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Guns vs. Bells: Going In-Depth

Posted by Mike Bonner

Mar 4, 2018 1:02:00 PM

Editor’s Note: Our VP of Engineering & Technology Mike Bonner recently spoke at the 2018 Waterborne Symposium held in New Orleans, LA. His presentation went in-depth on the differences in atomization between spray guns and bell atomizers, shedding light on how paint finishers can further improve their applications.Robotic Paint Bell.pngRobotic Paint Gun.png

For those not in attendance, he’s prepared his insights here for our blog as a series of posts. To view future posts in the series, check the Guns vs. Bells blog series page over the following weeks on Thursdays and Sundays.  The presentation was recorded and will be also available on our YouTube channel in the not-too-distant future.  Stay tuned for that announcement!

If you believe that the selection of guns or bells for your coating application technology is based solely on atomization, you are only considering half of the picture.

In this blog series, we’ll examine some little-known facts about guns and bells — things that your supplier never told you — and how these “secrets” affect the application of waterborne, solventborne, and UV cure coatings, specifically with regard to surface finish.

In the end, we distill these factors into practical guidelines to help you select the best applicator for your project to more than double your chances to obtain your desired finish results with high first-pass yields and minimal finish-related rejects.

Finishing and spray operations

The goal of any finishing operation is to apply a consistent and contiguous coating to the subject part.  This coating serves many purposes:

  1. Beautification to improve the aesthetic appearance of the part

  2. Protection against such things as scratches, corrosion, UV damage, etc.

  3. Improved performance in the part’s final application. This can include such things as increasing resistance to moisture, reducing aerodynamic drag (i.e. – automobiles, airplanes, rockets), hydraulic drag (i.e. – boats, ships, torpedoes), and a host of others.

There are many ways to apply these coatings including dipping, brushing, rolling, flow coating, etc., but in this series, we’ll focus on spray operations.

In a spray operation, the coating is atomized into a pattern of droplets and applied to the surface of the part, where the droplets rejoin one another and flow out to form a film.  The primary devices used to perform this atomization are guns and bells.

In our next post, we’ll discuss the similarities and differences between guns and bells, as well as the fundamentals of atomization.

That’s all for now. Subscribe to our blog to get the next installment in this series delivered directly to your inbox. In the meantime, if you’re having issues with your spray finishing operation, contact us directly or book a meeting to discuss your application.

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Topics: Viscosity, paint and coating, Guns vs Bells Series

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