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What is the Difference between Disc, Cylindrical and Orbital/Oscillating scrub systems?


Disk Scrubbing: Disk scrubbers will clean, or strip wax from floors. Disk machines offer easy to change, variably aggressive, pads or brushes. These features make disk scrubbers ideal for applications where pads are not only inexpensive, but offer a great deal of surface contact for scuff mark control and floor shine. When aggressive pads are coated with the stripped wax, they can be conveniently thrown away.

For industrial applications, disk brushes often make sense because they can accept greater down pressure than cylindrical brooms. They will clean heavily soiled floors with built up layers quicker, benefitting from heavy down pressure. Example: A demonstration person can stand on a disk brush (in our case this is up to 250 pounds of pressure) and the brush bristles do not collapse. However, because there is no sweeping, to avoid vacuum clogs hindering dirty water retrieval, the floor must be pre-swept prior to use.

Disc systems will also accommodate floor prep and refinish tools like scarifiers, scrapers and diamond polishing attachments for grinding, smoothing and reclamation of floors.

In the end, disc systems provide greatest versatility, lowest total cost of operation and require a little less after use care and maintenance.


Cylindrical Scrubbing: A cylindrical scrub brush system will (wet) sweep small amounts of solid debris into a removable tray for easy disposal while it is cleaning the floor. You eliminate the cost of manually pre-sweeping of your factory or warehouse floor resulting in greater productivity and fewer clogs in the squeegee section of the scrubber. There is often no need for an additional separate sweeper when a cylindrical machine will do the job. The wet sweep while scrubbing design controls dust 100% while eliminating expensive and maintenance prone dry sweeping systems equipped with dust filters, and require less after use care and maintenance than separate machines or combination dry sweep/wet scrub units. In large ride on units this method eliminates as much as 30% of component parts, reducing costs and simplifying maintenance.

Cylindrical scrubbers usually turn their brushes at a speed that is three times the rotation of a disk brush. This will often offset the greater surface area and down pressure advantage that disk scrub decks offer. Cylindrical scrub brushes do keep less bristle surface in contact with the floor, but these bristles will rotate on the floor with three times the rotation frequency of disk brush bristles, typically delivering a higher shine. Additionally the entire width of the brush is rotating in the same direction, against the flow of travel. This provides more uniform cleaning across width of scrubbed area and eliminates “skunk striping” that can occur with disc decks. Cylindrical scrub decks do require a little more after use care and cleanup than a disc unit, and will have a little higher cost of operation.

Orbital/Oscillating Scrubbing & stripping: Orbital or Oscillating scrub decks clean smooth, coated floors quickly, with less water and leave a higher shine. They do however, require a completely debris free, pre-swept floor surface prior to usage. Primary application is coated floors, and the need to recoat the finish periodically. This system can sometimes also be more effective in removing heel, scuff or tire marks from floors as well. The convenience factor coupled with the time & materials cost savings from the ability to chemically free strip old finishes, or abrade finishes for a quick recoat is significant in applications where such situations apply. These systems do require the most care and maintenance of the 3 scrub decks, and will have a little higher operating cost, but for the right application, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages.

Which is better? Well, it depends on your application! This is why we are happy to help you choose, by conducting on site surveys, and offering free demonstrations of equipment, in your facility.