Mounting of cup above gun rather than below assists spraying horizontal surfaces.
Pressure feeding of fluid to spray gun
Economy pressure pot for infrequent use or low budgets
Widely used in automotive, oil-based, latex, varnish, paint, primer, wood coating, adhesive, etc.
AirSpray Conventional Pressure Pot, used most commonly for spraying thin coatings
Air Spray / Conventional Sprayers
Pressure Pot replacement
Fine finish spraying
Even material distribution through the spray pattern for optimum coverage
Improved transfer efficiency through reduced air consumption
Well balanced and lightweight (410 grams) gun makes it easier to spray at a steady rate all day
Low cost reduces loss if damaged or lost
Allows smaller volumes of coatings to be applied by pressure feed
Ideal for touch-up work
10 liter capacity
Standard and agitated setups
Waterborne compatible versions
Multiple sizes available
2.8 Gallon capacity, allows you to mix up a standard 2 gallon kit of paint with ease
Single or Dual Regulators available
Agitators – if you are spraying coatings like zinc where it will settle out, you need an agitator kit
Wastes more paint, thinner, and time than the Warrior
Requires more clean-up time
Number of parts
Best for infrequent use
Best for infrequent use
Not suitable for hi-build primers
Difficult to service in the field
Spray Pump Videos
New Graco Airless Sprayer : Largest pump available
Mixing High Viscosity Coatings
Flushing and cleaning a Graco Xtreme airless sprayer
Warrior Pump – Commercial Painting Equipment
How to spray high solids coatings easier
Airless Spray Pump Introduction
Non-Slip Granular Coatings: When, How, & How Much
Tips For Spraying High Solid Coatings
Storing airless spray pump with wetted lines
Important considerations when selecting an industrial spray pump
Choosing the right spray pump for your application is very important. There are a lot of considerations, but number one is, will it spray the coating you are trying to apply. Before you go through these questions, get yourself an up to date datasheet of the coating that you are needing to apply. Remember it is possible to rent a spray pump if you have a one off job, so find a sprayer that will fit 90-95% of your requirements.
What pressure does the coating require for correct atomization? this will be available from the data sheet supplied by your coating supplier.
What application rate do you require? This will be dependent on how many square feet/meters you want to apply in a shift
What pot-life does your coating have (i.e. how long between mixing and not being able to be applied)? Products with less than 30 minutes pot-life will require a 2K system.
Does your coating require agitation? If spraying zinc primers, check with your coatings supplier if it needs agitation.
Does your coating require heating? Some very thick coatings may require heating to make them viscous enough to flow through a spray pump.
Why use an Airless Sprayer vs Conventional AirSpray
The prime reason to use an airless is to apply coatings that are difficult to apply using conventional air spray equipment (either a pressure pot of a cup gun). The other deciding factor is the volume of coating to be applied. Typically the change from air spray to airless spray is because heavy industrial coatings need to be applied. These often require pressures higher than that which an air spray system is capable of correctly atomizing. Industrial coatings are usually required to be applied in volumes also in excess of that which an air spray system is capable of.
When to use a Plural Component Airless Pump
Plural component spraying adds another dimension to spray pump usage. Having ascertained that a spray pump is required for spraying success, the next decision is whether to use 1k or 2k equipment. 1k (single component) requires coatings that have a 30 minute plus pot life (time between mixing and setting). Anything less than this will require a 2k system. Another advantage of 2K systems is the reduction of human error when mixing (provided the correct ratio is entered into the control). A third advantage is the reduction in material waste. As a 2k system instantaneously mixes on demand, there is no wasted batch at the end of the shift. Waste material is only what is in the hose, mix tube and gun already mixed.
Common issues with spray pumps
One type of coating that difficult to spray with an airless spray pump is zinc primers. By nature these coatings are a powder in suspension in a solvent. This presents two problems 1. the powder tends to fall out of suspension from the solvent 2. the pressures provided by an airless spray pump means that the powder tends to “pack in” , separating out from the solvent in the pump lines and gun. To counter this zinc primers require constant mechanical agitation (available in the form of an add-on air powered additional component) and are best applied with a low pressure pump such as the Warrior.
The main-trade off when choosing the high volume of an airless pump rather than a lower volume air system spray is the loss of finish quality. The ultimate finish quality (e.g. mirror like automotive) will always be provided by a conventional air spray system. However, there a couple of options to help improve finish quality when using an airless spray pump 1. a finishing tip for the airless gun this has an additional orifice at the back of the tip to help break the atomization of the coating into smaller particles 2. an air assisted airless gun has a small feed of air to the tip holder, again breaking the atomization up.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the maximum pressure that spray pumps can spray at?
Commonly, pumps are available that spray at up to 7500 psi.
What is the maximum flow rate available in a spray pump?
Spray pumps are available at up to 15 liters minute flow rate. At 15 liters per minute a spray pump will most likely will not be able to spray at 7500 psi. At the upper limits of a spray pump’s performance, there will always be some trade off between pressure and flow, i.e. you can have 7500 psi or 15 liters per minute but not both.
How short a pot-life can a spray pump work with?
The XM and XP pumps featured in this comparison will cope with materials with a 3 to 30 minute pot-life. Other systems are available that will apply coatings that have a pot life of seconds.
What options are there for feeding a spray pump?
The most commonly used feed component for a spray pump is a suction pick-up tube. Some heavy industrial coatings are difficult to feed into a suction pump and cause cavitation (sucking in air with the material feed and creating air bubbles in the material in the pump, This interferes with the smooth operation of the pump). To overcome this a gravity feed hopper can be installed on a spray pump. This is mounted on the pump and forces the material into the feed. For plural component systems where the material may be delivered to site in 44 gal. drums or IBC, the containers can be fitted separate pumps to pump out of the supply container and in to the spray pump.
How easy are spray pumps to service?
It varies. For most single leg (for premixed or single component coatings) pumps common maintenance tasks on the pump lower can be performed in the field by someone with reasonable mechanical aptitude. Service and repair of spray pump motors, both electric and pneumatic, is best performed in a workshop. For plural component spray pumps, their additional complexity necessitates the need for trained service personnel. This doesn’t mean that they can’t be serviced in the field. A certain amount of repairs and maintenance can still be done in the field by suitably trained service personnel.
How easy are spray pumps to operate?
As with servicing them, the single leg pumps are easier to easier to operate than plural component units. Single leg spray pump operation can be taught in-house by a contractor or self taught by using the operation guides and manuals. Plural component systems will usually require specialist training from the equipment supplier.