder wall deglazing and plateau finishing.

Learn More at PRI 2014 (Booth #5511)

In our next YouTube video, BRM will show how Flex-Hone tools surface-finished the cylinder walls in our Chevy 350 engine. In the meantime, we invite you to check out the 350 Engine Rebuild photo album on BRM's Facebook page. There are over 150 photographs there, including images of flexible cylinder hones and other brushing tools. As a full-line supplier with a global distribution network, BRM also provides automotive brushes, diesel tools, parts wash brushes, and more.

Do your tradeshow plans include a visit to PRI 2014 in Indianapolis next month? If so, visit BRM in Booth #5511 at the Indiana Convention Center and see Flex-Hone® tools, NamPower technology, and our full line of automotive surface finishing solutions. To arrange a meeting in advance, contact us. Our technical specialists are ready to answer your questions about surface preparation, parts cleaning, burr removal, and automotive surface finishing.

Author's Note: This CR4 blog entry originally appeared in the BRM Flex-Hone blog.

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How Flexible Honing Supports Engine Performance

Posted November 24, 2014 4:40 PM by Brush Research

Flexible honing promotes engine performance by imparting the ideal surface finish to cylinder walls. During engine manufacturing, cylinders are bored and then finished to size with a rigid hone. This initial honing method creates rough, uneven peaks that can interfere with piston ring seating and sealing. Instead of waiting for the piston rings to wear-down these peaks, engine manufacturers and mechanics can use Flex-Hone tools from Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM).

BRM's flexible cylinder hones are designed to refine the surface finish on cylinder walls, removing only the peaks and the rough, torn, and folded metal that's left by initial engine honing. BRM coined the term plateau finishing to describe this process, which reduces these raised areas or peaks to a uniform height so that they resemble a series of plateaus. Flexible honing also imparts a cross-hatch pattern of oil-retaining grooves or valleys that promote optimum lubrication.

Plateau Finishing

As Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM) explains in The Necessity of a Plateaued Cylinder Wall Finish, flexible cylinder honing reduces oil consumption and blow-by, an engine problem that results in loss of horsepower. As engine mechanics know, blow-by occurs when the expanding gases in the combustion chamber slip past the piston rings and into the crankcase. Blow-by not only reduces engine compression then, but can also contaminate and dilute the oil that's in the crankcase.

By promoting proper piston ring and sealing, flexible honing supports engine performance in both the automotive aftermarket and the performance racing industry. Flex-Hone tools are also great for engine rebuilds where the bores are not out-of-round. Although BRM's surface finishing tools contain the word "hone" in their name, they're not meant for heavy-duty material removal. Instead, these plateau hones are designed to impart the ideal surface finish to cylinder walls.

Cylinder Wall Deglazing

For example, as many engine mechanics have seen, the cylinder walls in a used engine can have a glaze-like finish. That's because over time, the reciprocating movement of the pistons polishes the walls or cylinder liners. Left unbroken, this glaze can prevent engine oil from adhering properly and result in friction and lubrication problems. The Flex-Hone tool deglazes cylinder walls and imparts the same cross-hatch pattern of oil-retaining grooves that are so important in new engines.

BRM's flexible cylinder hones can be used on-line during machine tool applications, or off-line as a secondary operation. For example, during engine manufacturing, Flex-Hone tools are often mounted in machine centers for automated deburring and surface finishing. For engine mechanics, chucking the tool into a handheld electric tool provides outstanding results. To see the benefits of Flex-Hone technology for yourself, check out the 350 Engine Rebuild photo album on BRM's Facebook page.

Learn More at PRI 2014 (Booth #5511) | Watch Flex-Hone® Videos Now

Do your tradeshow plans include a visit to PRI 2014 in Indianapolis next month? Visit BRM in Booth #5511 at the Indiana Convention Center and see Flex-Hone tools, NamPower technology, and BRM's full line of automotive and diesel brushes. To arrange a meeting in advance, contact us. Our technical specialists are ready to answer your questions about surface preparation, parts cleaning, burr removal, and automotive surface finishing.

For more information about engine hones for the automotive aftermarket and the performance racing industry, download the Flex-Hone Resource Guide and visit the BRM YouTube channel today. Watch videos like Flex-Hone In-Machine Setup for Surface Finishing and Deburring and Flex-Hone Featured on MotorzTV. You'll learn more about how to use flexible cylinder hones, and how flexible honing promotes engine performance.

Author's Note: This CR4 blog entry originally appeared in the BRM Flex-Hone Blog.

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Surface Finishing for the Performance Racing Industry

Posted November 17, 2014 2:07 PM by Brush Research

PRI 2014 is where the performance racing industry learns about new automotive products and builds business strategies. From December 11 to 13, 2014, leading manufacturers and warehouse distributors will meet with racing retailers, high-performance engine tuners, and race car builders at the Indianapolis Convention Center. For many of the 50,000 members of the performance racing industry who will meet with exhibitors, the PRI Tradeshow is the starting line for purchasing decisions about racing products.

For PRI Show participants who demand industry-leading surface finishing solutions, the Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM) booth is the place to find proven tools and new technologies. Visit BRM in Booth #5511 at PRI 2014 and see Flex-Hone® technology, NamPower nylon abrasive brushes, diesel tools, automotive brushes, and high-quality brushing tools for part cleaning. Distributor programs are available for jobbers and stocking warehouse distributors, and export inquiries are welcome.

Flex-Hone Technology

BRM Flex-Hone tools are what winners in the racing marketplace use for cylinder wall surface finishing. With their long-lasting abrasive globules, BRM ball hones are also ideal for deglazing engine cylinders and removing burrs. Self-centering, self-aligning to the bore, and self-centering for wear, flexible cylinder hones have a metal stem for mounting in handheld power tools such as electric drills. These flexible engine hones can also be used with production equipment such as CNC machine centers.

BRM's glaze breaker hones are easy-to-use and impart a cross-hatched pattern of oil-retaining grooves for optimum lubrication and piston ring seating. The performance racing industry also uses these flexible honing tools to surface finish connecting rods, cross-holes, engine liners, and piston bores. For race car and motorcycle disc rotors, automotive fly wheels, and clutch plates, the Flex-Hone for Rotors imparts a non-directional pattern while removing torn and folded material produced by turning or truing.

NamPower Nylon Abrasive Brushes

BRM NamPower technology helps to speed outer diameter (OD) applications such as finishing the tops of engine blocks. This family of nylon abrasive brushing tools is designed for use with today's automated machinery and provides consistent, high-quality results. Cost-effective and reliable, NamPower nylon abrasive brushes conform closely to part contours and remove burrs consistently. Sharp, new abrasive grains constantly come into contact with the workpiece surface, exposing fresh cutting particles.

NamPower technology includes abrasive disc brushes, composite hub wheels, abrasive hex-drive tools, and accessories such as lightweight tool holders with flow-through cooling. NamPower abrasive disc brushes provide maximum burr removal rates and an optimum surface finish for metal and plastic auto parts. NamPower composite hub wheel brushes have virtually indestructible cores and a well-balanced construction for long life. NamPower abrasive hex-drive tools provide full 360° surface finishing.

Diesel Tools, Automotive Brushes, and Parts Wash Brushes

BRM also supplies diesel tools for engine overhauls and automotive brushes for cleaning, finishing, and polishing auto parts. Diesel brushes include general diesel tools as well as specialty brushes for Cummins Group, Caterpillar, and Detroit Diesel engines. Valve guide, oil line and gallery, and display brushes are also available. Applications for automotive brush tools include deburring cast aluminum engine heads, surface conditioning manifolds, and polishing holes on machined parts.

As a full-line brush manufacturer with a national and international distribution network, BRM also offers parts wash brushes with a non-slip grip, penetrating tip, and heavy-duty construction. All metal parts are either stainless steel or brass for corrosion resistance, and all tube fittings are manufactured for use with popular recirculating parts washers. BRM's soon-to-be-released soft-tip wheel cleaning brush is designed to remove dirt and debris from places that other cleaning brushes can't reach.

Automotive Surface Finishing Starts Here

Do your tradeshow plans include a visit to the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) tradeshow in Indianapolis next month? From December 11 to 13, visit BRM at PRI 2014 in Booth #5511 at the Indiana Convention Center. To arrange a meeting in advance, contact us today. Even if you can't make the show, check out BRM's latest video: Surface Finishing for the Performance Racing Industry - BRM at PRI 2014 (Booth 5511).

Author's Note: This CR4 blog entry originally appeared in the BRM Flex-Hone blog.

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Nylon Abrasive Brushes for Auto Parts Finishing

Posted November 10, 2014 1:42 PM by Brush Research

The automotive aftermarket and performance racing industry use NamPower nylon abrasive brushes to perform a variety of finishing tasks. Designed for use with today's production machinery, these high-performance brushing tools are ideal for outer diameter (OD) surface preparation, parts cleaning, edge radiusing, parts deburring, and surface finishing. BRM supplies NamPower technology via its website, and through a global network of distributors.

NamPower brushes feature abrasive nylon filaments that wipe and file across part edges and surfaces, conforming closely to part contours and providing consistent brushing action. Buyers in the automotive aftermarket and the performance racing industry can choose NamPower abrasive nylon disc brushes, composite hub wheel brushes, abrasive hex-drive tools for full 360° surface finishing, and NamPower accessories such as lightweight tool holders and drive arbors.

NamPower Abrasive Disc Brushes

NamPower abrasive disc brushes are built with flexible abrasive nylon filaments that are bonded to a fiber-reinforced thermoplastic base. With their unique combination of ceramic and silicon carbide abrasive, these BRM disc brushes provide maximum burr removal rates and an optimum surface finish at the same time. The abrasive disc brush's molded thermoplastic base provides greater stability and rigidity with less vibration, resulting in a better balanced tool that performs better and lasts longer.

BRM supplies two types of NamPower abrasive disc brushes: dot and turbine. Dot-style disc brushes are used for light deburring and general-purpose surface finishing. Turbine-style abrasive disc brushes are used for medium-to-heavy deburring. Both types of NamPower abrasive disc brushes are available with lightweight tool holders with flow-through cooling for reduced heat generation and increased cutting depths. Dot-style and turbine-style NamPower disc brushes come in smaller diameters, too.

Composite Hub Wheel Brushes

NamPower composite hub wheel brushes feature virtually-indestructible cores, higher abrasive nylon filament densities, and a well-balanced construction. An alternative to wire wheels and non-woven abrasive brushes, these BRM wheel brushes are great for finishing auto parts such as drive shafts and transmission gears. Available in standard 6-inch and 8-inch diameters, NamPower nylon abrasive wheel brushes are also available in a choice of abrasive types and grit sizes.

For deburring and edge radiusing most metals, silicon carbide abrasive is a good choice. NamPower wheel brushes with diamond abrasive are recommended for auto parts made of ceramics, glass, carbide, or hardened tool steels. With both types of NamPower wheels, their composite hub construction offers a dense, uniform fill pattern for more cutting points. Abrasive grit selection influences flexibility, cutting, and finish. Machined arbor adaptors increase brush support, reduce vibration, and extend brush life.

Learn More at PRI 2014 (Booth #5511) and Watch NamPower Videos Now

Do your tradeshow plans include a visit to PRI 2014 in Indianapolis next month? Visit BRM in Booth #5511 at the Indiana Convention Center and see NamPower technology, Flex-Hone® tools, and BRM's full line of automotive and diesel brushes. To arrange a meeting in advance, contact BRM. Our technical specialists are ready to answer your questions about surface preparation, parts cleaning, burr removal, and automotive surface finishing.

For more information about NamPower products for the automotive aftermarket and the performance racing industry, download the NamPower Resource Guide and visit the BRM YouTube channel. Watch videos like NamPower Technology - Nylon Abrasive Disc Brushes, and check out NamPower Technology - Nylon Abrasive Wheel Brushes. These brief but informative product videos explain how to select BRM brush tools and demonstrate their superior surface finishing.

Author's Note: This CR4 blog entry originally appeared in the BRM Flex-Hone Blog.

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