Using Strippable Protective Coatings in Paint Booths

Strippable paint booth coatings have become increasingly popular in the finishing world, and Steve Love from GFS explains why these are necessary,

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Q: Why should I use strippable protective coatings in my paint booth?

A: Strippable paint booth coatings have become increasingly popular in the finishing world, but you may be wondering why these are necessary, or even helpful. Peelable protective coatings for your spray booth offer outstanding coverage to protect your investment, shop and employees. Simple application and removal save valuable time and make it easy to keep your booth walls and floors clean, so you can achieve high-quality paint finishes. It is no wonder why these strippable coatings are taking the industry by storm.

When you purchase a new car, you might invest in heavy-duty floor mats, seat covers, service plans or car wash packages to extend the life and quality of your new car. Similarly, when you invest in a spray booth, you want it to stay in top-quality condition as long as you can—this is where strippable paint booth protective coatings help. By using strippable coatings, your spray booth will not only be cleaner, it will last longer, too.

When parts and vehicles are painted in a spray booth most of the paint contacts the part, but the remainder may land on the booth’s walls, floor and lights. This is known as overspray. Over time, if not properly cleaned, overspray can form a thick accumulation on paint booth surfaces. Accumulation of overspray is hazardous when left untreated because wet paint underneath the dry surface can create a flammability hazard and possibly even lead to spontaneous combustion. Removing paint overspray before it can create a fire hazard is key to protecting your investment and keeping your shop and employees safe.

In addition to paint, overspray accumulation on spray booth walls and floors contains dust and dirt, which can be hazardous to your employees and affect the quality of your paint jobs. When the booth is in spray mode and fans are running, the dirt and dust can be lifted from the walls and floor and circulated throughout the booth. This creates an inhalation hazard for unprotected workers and contaminates the paint job. Also, overspray frequently reduces employee visibility in the booth. Temporary, strippable coatings traps overspray to protect spray booth surfaces, keeping your employees and facility safe from fire hazards and overspray inhalation.

Strippable coatings are available in clear and white—providing options to suit white pre-coated or galvanized booths to boost visibility when working. White walls are more reflective, creating a brighter spraying environment and aiding in precise paint application. Ultimately, this may reduce the amount of rework needed, number of paint booth cleanings and overall fire hazards, which will reduce costly mistakes and possible injuries.

The simple application and removal of peelable paint booth coatings make it easy to keep the booth walls and floors clean. Spray or roll the coating onto your surface and build to the thickness you need. Most wall applications are complete after just one coat, and floor coatings can withstand heavy-duty traffic with only two layers. This saves valuable time so technicians can focus on painting and getting more vehicles through the shop. The coatings are also easier to remove than traditional paper—to peel off surfaces, just score the edges and easily remove and dispose of overspray accumulation normally.

 

Q: What are the benefits of routinely changing the filters in my paint booth?

A: One of the simplest things you can do for the cleanliness and overall productivity of your paint booth is changing the intake and exhaust filters on a routine basis. Preventative maintenance decreases the likelihood of your equipment failing, helps ensure your paint booth is operating efficiently and keeps the production costs of your shop low.

Managing your filters and changing procedures with your manometer is key to letting painters and service personnel know when it is time to change the filters then compare these readings with the booth manufacturer’s specifications. If your booth does not have a differential pressure gauge, it is best to establish a strict maintenance schedule based on the volume of spraying taking place in the booth on a day-to-day basis.

In addition to routinely changing your filters, it is important to select high-quality filters. While you may be saving money now, the cheaper quality of the materials used in the filters will load with paint more quickly, causing you more frequent filter changeouts. Additionally, low-cost alternatives have a lower capture efficiency, which can lead to an even higher expense of replacing other parts due to the lack of filtration such as fans, motors and ductwork.

When selecting an exhaust filter material, make sure to choose the correct media for your application. The main goal of exhaust filtration is to protect your fans, stack and plenum from the buildup of overspray contamination without slowing airflow. Exhaust filters need to be able to hold enough paint to avoid constantly replacing the filters. When you use a lower echelon filter, you open yourself up to more serious issues such as expensive fan repairs.

It is also important to ensure your paint operation meets health and safety standards required by the NFPA and OSHA. In more severe situations, clogged filters may create flammable or explosive conditions within your paint booth. With so many different styles and brands, filters will reach their target reading and require replacement at varying rates. These rates will depend upon the paint type, booth design, fan speed, temperature and spray equipment.

Ultimately, it is best to work with your paint booth manufacturer or filter supplier to design an effective schedule for changing your filters. This schedule should balance your filtration and booth performance needs with the costs—and savings—of more frequent filter replacement.

Steve Love as parts and filters sales manager at Global Finishing Solutions. Visit globalfinishing.com.

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