• 300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20006, USA


The part of a brush that does the work is the filaments. Jenkins’ prides itself on being able to supply a brush with just about any fill material. Below is a partial list of what is available.

Fill material falls into basically three types:
Synthetic = Man made plastics
Natural = Hair, bristle or vegetable fiber
Wire = Strands of metallic filament

Synthetic Brush Materials

Nylon – The most widely used and versatile fiber used today. Nylon is highly durable because of its high abrasion resistance and bend recovery. It is resistant to most common chemicals and has high softening point of approximately 350°F. Three grades of nylon are available in the USA: type 6, type 6,6 and type 6,12. The wear ability is similar between the three, however the higher grade the less the water absorption. Jenkins’ has over 10 tons of nylon in stock; .0025″ to .060″ dia., white or black with a few FDA approved colors. Also crimped or level filaments are available.

Heat Distortion (F) 250 300 250 225 370 283
Melting Point 410 500 405 330
Bend Recovery (%) 90 90 90 70-80 excel. poor
Shelf Life excel. excel. excel. good poor fair
Abrasion Resistance good excel. excel. good good poor
Specific Gravity (G/CC) 1.13-4 1.13-4 1.04-5 .90-1 1.3 .6
Tensile Strength (PCI) 50-60M 60-70M 50-60M 50-80M

Polypropylene – A common synthetic filament used in a variety of applications.
Polypropylene is lower cost than nylon but it does not have the bend recovery that nylon has or abrasion resistance. Polypropylene will take a set much quicker than nylon will (not bend back to its original shape). Polypropylene has excellent stiffness when wet and is inert to most solvents, oils, acids or chemicals and is fungus resistant. We stock polypropylene in black or natural color and .006″ to .040″ in diameter. Also crimped or level filaments are available.

Dilute Alkalis excel. excel. excel. excel. poor good
Dilute Acids good good good excel. poor good
Strong Acids fair fair good good g-poor g-poor
Alcohols good good good excel. poor good

Polyester – Used in some applications where it is exposed to sunlight or solvents. It has better abrasion resistance than polypropylene, but not as goods as nylon. It also has excellent bend recovery, excellent solvent resistance and excellent oxidation resistance at high temperature. The properties of polyester do not change significantly between wet and dry applications because it does not absorb much water.

Teflon – Is a rarely used material because of its softness and tendency to take a set (bend and not return to its original positions). Teflon with its melting point of 545°F is exceptionally stable to heat and chemicals. Teflon is unaffected by strong caustic, sulfuric acid, hydrofluoric acid and solvents such as aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons, alcohols, esters, ketones and ethers.

Abrasive Impregnated Nylon – Abrasive filaments are produced by extruding nylon with silicon carbide or aluminum oxide grit interspersed throughout each filament. As the filament abrades and wears down new aggregate keeps getting exposed. Filaments are available in a variety of diameters up to .060″ and 500 grit to 46 grit. Both silicon carbide and aluminum oxide grits are available. Silicon carbide is harder and sharper than aluminum oxide and is preferred for finishing ferrous metals. Aluminum oxide grit is less likely to fracture and is preferred for finishing soft metals. Abrasive impregnated nylon has many uses for surface finishing on metal or wood. It is also used for roughing up surfaces for laminating.

Tensile Strength 16.000-18.000 psi 110-124 n/mm2
Elongation 20-35% 20-35%
Tensile Modulus 200.000-250.000 psi 1380-1790 n/mm2
Tensile Modulus
73°F (23°C)
100% RH 120.000-150.000 psi 830-1020 n/mm2
Blend Recovery 80-85% 80-85%
Density 1.26 gs/cc 1.26 gs/cc
Melting Point 410°F (210°C) 410°F (210°C)
Water Absorption 1.3% 1.3%
Water Absorption
73°F (23°C)
100% RH 2.8% 2.8%

Unless indicated measured 73°F (23°C), 50% RH

Anti Static Brush Materials

Conductive Nylon – Nylon type 6,6 that has an electrically conductive carbon suffused onto the surface. This coating is durable but not indestructible. In abrasive applications it wears at about the same rate as the rest of the fibre. The filaments have a round cross section and have a coating thickness of approximately 1 micron. Conductive nylon is available in .010, .016 and .020 dia. filaments. The conductively is unaffected by humidity and solvents, except strong acids. It is suitable for uses up to 230°F and will not crack off during flexing. Electrical resistance is about 20,000 ohms per inch per fibre, depending on diameter. When using the conductive fibre, it is necessary to have a conductive path from the fibre to ground.

Typical Physical Properties 0.28 mm 0.41 mm 0.52 mm
Diameter, millimeter 0.277 0.41 0.52
Diameter, inches 0.011 0.016 0.020
Denier per filament 630 1330 2150
Breaking Load, grams 3800 7050 9700
Breaking Load, pounds 8.4 15.5 21.5
Elongation at Break, % 34% 30% 30%
Initial Moduls MPa 323 323 323
Initial Moduls KPSI 47 47 47
Yield, meters per kg 14200 6800 4200
Yield, feet per pound 21300 10200 6300
Electrical Properties
Ave. Resistance, ohm/cm 10 x 103 7 x 103 6 x 103
Max. Resistance, ohm/cm 15 x 103 10 x 103 9 x 103
Specific Resistivity 8 ohm-cm

Nylon-AS – Reduces the problem of static electricity by adding an anti static agent composed of hydrophilic and hydrophobic segments. This provides a rapid dissipation of static charge faster than standard nylon filaments. Studies have shown that the ability of materials to dissipate charge generated on their own surface by contact or sliding actions is well matched by the decay of charge deposited from a high voltage corona discharge. Nylon-As eliminates the problems generated by static electricity in many applications by providing a rapid dissipation of static charge. Anti static materials inhibit or reduce the generation of static. Conductive materials with a proper ground remove the static charge.

Charge Decay @ 21.1°C (70°F), 29% r.h.
SAMPLE t(5000 ? 50 V)
t(5000 ? 50 V)
Nylon-AS (AntiStatic) Filaments 2.06 1.53 1.8
Standart Nylon Filaments 100 100 100

Thunderon – Is a unique fibre, which has become the effective fibre for the elimination and control of static electricity. Thunderon is an acrylic fibre with an electrical conductive layer of copper sulphide, which produces an unsurpassed corona discharge effect. When this fiber (.0015 diameter) conductive fibre nears the surface of static charged material, it will ionize the air, which acts as a carrier of electrons away from the charged materials. The bristle material has the bend recovery associated with acrylic fibre. It can be mixed with other materials to reduce cost or increase stiffness.

Form of Product Acrylic
Tenacity (g/d) 2.8-3.0
Elongation 22.0-24.0
Specific Gravity 1.18
Molsture Content % 2.0
Softening Point (°/C) 190-240
Specific Resistance [/cm] 10-1-1--2

Natural Brush Materials

Horsehair – The hair from a horse’s mane or tail has a long tradition of usefulness. Horsehair is valued according to stiffness, length and color. It works well for sweeping polished surfaces, dusting, flux removal and general cleanup and is non-conductive. Horsehair is available in brownish black color and 3″ to 36″ in length. Cost is determined by length color and stiffness. Tail hair is the stiffer grade though some brands mix tail and mane together.

Bristle – The hair that comes from a member of the suidae family: hog, swine, pig sow or boar is called bristle. Bristle comes from along the back near the spine of these animals. Bristle is resilient and is the stiffest natural material available. A hog bristle brush will provide the best possible cleaning. It works well when dealing with tough sticky materials or viscous fluids. It is non conductive but will generate less static than synthetic materials.

Soft Hair – Goat hair, ox ear hair, Japanese pony belly hair and badger hair are all examples of soft hairs. Soft hairs are very expensive and are used in applications where very soft material is needed and marring is not allowed.

Fibre Brush Materials

Tampico – The Mexican port from which the best known and most widely used brush fibre is supplied, has given its name to fibers from the Agave amarillos cactus family. The color is creamy white or slightly yellow. Tampico can be dyed to black or other colors. Tampico can be used either wet or dry. Its high absorbency rate makes it suitable for scrubbing and washing applications. It is also heat, alkali and acid resistance and slightly abrasive in nature.

Bassine – Is made from the stalks of the leaves of the faw palm. The fibers are dried and usually dyed brown, cut to size and bundled. It is mostly used in deck scrubs and garage and street brooms. But is also widely used in other applications.

Wire Brush Materials

Stainless Steel – Is available in 3 types, T-302, T-304 and T-316. These supply tensile strength, fatigue strength and high corrosion resistance. Stainless steel is available in .003″ dia. for burnishing and removal. Stainless steel is used to prevent harmful ferrous deposits on brushed parts and is quite aggressive in larger diameters.

Steel Wire – Carbon steel wire is available in high carbon and low carbon depending on your application. Carbon steel wire is used where stainless steel wire or higher cost is not needed. Steel wire can be very aggressive.

Brass Wire – The brass wire used by Jenkins’ Brush is alloy 260. This wire is 70% copper and 30% zinc. Jenkins’ uses only the highest quality brass, which is highly conductive and corrosive resistant and non-sparking. This wire is used in the manufacture of all brass brushes.

Phosphor Bronze – The phosphor bronze used by Jenkins’ Brush is alloy 510. This wire is 95% copper and 5″ tin. The addition of tin to copper effectively increases the fatigue strength. Phosphor bronze is corrosion resistant, has good fatigue life, and has high electric conductivity, low elastic modulus and high tensile strength; making is an excellent product for brushes.

Nickel Silver – The nickel silver used by Jenkins’ Brush is alloy 745. This wire is 10% nickel, 65% copper and 25% zinc. The addition of nickel to brass results in the formation of while alloy – nickel silver. With the addition of nickel the tensile strengths are increased along with corrosion resistance, making this a good product for use as brush fill material.

Beryllium Copper – The beryllium copper used by Jenkins’ Brush is alloy 172. This wire is 98% copper, 2% beryllium. The addition of beryllium to copper significantly enhances the performance properties and characteristics of copper. Beryllium copper has exceptional strength, thermal and electrical conducting and outstanding wear resistance.

Jenkins’ Brush is also able to make brushes of hastelloy, monel, inconel and any other material, which is available. Jenkins’ Brush prides itself on being able to put just about any material into a brush.