Automotive paint overspray happens when paint doesn’t land on the target, and this wastes precious time and paint, on top of making the booth dirty and overworking filters. Worse yet, overspray can actually contribute to finish defects, like orange peel, because the overspray can settle on painted parts and cause problems. Fortunately, there are ways you can reduce overspray, and today we’re going to go over some tips to help you combat this problem.
1. Use the Right Applicator
One of the most important elements in reducing automotive paint overspray is to use the right applicator for the right spray pattern. Imagine you were trying to use a fire hose to water a backyard garden, and just think about how much extra water you'd be wasting by choosing that type of hose for that type of job when in reality all you needed was a garden hose. Paint applicators work using the same principle, so choose your applicator wisely.
2. Control Air Flow
Going back to the fire hose in the garden analogy, the size of the nozzle isn't the only problem here, and the amount of air pressure and flow is also a factor you have to consider. When it comes to guns and bells, inconsistent airflow can cause overspray, because it affects the shaping air, allowing the paint to blow away from the target.
3. Control Triggering
Triggering leads to overspray when there's no part present, or when the paint is triggered off the part. This can happen when the part is too far away, or when the angle of application is wrong, often because of programming errors. Depending on the cause of the problem, the solution could include installing a vision system, reprogramming the robot, changing the rack design, or a host of other options...
4. Control Atomization
Atomization is essential to the application process, but excessive atomization can cause overspray. Excessive atomization, especially when it happens in conjunction with high air flow, can lead to paint droplets being carried away on the air rather than reaching their target, and this creates a paint mist that isn't very effective at coating the target. Moreover, when the paint is atomized too much, the droplets are likely to dry out too quickly, which means they won’t adhere even if they do reach the target. This is often referred to as "dry spray".
5. Increase Electrostatic Charge
By increasing the electrostatic charge on the paint particles, they become more strongly attracted to the target, so they're more likely to reach it, thereby reducing overspray.
Overspray is time-consuming and costly because it wastes paint, increases the time it takes to paint and reduces output. With these five tips, you can reduce overspray caused by a number of different reasons, and in turn, increase productivity and lower costs. On top of the issues discussed here today, there are also a number of other paint issues that are caused by temperature problems at critical areas of the paint system. In this case, Saint Clair Systems recommends a free analysis to help you locate the source of your paint issues.
Learn more about identifying and preventing the cause of automotive paint problems. Get your free copy of our Orange Prevention eGuide.