How to Convert your Airless Paint Sprayer to an Air Assist Airless Paint Sprayer
Recently we discussed the benefits of Air Assist Airless here. Primarily speaking compared to Airless, an Air Assist Airless unit allows for similar albeit slightly slower production, better finish quality, and better transfer efficiency. The primary limitations of Air Assist Airless compared to Airless spraying are the difficulty they have handling highly viscous materials well and difficulty supplying coating over long distances and heights. The best part is this though, an Airless spray unit can changed to an Air Assist Airless. The reverse doesn’t hold true, an Air Assist Airless unit will never be able to overcome the limitations of supplying coating long distances or heights and will not do well with highly viscous material (it will not act as an Airless sprayer).
You may wonder how an Airless can be used as an Air Assist Airless but an Air Assist Airless cannot be used as an Airless. This is due to the primary differences between the two. An Airless unit requires fluid pressure alone to atomize material while an Air Assist Airless uses a lower fluid pressure and air to atomize material. The lower fluid pressure associated with an Air Assist airless unit can be provided by a higher pressured Airless unit and with appropriate air supply assist air can be added as well. In contrast, an Air Assist Airless highest fluid pressure will typically be limited far below an Airless Spray Units pressure. This means that an Air Assist Airless unit must have atomization air available. To utilize an Airless in an Air Assist Airless form you would purchase an Air Assist Airless spray gun that is compatible with your Airless unit. Next, you connect regulated shop air to the Air Assist Airless gun. You would then set the pressure of the Airless unit to be approximately equal to the normal operating range of an Air Assist Airless unit (about 1200 PSI). Finally, you would dial in assist air to be approximately 10 psi. By performing these adjustments to your Airless you could utilize it as an Air Assist Airless allowing for better transfer efficiency and finer finishing.