The Advantages of Electrostatic Spray Painting
The Advantages of Electrostatic Spray PaintingElectrostatic spraying is a coating method that uses a spray gun to positively charge electric particles while the workpiece is grounded, or negatively charged. The process delivers high transfer efficiency, reduces costs, and can improve environmental performance. The advantages of electrostatic spray painting make it a popular application choice for paint shops. Here we explore the process, its benefits and its disadvantages in more detail.
How Does It Work?Electrostatic spraying works on the principle that:
- Particles with a negative charge attract particles with a positive charge.
- Particles with a positive charge repel other particles with a positive charge.
The electrostatic processA positively charged electron within the spray nozzle charges the paint particles. Because these particles all have a positive charge, they repel each other and break apart, resulting in a fine mist that coats evenly. There is also a magnetic effect. The negative charge of the workpiece attracts the positive charge of the paint particles across its full surface. Once coated to a certain depth, the workpiece stops attracting paint particles because the negative charge is too weak. This results in an even finish.
The "wrap-around" effectPaint particles with a positive charge 'seek out' uncoated surfaces with a negative charge. This means that the backs and sides of a workpiece draw paint toward them once the front side is coated.
What Are the Advantages of Electrostatic Spray Painting?Electrostatic technology has three distinct advantages over conventional air spray and HVLP guns:
- Superior quality coating with a faster production time
- Low VOC emissions
- Preserve them
- Enhance their flow
- Create specialist properties such as resistance to corrosion
VOC levels and the lawHigh VOC exposure can have serious effects on human health and on the environment. For this reason, industrial paint shops must comply with:
- Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations
- Volatile Organic Compounds VOC in Paints, Varnishes and Vehicle Refinishing Products Regulations 2012:1715
- The Solvent Emissions (England and Wales) Regulations 2004, SI 107
- Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 SI 675
Electrostatic spray painting and VOCsThe Solvent Emissions (England and Wales) Regulations 2004, SI 107 requires that you inform your local authority and apply for a permit if you consume more than 5 tonnes of VOCs per annum. Permits cost almost œ2K p/a and failure to comply can result in hefty fines and litigation. The high transfer efficiency of electrostatic spraying can help you to comply with VOC limits by reducing:
- The number of VOC-containing products that you consume
- Your VOC emissions
- The volume of hazardous waste that you produce
- Paint wastage
- Clean-up and associated cleaning product and labour costs
- Spending on the disposal of hazardous waste
- The "wrap-around" effect makes use of spray that would ordinarily be lost as overspray.
- Electrostatic sprayers don't need air pressure to atomise paint particles. Conventional sprayers do rely on air pressure, which creates more spatter and overspray.
Are There Any Disadvantages?When considering adopting a new application process it's important to assess the disadvantages too. To help you do that, here's a summary of the three common disadvantages and their implications:
Training the workforce
The Faraday Cage Effect
ConclusionThe advantages of electrostatic spray painting make it an ideal application method for paint shops that want to:
- Produce a superior finish
- Reduce production costs
- Improve their environmental performance
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