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How to Use an Electrostatic Spray Gun

Electrostatic paint spray guns offer a variety of benefits over regular spray guns like huge potential to reduce the amount of coating your using among other things. However, they do require a bit of extra training to know how to safely use them.  We are going to cover the important things you should know to safely use an electrostatic spray gun in this guide. For more on the Pros and Cons of electrostatic spray guns you can review this guide.

Safety and Electrostatic Painting

The biggest thing to consider when using an electrostatic spray gun is safety.  The difference between electrostatic painting and standard spray guns is that an electrostatic spray gun introduces an electric charge to the paint which is drawn to a grounded part. The electricity associated with electrostatic painting, if not properly controlled, can create a static discharge which can create a risk for fire.  To avoid static discharge you should always make sure your electrostatic power cord has the earth ground prong intact and is plugged into earth grounded outlet (older facilities may not have a properly grounded outlet so it is always best to verify the outlet is grounded). Additionally, your hand should remain bare and stay in contact with the electrostatic handle as most electrostatic guns today are conductive allowing the charge to pass through you into the earth if a charge begins to build. Your shoes should allow current to travel (most shoes will be fine but if you notice your shirt standing up when electrostatically painting it may be that your shoes are not conductive). Finally, you want to make sure your part is grounded so that material will travel to the part and not toward you when sprayed. Additionally, due to the risk of material traveling toward you, you want to make sure you always wear eye protection.

Setting an Electrostatic Spray Gun Up for painting

To find the initial settings for your electrostatic spray gun, you start with the power pack turned off. The initial settings will include setting the spray gun the same way you would if you are using a standard air spray gun. Electrostatic Spray Guns come in air feed or air assist airless types. If you are using an air feed you will have a pressure pot with it. To set a pressure pot you begin by setting fluid pressure then air pressure. The fluid pressure should be set to a small 2 foot arching stream and the air pressure increased until you get the break up you want (smaller appearing particles are better). We have a thorough guide on setting a pressure pot up here. If you are using air assist airless electrostatic, you can refer to this guide on setting up an air assist airless or watch the video on electrostatic sprayers below.

Setting up Electric Settings for electrostatic spray gun

The two main settings you can modify on an electrostatic spray gun are kilovolts and microamps. In general one will decrease as the other increases. Kilovolts are what create the wrapping effect of paint to a products surface so generally you want kilovolts high unless you are dealing with corners of an object. Corners with electrostatic painting can have issues with Far A Day Cage Effect, which is the tendency of a charged particle to seek the closest possible ground. In the case of a corner the nearest ground is the edge of the corner, resulting in the inside of the corner not being coated.  To overcome issues with Far A Day Cage, you can lower your Kilovolts. If you need further information on electrostatic electric settings refer to this guide.

Summary

  • Remember an electrostatic spray gun is like any spray gun but uses an electric charge
  • Make sure your electrostatic unit and you are properly grounded
  • Set the spray gun up with the spray gun electric charge off
  • Turn on the electric charge and make any changes needed
  • High KV allows for better wrap but can create problems in corners

That’s the essentials of how to use an electrostatic spray gun if you have further questions please let us know in the comment section.

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