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Issue 27

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plastic blocks. Thinner polypropylene bristles are touted as medium sweep brooms, and work well for debris ranging from slightly finer than sand to small gravel. Crimped bristles hold moisture and are excellent for pushing wet, coarse material. Coupled with a scattering of oil-based sweeping compound (sawdust and oil), this fiber makes a great choice for medium sweeping on wet or dry, smooth to moderately rough surfaces. Polypropylene is also available in the ultimate street broom stiffness too. With thicker bristles made for moving rough, gravely material, street brooms must withstand coarse, wet surfaces without becoming soft. The crimped bristle style also allows for heavy duty scrubbing by holding detergents better while working. This bristle is the ultimate for rough duty work. Tampico, a natural fiber derived from the Agave Lechugilla plant of arid northern Mexico, is a medium- soft bristle material with a smooth, yet slightly abrasive texture. This combo makes for an excellent medium sweep general purpose broom that holds up to uncoated concrete and other semi-rough surfaces over long periods. The fiber becomes soft in water and other liquids, so this type of broom should be used in dry or limited-wet areas only. Tampico holds moisture and must be allowed to dry before the bristles will stiffen again. Bristle life is very long life though with a good resistance to acids and most solvents. For the perfect "mostly dry" warehouse broom, couple this bristle with oil-based sweeping compounds. BLOCKS Fibers can be set into structural foam plastic, wood, or aluminum blocks, all of which come in a variety of styles and sizes, as we have seen. Synthetic block materials are resistant to moisture and do not warp or splinter like wood. Hardwood blocks are the traditional material with only one real drawback: when run over by a forklift or equivalent heavy machine they can bust. Plastic block brooms usually survive the pressure, but metal blocks can bend. To recap: there are several different types of push brooms (also called floor brushes) available. Indoor sweeps, garage sweeps, and street sweeps are the main categories, or fine, medium, and rough if you prefer. In addition, each of these categories contain a variety of bristle styles and sizes. For larger brooms is always best to use braces for added handle support. This prevents undue wear on the block from twisting and Polypropylene bristle with straight filament Tampico natural fiber • Dual bristle types on plastic block

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