Toothbrush tester for bristle stiffness and pull-out resistance

16 May 2019


  • Motorised tensile test stand
  • Custom grips to suit the each individual test requirement
  • Graphing software


  • Single testing station for multiple tests
  • Soft, medium, firm grading quantified
  • Data capture and results comparable to international test standards
  • System usable by production staff in the factory environment with maximum reproducibility


3 parameters needed to be tested on a range of toothbrushes;

  • Stiffness of bristles according to ISO 8627, 1987/BS5757
  • Strength of a single bristle
  • Strength of a tuft of bristles

The equipment needed to be simple to operate for production staff, robust enough for a factory environment with extremes in temperature and offer the ability to perform all 3 tests with the minimum of 'set-up' time.



A VersaTest motorised test stand adapted with accessories and sensors was used to perform each test.

According to the ISO 8627 bristle stiffness test, the toothbrush has to be mounted in a holder and rubbed against a metal grid at a speed of 200 mm/min. The grid is attached directly to a 100 N S-Beam Loadcell which detects the stiffness of the bristles as they travel over its surface. The graph of force/deflection was recorded using DataPlot-X software. Soft bristles will show a low force compared to hard bristles.

A surgical clamp with serrated jaws was used to hold the bristle for the 'single bristle' pull test. Forces in the region of 10-15 N were required to remove the nylon bristle from the polypropylene toothbrush head.

For the 'tuft' pull test, a set of bristles were held in a pin-chuck and connected to a 200 N S-Beam sensor, via a flexible chain link. Removal forces for the complete tuft were in the region of 50-70 N.

Test equipment

  • VersaTest Motorised Test Stand with Height Scale
  • 100 N and 200 N Smart S-Beam
  • Pin Chuck and Chain
  • X-Y Table c/w Toothbrush Head Holder for above tests
  • Bristle Stiffness Fixture
  • 2 AFTI displays
  • Surgical Clamp and Chain
  • DataPlot-X Software
  • DigiCon Interface and Cables
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