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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.

How to Find the Right Surface Finishing Solution

Posted July 06, 2015 1:03 PM by Brush Research

Do you need solutions to surface finishing challenges? Are you looking for the right tools and technologies to remove burrs and improve surface quality? If you're ready to find answers to your most challenging surface finishing questions, Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM) is ready to help. As a full-line supplier of flexible cylinder hones and industrial brushes, we do more than supply products. With our 55 years of experience, we provide technical expertise like you'll get with our Tech Lab program.

The BRM Tech Lab Program

Send us your most challenging part and BRM will evaluate your component for free. As part of our analysis, we'll recommend the right Flex-Hone® tool, NamPower nylon abrasive brush, or other industrial brushing tool for your specific surface finishing and deburring application. Test results typically include photographs and surface profilometer data for your part both before and after finishing. In addition to recommending the right tool for the job, BRM's technical team will provide recommendations about operating speeds.

Surface finishing and deburring challenges can be tough, but getting started with the BRM Lab Program is simple. Just download the BRM Tech Lab form and answer a few questions about your company, your part, and your surface finishing requirements. The form displays right in your Web browser and is a PDF document that's quick and easy to complete. If we need any additional information, such as a sketch or drawing of your part, our technical team will let you know.

Identifying Surface Finishing Requirements

The BRM Tech Lab form is only a page long, but asks some important questions. For example, what is your project timeline and how many parts do you need per month or even per year? What is the application for your part, and are there special circumstances surrounding its production or use? BRM supports a wide range of applications and works with partners in many different industries. As we review your part information, we'll determine the best way to put our technical knowledge to work for you.

Understanding your final finishing requirements is critical. So are part specifications such as material and hardness; bore diameter, length and type; and surface conditions. Remember to indicate whether the bore type is through or blind, and if the surface condition is chromed or plated. The BRM Tech Lab form also asks about manufacturing and machining operations prior to finishing. Was the part drilled, reamed, bored, or honed? Your answers will help BRM to recommend the right tools and technologies.

Recommending Surface Finishing Tools and Technologies

Remember, too, that we do more than just analyze your part information. BRM's full-service Tech Lab will also deburr and surface finish your part. Then, when we share the results of our efforts, we'll indicate which surface finishing and deburring tool we chose - and how we used it. Tool selection is important, of course, but making the most of a flexible hone or industrial brush also means identifying the optimum operating parameters. So let us do the work for you!

Which tool will the BRM Technical Team recommend? That depends on your application. For cylinder surface finishing, cross-hole deburring, and other inner diameter (ID) applications, the BRM Flex-Hone® tool is the industry standard. For automated parts deburring and surface finishing with outer diameter (OD) applications, NamPower nylon abrasive brushes combine high-performance with consistent, reliable, cost-effective results. BRM's catalog of industrial brushes also includes many other high-quality tools.

Send In Your Part

Are you ready to get started on the road to surface finishing success? Are you ready to solve your surface finishing and deburring challenges? BRM is ready to help. Download the form for our Tech Lab program, and let BRM do the work for you.

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Surface Finishing Tips for Steel Wire Wheel Brushes

Posted May 19, 2015 4:59 PM by Brush Research

Metal fabricators use steel wire wheel brushes for surface preparation, surface finishing, burr removal, weld cleaning, and rust and oxide removal. Wheel brushes with steel filaments aren't just versatile, however. They're also dependable. For example, steel wire tips remove contaminants, coatings, and surface imperfections without changing part dimensions. Steel wire brushes are also non-loading, which means that they won't become clogged with debris.

Steel Wire Wheels for Surface Finishing

Are steel wire wheel brushes what you need? Are you using them at your shop now, or have you tried this type of power brush before? Whether you're an experienced parts fabricator or new to metalworking, it's important to select the right type of steel wire wheel and then follow some best practices. For example, did you know that tempered steel wire costs more but lasts longer? Did you know that brushes are set-up to run at a prescribed surface feet per minute (SFM), and that larger-diameter brushes can achieve this SFM while running at lower revolutions per minute (RPM) than small-diameter brushes? Let's look at some brush tool tips.

Fill Materials and Twist Types

Steel wire wheel brushes use either carbon steel or stainless steel as the fill material. Carbon steel has good wear characteristics, cutting action, and fatigue resistance. Stainless steel resists wear, corrosion, high temperatures, and some chemicals. Fill material matters, but you'll need to consider the twist type, too. Crimped wire or standard twists are used with regular surfaces. Knotted or tufted cable twists are more aggressive. Stinger bead twists have a narrow face and are used mainly for weld cleaning.

Filament Length and Fill Density

Filament length and fill density can vary, so make sure to choose and use the right type of steel wire wheel for the job. Brush tools with longer filaments or trim conform closely to contoured surfaces. Brushing tools with shorter trim are better-suited for more demanding applications. Fill density, the number of steel wire tips per unit of measure, also affects performance. Steel wire wheels with lower densities are more flexible, and are a good choice for surface cleaning. Higher-density wheels can run faster and last longer.

Brush Speed and Direction

Like other power brushes, steel wire wheels work best when the brush speed and pressure are right for your specific application. As a rule, use the highest possible speed and the lightest possible pressure. Never exceed the maximum safe free speed (MSFS) or revolutions per minute (RPM), however, and avoid applying so much pressure that the filaments get too hot or bend too much. If you need to apply greater pressure, try a more aggressive brush. For longer brush life, periodically reverse the direction of rotation.

Stainless Steel Brushes - Special Considerations

Steel wire wheels are non-loading, but that doesn't mean a condition called "after rust" can't affect your workpiece. To avoid this problem, don't use a stainless steel brush on carbon steel parts and then on stainless steel parts. Keep your stainless steel brushes away from areas where they might contact carbon steel particles, too. For critical tasks, degrease stainless steel wire wheels before starting operations. When you're done, degrease these wheel brushes again and wrap them in plastic.

Learn More About Industrial Brushes from BRM

As a full-line manufacturer of surface finishing solutions, Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM) supplies metal fabricators with a large and growing family of industrial brushing tools. For more information about our steel wire wheels and other surface finishing and deburring tools, download "The Use of Industrial Brushes" now and read it right in your web browser.

Author's Note: This CR4 blog entry originally appeared on The BRM Blog.

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Cross-Hole Deburring Tips and Techniques

Posted April 06, 2015 12:41 PM by Brush Research

Cross-hole deburring removes the burrs that are created when manufacturers and machinists cross-drill intersecting holes on metal parts. Removing these ragged edges, raised areas, particles, protrusions, and shavings improves part function and quality. Because metal burrs can cause part misalignments, cross-hole deburrring supports the smooth operation of machinery and mechanical systems. Burr removal also promotes plant safety and production efficiency. Operators who handle machined parts or blanks with burrs risk injury, and poor surface finish quality on machine components can impede production.

What's the best way to remove burrs from cross-drilled holes then? First, you'll need to select the right tool for the job. Next, you'll need to follow suggested operating parameters and best practices.

Choose the Right Cross-Hole Deburring Tool for the Job

The Flex-Hone tool from Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM) is a flexible, resilient honing tool that removes burrs from cross-drilled holes and improves surface finish at the same time. Known also as a ball hone, the BRM Flex-Hone features abrasive globules that are permanently laminated to flexible nylon filaments. These abrasive globules or balls provide a soft cutting action that removes burrs from cylinder walls while leaving the base metal undisturbed.

BRM supplies Flex-Hone tools in 8 different abrasive types and 11 different options in diameters from 4-mm to 36" for use with a wide variety of base materials and surface finish requirements. The Flex-Hone Resource Guide explains how to select the right cross-hole deburring tool for your application, and also provides suggested operating parameters. Flexible honing does not require specialized training, but it's important to follow best practices for optimal results.

Follow Best Practices for Deburring Cross-Drilled Holes

Flexible hones have a wire stem for use with most any rotating spindle. With CNC equipment, the tool is secured with a Jacobs-style collet that's clamped directly to the stem wire. BRM's cross-hole deburring tools are used also in lathes, mills, drill presses, and electric hand drills. As this YouTube video shows, an operator can easily chuck a Flex-Hone into a standard 3/8" or 1/2" drill motor on cordless drill. As the Flex-Hone Resource Guide explains, power requirements are a function of horsepower. Stroke rate is a function of flexible hone diameter, stroke, and cross-hatch angle specification (if any).

When deburring cross-drilled holes with the Flex-Hone, BRM recommends that you first stroke and rotate the tool in a clockwise direction. Then remove the cylinder hone from the bore, reverse the spindle, and stroke and rotate in a clockwise direction. This promotes a more symmetrical deburring pattern and prevents the burr from folding back into the cross-hole. During cross-hole deburring, and with any Flex-Hone operation (such as cylinder wall deglazing), always use a lubricant or good-quality honing oil. This prevents tool loading, and ensures the exposure of fresh cutting particles.

Learn More About Deburring at PMTS 2015

Are you headed to the Precision Machine Technology Show (PMTS 2015) in Columbus, Ohio later this month? From April 21 to April 23, the BRM Technical team will be in Booth #1223 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. You can also learn about solving deburring challenges at this PTMS Educational Session on Tuesday, April 21 from 8:15 to 9:15 AM. BRM's Jonathan Borden will provide a presentation you won't want to miss, so be sure to add this session to your show planner.

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

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Diamond Abrasive Wheel Brushes for Harder Materials

Posted March 30, 2015 2:10 PM by Brush Research

Wheel brushes are wheel-shaped brushing tools that remove burrs and improve the surface finish of machined parts. These power brushes are also used for outer diameter (OD) applications such as cleaning, polishing, and edge radiusing. As a full-line supplier of surface finishing solutions, Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM) provides many different types of wheel brushes, including NamPower nylon abrasive wheels.

NamPower composite hub nylon abrasive diamond wheel brushes are high-performance brush tools with abrasive-impregnated nylon filaments. These wheel brushes also feature virtually indestructible composite hubs to support their use with equipment and machinery. When selecting a NamPower wheel brush, the type of abrasive is important to consider. Typically, this is a function of the workpiece's base material.

Base Materials and Surface Finishing Applications

NamPower composite hub wheel brushes are available in different abrasive types. NamPower wheels with silicon carbide abrasive are used to deburr and surface finish parts made of industrial metals such as aluminum and steel. NamPower wheel brushes with diamond abrasive filaments are recommended for deburring, surface finishing, and edge radiusing harder materials such as carbide, ceramic, cubic boron nitride (CBN), and glass.

Applications for NamPower diamond wheels include deburring gears made of hardened tool steels, and polishing the flute reliefs on drills, end mills, and reamers made of high-speed steels (HSS) or carbide. With end mills and reamers, a polished flue relief enhances chip removal and promotes better finishes and longer tool life. With carbide inserts, edge radiusing prevents fracturing and premature insert wear. NamPower diamond wheels are also used with plasma-sprayed and nitride-coated surfaces.

Diamond Wheel Brush Specifications

BRM's NamPower nylon abrasive wheel brushes with black diamond filaments are available in three diameters: 100 mm (4 in), 150 mm (6 in), and 200 mm (8 in). The 150 mm and 200 mm diameter wheel brushes have face widths of either 10 mm or 15 mm. The 100 mm diamond wheels come with either a 5 mm or 10 mm face width to accommodate a variety of flue relief sizes. All BRM diamond abrasive wheel brushes come standard in 600 mesh, which provides just the right amount of cutting action.

The relationship between brush diameter and arbor hole size is also important to consider. NamPower composite hub diamond wheels with a diameter of 100 mm have a 20 mm arbor hole. NamPower diamond wheel brushes with diameters of 150 mm or 200 mm have a 3.25-in. arbor hole. BRM produces machined arbor adapters in a variety of sizes, too. These adapters are designed to offer increased brush support, less brush vibration, and longer brush life.

Cost-Effective, High-Performance Diamond Wheels

NamPower diamond abrasive wheel brushes cost significantly less than other diamond wheels on the market, and combine high-performance with greater value for dependable results. These composite hub wheels also feature virtually indestructible cores and have a dense, uniform fill pattern that puts more cutting points at the point of attack. Download the brochure to learn more about NamPower diamond wheels, or contact BRM today.

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

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Miniature Stainless Steel Brush Kits for Cross-Hole Deburring

Posted March 23, 2015 12:13 PM by Brush Research

Miniature stainless steel brushes are great for cross-hole deburring, internal cleaning, microburr removal, rust removal, and surface preparation. These all stainless steel tools from Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM) are corrosion-resistant, and won't remove the base material or change part dimensions. Small holes don't have to mean big problems for manufacturers, so choose BRM's stainless steel mini brushes to improve part quality and consistency.

Mini stainless steel brushes are also easy-to-use. To run a brush tool under power, just chuck the metal stem in a handheld electric drill. These mini brushes are non-loading, and won't clog with debris. Don't reverse the brush inside of a hole, however. For manual deburring, use Series 81-A cross-hole deburring tools with BRM's double-end pin vise. Nickel-plated and built from solid brass, these sturdy pin vises have double collets on both ends and provide a safe, secure way to hold miniature deburring brushes.

Small Parts Finishing

Small parts manufacturers use Series 81-A brushing tools in industries ranging from medical device manufacturing to agricultural equipment. As a full line supplier of surface finishing solutions, BRM also offer miniature deburring brushes in a variety of filament types. Choices include carbon steel, stainless steel, and brass, as well as brush tools with nylon and abrasive-filled nylon filaments. Manufacturers can also choose Flex-Hone tools for bores as small as 4 mm or 0.156 in.

Miniature stainless steel brushes are dependable and easy-to-use, yet some manufacturers still haven't tried them. If your only option is to buy a large set of cross-hole deburring tools, the cost may keep you from investing in the surface finishing solutions that you really need. That's why BRM now supplies cost-effective mini brush kits with stainless steel deburring tools in a variety of sizes. The cost of this special brush tool kit is generally less than the standard 12-pack, and a double-end pin vise is included.

Mini Brush Kits

BRM's mini brush kits contain 12 cross-hole deburring tools in either inch-based or metric sizes. The inch-based kit (Part No. 81AKIT) contains mini brushes in these sizes: .032, .047, .054, .079, .094, .109, .125, .142, .156, .172, and .189 inch (in). The metric-sized kit (Part No. 81AMMKIT) contains cross-hole deburring tools in these sizes: 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6 and 6.5 millimeters (mm). To order your inch-based or metric-sized kit, visit the BRM website today.

Have you tried BRM's Series 81-A stainless steel brushes for cross-hole deburring? Would you like learn more about how our new mini brush kits contain the brushing tools you need for micro burr removal, internal cleaning, rust removal, and surface preparation? As a full-line supplier or surface finishing and deburring tools, BRM is ready to help. Watch this video for more information, and then download the product brochure.

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

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Which Parts Wash Brush Do You Need?

Posted March 16, 2015 4:54 PM by Brush Research

Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM) supplies parts wash brushes for cleaning auto parts such as oil pumps, engine and brake components, and wheels and wheel bearings. These high-quality cleaning brushes also remove cutting fluids, machine oils, lubricants, dirt, and grease from machined parts such as valves and gears. BRM's newest parts wash brush, a soft-tip wheel cleaning brush, is safe for chrome, polished surfaces, and clear coats. With its rounded and tapered tip, this wheel cleaning brush lets auto detailers remove dirt and debris from tight, hard-to-reach places.

Synthetic Filaments Resist Solvent Cleaners

All BRM parts wash brushes are made with long-lasting synthetic filaments that resist the solvent-based cleaners used in products such as degreasing agents, carburetor and brake parts cleaner, and metal parts strippers. The brush handles are made of sturdy injection-molded polypropylene plastic, and all of the metal brush parts are made of either stainless steel or brass for corrosion resistance. In addition to plastic-handed cleaning brushes, BRM offers a scraper-style brush with an aluminum handle. For dirty jobs and tough cleaning tasks, these metal-handled tools can save you time and money, too.

Straight and Ergonomic Handles for Speed and Comfort

As BRM's latest YouTube video explains, the automotive aftermarket can choose BRM parts wash brushes with either straight or ergonomic handles. Straight-handled cleaning brushes pack plenty of options, and are available with flow-through valves that let users control flow rate and pressure. These cost-effective cleaning brushes are also available with plastic tube fittings for recirculating parts washers made by Enco, KleerFlo, SafetyKleen, and other popular brands.

Tip Styles for Larger Areas and Hard-to-Reach Places

BRM also supplies parts wash brushes with ergonomic handles that promote user comfort and help reduce operator wrist fatigue. Paintbrush-style brushes are great for cleaning larger areas. Ergonomic brushes with rounded tips are ideal for reaching tighter places. The same tip style that's used with PW4P, PW6P, and PW7P ergonomic brushes is also used with PWC and PWA straight-handled brushes. Like BRM's straight-handled tools, ergonomic cleaning brushes are also available with flow-through vales and tube fittings.

Soft-Tip Wheel Cleaning Brushes for Auto Detailing

Soft-tip wheel cleaning brushes are also available. BRM's newest parts wash brush pushes away dirt and debris, and is safe for chrome, polished surfaces, and clear coats. Built with a straight plastic handle and a rounded, tapered tip, this versatile wheel cleaning brush is also great for lug nuts and other auto parts in tight, hard-to-reach spaces. Auto detailers know that wheel cleaning is time-consuming, so choose BRM soft-tip wheel cleaning brushes to make cleaning more efficient.

Which Parts Wash Brush Do You Need?

For more information about these high-quality cleaning tools, download BRM's Parts Wash Brush Brochure. As a full-line supplier of industrial brushes and Flex-Hone® tools, Brush Research Manufacturing has the cleaning, deburring, and surface finishing solutions that you need. Visit our website or contact us to learn more.

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

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