Oil Spill Equipment Glossary
Olephilic Brush oil skimmers
Brush skimmers are packaged in a variety of configurations from stand alone units to modules that can be incorporated into recovery vessels or fitted on the top of weir skimmers. The types of oil that a brush skimmer can recover is dependent on the stiffness and density of the bristles used as well as the comb configuration. Generally speaking finer softer bristles are better for light oil whereas a stiffer wider spaced bristle is better for heavy oil.
The brush chain has been used extensively over a number of years, it differs from static skimmers in that it relies on the forward motion of the vessel with the water passing between the rows of brushes to coat the bristles with oil. The brush chain is circulated with the tips of the bristles coming up from under the oil layer. Scrapers recover the oil into a sump at the top of the unit.
Static brush skimmers operate in the reverse direction with the brush wheels rotating down into the oil layer. In this way the surface tension draws the oil towards the unit. More modern devices such as the Desmi Helix have the scraper assembly on the inside of the frame, directly scraping the oil into a central sump.
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