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Air Assisted Airless Versus HVLP

Air Assisted Airless Versus HVLP

HVLP and AIr Assist Airless share a lot of similar benefits but they also have unique challenges and differences.  This article will highlight both the benefits and drawbacks.  This will help you decide if Air Assist Airless or HVLP Spray technology is a better solution for your surface coating needs. You can also learn how to convert your Airless Paint Sprayer into an Air Assist Airless here.

HVLP

HVLP Benefits over Air Assist Airless

  • Finer control of fluid and air delivery – Compared to an air assist airless sprayer a HVLP Spray Gun will allow better control over the amount of fluid and air delivered at a time.  This is beneficial when you need high control over coating application due to needing a very thin coating applied.  
  • Better control of your fan size – HVLP has a fan pattern adjustment which allows for better control over the fan pattern of your spray gun.  As previously mentioned you can also adjust the fluid and air delivery.  This allows you to control your spray pattern anywhere from an inch to 15 inches.  The benefit is that this will allow you to spray a variety of surfaces with better control and accuracy.
  • Less Coating Waste – Although Air Assist Airless and HVLP have comparable transfer efficiency, an Air Assist Airless will require flushing out of your fluid lines.  While a HVLP Spray Gun might have a fluid line, even with the line you can back pressure a HVLP Spray Gun and typically the line will be less length than an Air Assist Airless unit. 
  • Requires less Compressed Air (if your using a Air Driven Air Assist Airless) – A HVLP Spray Gun will require about 12 – 20 CFM of compressed air.  An Air Assist Airless will require typically anywhere from 40 CFM up to 200 CFM depending on the Fluid Delivery Rate.
  • HVLP Spray Guns will provide a slightly better finish quality 

Air Assist Airless Benefits over HVLP Spray Guns

  • Faster productionAir Assist Airless units will apply coating a lot faster than a HVLP Spray Gun.  This can be important where production is your primary goal.
  • Application of Heavier CoatingsAir Assist Airless uses both Pressure and Air to help atomize your coating.  Which will allow an air assist airless unit to atomize heavier coatings.

Similarities between HVLP and Air Assist Airless

Which one is right for you?

  •  If you need greater control and ultimate appearance of your finish being applied consider an HVLP
  • If you need production, or heavier coating application but still want efficiency, production, and quality finish, consider an Air Assist Airless.
  • If you need pure production consider a typical airless. 

Further Resources

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