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Scotch-Brite is a line of abrasive cleaning pads produced by 3M. The original product line consisted of spun polypropylene fiber with about nine grit variations.[1] Scotch-Brite also contains "Alox", which is a trade name for aluminum oxide. Although polypropylene may be considered benignly soft, its composition with aluminum oxide greatly enhances its abrasive powers; to the extent that a Scotch-Brite pad will actually scratch glass. When one considers that aluminum oxide has a coefficient of hardness greater than glass, this should not surprise. Aluminum oxide has one of the highest hardness coefficients of all oxides, though the much more expensive diamond abrasives still exceed it in hardness.

Scotch-Brite, and similar abrasives, have largely replaced the use of bronze wool, which had been used as a non-rusting alternative to steel wool, for use on materials such as oak that would be sensitive to rust.


  1. ^ "Material composition of Scotch Brite!". Eng-Tips Forums. 5 February 2003. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 

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