Choosing a Spray Gun

Question: We are a machine shop for aircraft parts and are starting up a paint line.


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We are a machine shop for aircraft parts and are starting up a paint line. We currently pretreat our own parts. I would like to have some information on paint guns that would best suit our purposes. Buy cheap, expensive? best quality? Anything you would advise would be appreciated. Also any recommended information to read and learn on the application, such as pratfalls, tips or techniques. Looking forward to hearing from you. R. B.


One thing I learned during 72 years on Earth and 50 years of industrial experience is don’t buy cheap. When I buy anything, I buy the best I can afford. That said, let’s address your question. The type of spray equipment you need depends on the amount, size and configuration of products you intend to paint. If you paint only a few parts, a conventional air atomizing, suction feed spray gun will provide good looking finishes on most products and may be sufficient for your needs. If you paint a larger number of parts and want increased transfer efficiency (TE), consider airless spray equipment. For even greater TE, consider HVLP or electrostatic spray equipment. Recommended reading is my Chapter, “Today’s Paint-Application Methods,” on Pages 20–29, in the 2005 Products Finishing Directory and Technology Guide (www.pfonline.com/articles/pfd0502.html). The paint you choose must comply with air quality and worker safety regulations. To comply with these regulations, you will need a spray booth, because we can no longer spray paint outdoors or in the back corner of the shop. Suppliers of spray guns are listed under Painting Equipment of the aforementioned Directory (www.pfonline.com/suppliers.html).