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Wire Brush

Last updated: December 23, 2018

What Does Wire Brush Mean?

A wire brush is a device consisting of many small diameter pieces of metal packed together very closely that is used to clean a material's surface. The small metal pieces are rubbed across a material's surface either manually or by mechanical means. Brushing removes undesirable substances from the surface of the material.


Corrosionpedia Explains Wire Brush

Wire brushes are used for many different material preparation applications. A wire brush may be used to remove rust prior to coating. It may also be used to remove an old coating in order to apply a newer, more robust coating. A wire brush is frequently used prior to welding materials such as aluminum or stainless steel because their oxide layers could create weld discontinuities or defects. After welding, a wire brush may be used to remove slag and spatter. Wire brushes are also used to remove burrs.

There are many different types of metal that are used to produce wire brushes, and some are more advantageous than others for different material surface types. For instance, if the material's surface is aluminum or stainless steel, it is not advisable to use a carbon steel wire brush because it will leave particles of carbon steel that will eventually rust on the surface. Also, brass wire brushes should not be used on extremely hard materials because the brass wires typically don't have sufficient hardness to abrade the hard material's surface.

A wire brush can be operated manually or via mechanical means. A manual wire brush will have a handle for an operator to grab on to as the operator brushes the material. Mechanical methods typically employ an electrically powered wire brush wheel.


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