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Choosing a Pressure Pot for Paintin

A quality spray gun with a pressure pot is one of the most versatile painting tools you can purchase. With the right pot and spray gun you can paint anything from an airplane to small parts. To maximize your productivity and effectiveness it is essential to select a properly sized and set up pressure pot for your painting needs.

Choosing a Pressure Pot for Painting; Things to Consider

Variable 1 –  The number of regulators you want for your pressure pot

Depending on the manufacturer, pressure pots will come with a variety of gauge configurations including single or dual regulation. Two regulators provides greater control at the pressure pot but with an additional cost for the second regulator. The second regulator provides control inside of your paint booth rather than requiring the painter to go outside of the booth to change air pressure. This allows for greater production, especially if coatings will change regularly because the painter can make all adjustments in the paint booth. It also provides a bit more accurate control as the air travels a shorter distance to the gun reducing any change in air pressure due to pressure drop.

Variable 2 – How fine of control do you need in adjusting your pressure pot

Again depending on the manufacturer pressure pots for painting will have the option of standard or sensitive regulators. A sensitive regulator has a smaller range that it will read which allows for greater control of the pressure you are using with your coatings. This is typically important when you have a coating you need applied lightly or with a coating that has a very low viscosity and will flow with minimal fluid pressure (stains are one prime example of this).  If fine control is less important standard regulators will be best.

Variable 3 – Do You Need Agitation?

If your coating needs to be mixed continuously because it is a suspension or otherwise will settle out then you will need agitation. The key is how viscous is your coating (if its a medium to heavy viscosity coating you will need a gear reduced agitator otherwise a direct drive agitator will work).

  • What is a direct drive agitator – A direct drive agitator drives the agitator from the air motor without any reduction of speed
  • What is a Reduced Gear Agitator – A reduced gear agitator takes the shaft of the air motor and connects it to a reducing gear which creates more power and a slower rotation.  This is important for heavy bodied material like zincs or epoxies.

Variable 4 – Is the coating Highly Viscous?  Consider a bottom outlet or adding heat 

If the coating is extraordinarily thick like zincs and certain high solid epoxies you may need to use a bottom outlet kit, thinner, or water jacket.  Each of these methods will allow you to reduce the viscosity of the coating but via different methods. The bottom outlet kit will allow you to leverage gravity to help the coating flow (this is particularly helpful with larger pressure tanks) Thinner will reduce the coating but can create extra thinner use which is a ongoing expense. A water jacket for the pressure pot can increase the temperature of the coating allowing the viscosity to be reduced naturally just make sure that the jacket is designed for use with paint so that no danger arises with heat and solvent.

Variable 5 – How Long of a Pot life Does Your Coating Have or how long before it starts hardening

Pot life is the amount of time your coating will last before it begins to harden. This is important with a pressure tank because if the coating begins to harden while in your pressure tank it can cause issues with cleaning the tank or even ruin the pressure tank along with the spray gun. Below are recommendations of pot size based on pot life/ hardening time courtesy of Binks.

Choosing a Pressure Pot for Painting

Variable 6 – Volume of Production

If you will use the same coating all day you will want to reference the chart above to choose a pressure pot size that will allow for the most painting time before needing to refill.

Variable 7 – Frequency of Coating Changes

If you will be changing your coatings routinely you will want to consider a smaller pot size based on how often you will change coatings so that you do not waste excessive coating when changing to a new coating.

By considering these 7 factors when choosing a pressure pot you can maximize your production while keeping the costs of your pressure pot down.

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