Paint Booth FAQ’s – Part 1

Asking the right questions to get the right answers.

It’s very important to be as informed as possible when you make the commitment to purchase a paint booth. It’s definitely no small investment, as we’ve talked about in this blog before. But how do you take your seemingly endless list of questions and decide where to begin? Well, for starters it’s always a good idea to make an effort to educate yourself as much as possible on the basics of key paint booth issues, so we’ve decided to put together a list of the most commonly asked questions we’ve received from our customers to make the learning process for you a bit easier.

Q. What should I expect from a new spray booth?

A. Filtration: Quality finishes require clean contaminate-free air. This is accomplished by proper air filtration. This should be done through a combination of pre-filters to capture large particles and debris, and high efficiency intake filters before the air enters the booth. In addition, the air is filtered again before it is re-circulated or exhausted from the booth.

Airflow: Proper airflow in the booth is accomplished by creating a flow of air that envelopes the vehicle during booth operation. This airflow, referred to as laminar air, is responsible for carrying away the paint overspray during the refinish process and air movement during paint curing.
 
Lighting: Another key element is bright, shadow-free light throughout the booth. You should look for T-8 (color corrected) light fixtures, in the proper quantity and correct location, creating an environment that allows for precise color match and proper paint flow identification. Booths should maintain the following light specs: a color rendering index of 85, light temperature between 5-6500 on the Kelvin scale and foot candle power between 100 and 350 throughout the vehicle’s surface.

Q. What is a pressurized paint booth, and what are the benefits of pressuring the booth?

A. The term pressurized refers to the amount of air inside the booth vs. the amount of air outside the booth. The booth when properly balanced should be slightly positive, meaning that the amount of air flowing into the booth is slightly greater than the amount of air that is allowed to leave. The advantage is that positive pressure keeps unwanted dirt and debris from entering the booth. Any leaks in the seals or joints are going out, not in, thus providing a cleaner paint environment.

Q. What size spray booth will I need?

A. Give the finisher room to work. The size of a spray booth is critical to the successful performance of the finishers and the spray finishing equipment. Many factors contribute to the selection of the proper spray booth for you needs. The following guidelines may help you in your spray booth selections.
Width – To determine the necessary width, measure width of the largest article and add 5 feet to allow for access to the sides of the equipment.
Height – The height of the booth is determined by the overall height of the largest item plus two feet clearance. Ample room should be allowed for the finisher to spray the top and bottom of the object.
Depth – Working depth should be sufficient for the object to be within the enclosure plus 3 feet clearance at the rear (from the filters).

Q. What is Explosion Relief? Do I need Explosion Relief to meet code?

A. According to NFPA 33, “Explosion relief shall not be required for a spray booth or spray room that is alternately used for drying, curing or fusing, if all of the following conditions exist:”

  1. The spray booth or spray room is used for batch-type spray applications only
  2. The air heater is not within the recirculated air path
  3. The ventilation system complies with the applicable requirements of NFPA 86, Standard on Ovens & Furnaces

These are just a few of the key questions that you might want to ask your booth sales rep, if they haven’t addressed these issues already. We’ll be posting more key questions in Part 2 of our FAQ series in the coming weeks. In the meantime, if you have any specific questions you’d like to have answered, visit our Finishing Academy ‘Ask GFS’ page and send us your questions!

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