5 Features to Look for in Conveyor Chain Cleaning Brushes

Posted on: 21 September 2015

Running large-scale conveyor belts is the best way to keep practically any kind of material moving steadily across the plant floor, but those big belts or buckets can't move without the chains to pull them. Keep the chains cleaner with less work by investing in the right set of cleaning brushes with all five of these must-have features.

Direct Drive Motors

Basic brush equipment is passive, only spinning as the chain runs through the two or four sets of bristles. Powered scrubbers do a more thorough job of removing stuck on lubricant and paint debris, but the machinery can become very loud over time due to wear and tear on the internal parts. Look for brush equipment built around direct drive motors since these units spin the brushes directly with fewer moving parts to break over time. You'll spend less on maintenance, enjoy quieter operation, and get cleaner conveyor chains.

Adjustable Brushes

Don't settle for the first brush you find that fits your existing equipment. Look for conveyor chain brush mounts providing a custom fit with adjustments like

  • Height changes, so the brushes only scrub the top or bottom of the chain
  • Width changes, allowing you to put more or less pressure on a chain of any size
  • Pressure controls, reducing excessive wear from brushes rubbing too hard on the chains
  • Spin speed, only available on powered cleaners
  • Brush tip angles, helping you clean every side of the chain in a single pass by wrapping around the links.

The best models allow you to adjust at least some of these features while the unit is in operation. Why stop the entire conveyor belt just to increase the spin speed? Of course, some adjustments are always safer when done while the conveyor is stopped. Don't expect to change up the tilt of the brushes or the height as the heads are spinning, but you should at least retain control over the pressure and speed.

Bassine Fibers

You might think that metal bristles are best for dislodging the most stubborn dirt and grease on conveyor chains, but all that metal on metal contact is excessively damaging. Even nylon can be too rough on chains already prone to wear and tear from the demands of your conveyor. Reduce the amount of time between chain replacements by picking a natural material soft enough to polish the surface clean instead of roughing it up. Bassine is a common choice for these kinds of brushes because this plant fiber won't absorb water or oil and will stay cleaner in the process.

Lubricating Components

Don't just spend your money on equipment to clean and maintain your conveyor chains when you can get lubrication accomplished at the same time. Shop around for a model combining both cleaning and lubricating brushes in one complete package. You can scrub off the tacky oil residue causing friction with the first set of brushes, then apply a fresh coat of lubricant seconds later with a second set. It's easier to pick up a double set of matching components from the same manufacturer than try to force two different devices to work together.

Debris Shields

Finally, consider the effect of all that rust, paint, and other debris flying off the chains at high speed as you clean them. Employees are easily injured when a piece of debris hits them in the eye or gets inhaleded. Make sure your chain cleaning brushes are surrounded by hanging debris chains to funnel all that waste onto the ground for sweeping up, or into a suspended tray to prevent a mess. You can even find brush sets with vacuum tubes built in so you can trap the dust and dirt as soon as it comes loose from the chain.