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What's in a Name

Working across a range of industries and sectors we hear and learn the names of brushes being depicted by shape, form, and application. These names vary from sector to sector, even from company to company.

Custom Brush

Here at Cottam we use standard terminology to categorise our brushes and most fall within those below. Our custom brushes are designed and manufactured for a specific application, to meet the needs of each of our customers.​


Our most basic form of custom brush. Used for a wide variety of tasks, from cleaning boots at football stadiums and golf clubs to enhancing the grain of timber with liming solutions in the furniture-making industry. Typically made with a Beech / Plywood / Polypropylene core and a stapled fill of plastic / brass wire (crimped). 


Custom plate brushes can be found attached or inserted into various types of machinery or mechanical devices. Profiled to fit into a specific area we manufacture an array of sizes, shapes and forms. These tend to be complex parts with various fixing points, cavities, and varying fill patterns. Cores tend to be machined metal or injection-moulded plastics, with brush fills to suit. 


Used across multiple industry sectors from Farming (Cow Brushes and tractor attachments) to waste treatment facilities. Typically, made with a plastic / nylon core , with a central location hole, and filled 360 degrees with plastic filaments in various thicknesses and colours. These are some of the most densely tufted brushes we produce. Large format rollers can be produced more efficiently by segmenting the core. 


A popular type of brush that is used across multiple industries. Made from plastics and alloys, they are machined or turned in a vast array of sizes to suit the solution. We use both plastics (engineering) and alloys for the core and plastic filament / metal wire for the fill of a disk brush.​


Our largest designed and manufactured brush here at Cottam is a Ring Brush. It measures a colossal 900mm in diameter and is used to clean pipelines. A machined steel ring forms the core which is populated and filled with stainless steel wire clusters.​


From our own Quatroflex Brush design to our flexible eel pass brush boards, flexible brushes offer unique properties (such as…) which can be leveraged to build unique problem-solving solutions. Brush cores are made from structured, flexible PU resins & plastics, with fills of wire / plastic filament which can be resin set or stapled to ensure maximum brush head manoeuvrability.


Predominately used in the Grounds Maintenance sector, our drag brushes are attached to structural frameworks that are manually or machine driven over synthetic turf and hard porous surfaces (such as football pitches and tennis courts) for cleaning and maintenance. Typically built on a plastic polypropylene core with a plastic / nylon fill and designed modular in design, size and fitting.​


Spherical shape brushes are ideal for sending down pipes and ducting, or in the print toner industry to clean and remove toner build up. Gravity feed or air pressure propelled, the 360° spherical tufting provides a brush solution that cleans from every angle. The cores are turned from wood or plastic before drilling, tufting, and trimming into a perfect Ball Brush.


Conical brushes are often used in the manufacturing & automotive sector on production and assembly lines. Regularly incorporating a wear indicator – a dedicated tuft to show when the brush head is to be replaced – the conical brush shape can be achieved by the form of the core or the trim. Plastics and Nylons tend to be specified in the production of these conical brushes for increased wear resistance when in use.


From road sweepers to subsea ROV’s (remotely operated vehicles) we manufacture various sweeper brush designs and attachments. Turned & machined or moulded plastic cores are drilled and tufted with nylon and plastic filaments. We work with many customers to fill / trim their moulded parts (cores) to specification.


Our most popular brush for the telecommunications industry, this is commonly used with our mandrels. Used to clean electrical or communication ducts by pulling or pushing the brushes through the system. Available as an off-the-shelf product in set sizes or as a bespoke brush. A solid polypropylene core with eyelets on each end, a 360 degree tufted fill of nylon completes the standard build.


Bolted to the side of an intelligent Pipeline Inspection Gauge (PIG) and forming the key contact between machine and pipeline, our brushes aid electronic inspection of oil and gas lines. The brush bristles help scan the pipework for cracks, irregularities and faults as well as cleaning debris build up. Brush cores are machined from steel and filled with soldered, bonded, or swaged tufts of wire.


A great profile for cleaning blind holes, tubes, or pipes. Used to clean a range of products from royal artillery rifles to die pockets in the world of manufacturing, and a whole lot of other applications in-between. Built on timber and plastic cores, and filled with plastics and natural materials (like Tampico) we produce many custom dome brush solutions. The 180° degree dome is often combined with a parallel brush body.


When a brush diameter is too large, or a complex assembly is required, breaking down the brush into segments can be a great way to solve transport and assembly problems. Typically each segment of the brush is designed to interlock, completing the full ‘disk brush’. We build these in many plastics and nylons for the waste management and oil and gas industries amongst others.


Originally developed in conjunction with our local water authority, our eel pass brushes help migrating eels and elvers navigate manmade weirs in canals and rivers. Semi-submerged for most of their working life, particular consideration was given to the plastics used in core, filament tufts and assembly. Available in a range of set sizes or as a bespoke, custom brush configuration.


Normally used as a ‘first pass’ through telecommunication ducting to clear large debris before deploying a duct brush, our mandrels are available is a range of set sizes and bespoke, custom designs. The polypropylene solid core is pulled / pushed via the eyelets at either end. The chamfered lead-in ensures easy assembly and exit from the ducting.


We use these brush terms to try and standardise those used within the brushmaking industry, and help those from outside our industry understand the different types of brushes and their conventional uses. If you can’t see what you are looking for, please do get in touch.

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