Spray Can Problems
We are having clogging problems with the spray cans. In the plant, we just grab another can, but at the job site, there is often only one can available. What can we do to solve this costly problem?
Q. My company makes cabinets from sheet metal stampings to house our equipment. The cabinets are phosphatized, spray painted and then baked. The painted panels go to storage until they are assembled with equipment. On the way to and from storage, they get damaged (scuffed and scratched). Sometimes, they get damaged during shipment and installation at the customer’s job site. We have our color paint packaged in spray cans to touch up the scratches here and at the job site. We are having clogging problems with the spray cans. They are alright the first time, but don’t often work the next time. In the plant, we just grab another can, but at the job site, there is often only one can available. What can we do to solve this costly
problem? R. C.
A. Spray cans are really great, but they all suffer from the same malady, nozzle clog. I found this out the hard way. Many years ago I bought an air brush to paint my model railroad structures and rolling stock. Then I found spray cans in the “right” colors. I started using them because I was too lazy to clean the air brush after each use. The air brush never came out of the box. You know what happened next, I suffered “spray can nozzle clog,” an almost fatal disease.
Then I got smart and started clearing the nozzle after each use. I simply turned the can upside down and depressed the nozzle to clear it allowing a little of the propellant to pass through. Now I do this after each use. I also wipe the area around the orifice after clearing it. For good measure, I keep a short length of small diameter wire handy to poke into and clear the orifice if necessary. If you have your employees follow these practices, the spray can problems will be solved.
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Masking is employed in most any metal finishing operation where only a specifically defined area of the surface of a part must be exposed to a process. Conversely, masking may be employed on a surface where treatment is either not required or must be avoided. This article covers the many aspects of masking for metal finishing, including applications, methods and the various types of masking employed.