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Considerations When Buying An Industrial Air Spray Gun

THE TRUE COST OF AN AIR SPRAY GUN IS IN ITS PRODUCTIVITY

1. ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL!  

Most air spray guns you’ll find on the market are designed for automotive applications, and many are designed for small home or workshops users. Due to the limited air supply people usually see in these scenarios, these guns are designed to run off a single phase compressor with only 6 cfm of air.

BUT…for an industrial painter, you aren’t limited to only using 4-8 cfm of air, and the coatings we’re applying are thicker and higher solids.

If you use a proper gun that allows up to 20 cfm, you will see a significant increase in your production capacity and in the quality of your painting finish.

  • 4-8 CFM – for light coatings, touch up
  • 15-20 CFM of air consumption – for heavy coatings

A Spray gun is the most critical piece of an air spray system. There is a reason that manufacturers regularly spend millions of dollars on laboratories, research departments, resources devoted to improving gun performance:

  • You experience far less overspray
  • Achieve a better finish/more even film build
  • Saves time, getting the paint on quicker.

It doesn’t make sense to go to local hardware store and spend $50 on a cheap gun that’s based on last century’s technology and isn’t even suited for industrial-grade work, when you can save that much money every day by using a proper gun.

 

2.  CHOOSING THE RIGHT AIR SPRAY SETUP

The question to ask is how do I properly supply the paint to the gun… you have three main types of setups for air spray guns: pressure feed, suction feed and gravity feed.

  • If you have large job size you want to use a double diaphragm Warrior pump… this pressure feed will give you good flow and keep up with you. People often also use a pressure pot for this application, but for industrial painters – the warrior pump is far more efficient and easier to use.
  • For smaller touch up jobs or areas would want to use a small hand-held 1 quart suction pot which uses a suction feed, its just more flexible, and you mix up a smaller amount of paint. Don’t have to fill a pump and hoses with the coating..
  • For extremely small areas – use gravity cup gun. Again, it’s a paint savings…because it will operate with a very limited amount of paint
PRESSURE FEED SUCTION FEED GRAVITY FEED
Project Size / Scop Larger Jobs Small / Touch Ups Extremely Small Areas / Scratches
Pot Used Warrior Pump Recommended 1 Quart Suction Pot 23oz/34oz Gravity Cup

3.  TYPES OF AIR SPRAY GUN CAPS

There are 3 main types of airspray cap technology:

  • HVLP (High Volume, Low Pressure)
  • Compliant/Trans-tech
  • Conventional

HVLP guns were invented to comply with Californian air board regulations to reduce VOCs in the early 1990s. The technology was touted to save material costs and better transfer efficiency than conventional spray guns. However, the technology reduces overspray by minimizing paint flow, which limits your production and will only work with relatively low viscosity coatings.

We consider that for most situations HVLP guns are inferior, and we wouldn’t recommend them for industrial painters.

Conventional Air Spray guns are what Industrial Painting contractors use for performance.

Compliant/Trans-tech is used sometimes to minimize overspray for automotive or furniture coating, but you will get less painting production in industrial applications.

OTHER POINTS

Guns that are designed to be used with a suction or gravity cup should not be used with pressure feed – you will lose around 20% efficiency. If the fluid tip of the gun protrudes past the air cap, it is a suction feed gun. If you’re using pressure feed from a pressure pot or Warrior Pump, make sure your gun is configured with a pressure feed air cap for superior performance.

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