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Air Filtration Considerations – Top Things Too Consider to Maximize Finish Quality

If you are looking to have the best finish possible you have to have clean air that is being supplied to your spray gun. The reason is that whatever contaminant is being used by your spray gun will end up in your finish. To maximize your finish quality then, you have to have the best quality air possible with the proper volume and pressure needed. To achieve the cleanest possible air for finishing follow these principles.

  1. Compressor location – If you are in the process of placing a compressor it is always optimal to leave space between it and your finishing department.  If you cannot allow space between the compressor and finishing area it is often a good idea to include a refrigerant dryer. Compressed air contains moisture that will settle over long distances or if you use a refrigerant dryer the air will cool allowing the moisture to settle out of your finishing air. Without one of these two steps you will most likely experience water in your finish which can lead to quality defects.
  2. Proper Air Filtration – Air filtration is available in 3 different levels of filtration. First is an oil water separator. This level of filtration will remove the majority of water and oil from your finishing air, however, it will not remove water still in vapor form or any additional contaminants. After an oil/ water separator you can add a coalescent filter to provide additional filtration. Essentially a coalescent filter with an oil/ water separator will remove 95% of contaminants from your finishing air. If you need the highest quality finishing air for your finish there is a final stage you can consider which is an desiccant drying media. This third stage brings finishing air below the dew point which forces any remaining air to be removed from your finishing air. The end result is you end up with finishing air that is about 99% free of any contaminant.
  3. Proper Pipe Set up – As mentioned above water will settle out of compressed air as it gets further from the compressor. To avoid this excess moisture causing problems in your pipes it is always good to include a drop leg at routine intervals around your plant. These drop legs act as a drain area for water that has separated from your compressor line.
  4. Compressor Maintenance – Ensure your compressor is regularly maintained as suggested by the manufacturer. If a compressor is left to run without maintenance you will have an increase likelihood of air contamination due to oil or another impurity entering the filtration air. This is often a problem with gas driven compressors especially. Proper maintenance will decrease the likelihood of your compressor running poorly and adding impurities in your finish air.

If you follow these four tips you can ensure that you will have a cleaner finish by eliminating potential fish eyes, pops, and other common finish defects.

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