Important Things To Consider about Spray Booths
There are a lot of ways to apply coating whether it be in the field, in an open shop, in a spray area, a prep station, or a spray booth. Each has its place and purpose, but in this case we will restrict our discussion to spray booths.
The most important thing to consider when thinking about how you will apply a coating is whether it will be done safely. To know whether you are following proper safety concepts it is good to follow both OSHA guidelines and NFPA guidelines. In the context of spray applications, NFPA 33 is the guideline that most pertains to spraying coatings. When you are evaluating whether your spray environment is safe NFPA 33 should be the go to resource for code compliance, any spray booth you purchase should state they meet all national codes that are pertinent to spray regulations including NFPA 33. Additionally, it is important to consider if the area is designed for preparation or spraying. The difference between the two is that a prep area is limited in the amount of spraying allowed in a given time frame.That being said once you know your booth is code compliant and allows for spraying to the extent you need to spray what else should you consider?
First is air velocity. Air velocity ensures that overspray is carried away from your target to the filters. This allows for a clean spray finish as well as a safe spray environment. For proper spray booths we typically recommend air velocities of at least 100 CFM for a cross draft booth and 50 CFM for a downdraft booth. These air velocities allow for proper paint overspray removal while not being excessively strong (though this number can vary slightly from the 100 and 50 CFM mentioned).
Second is protection from dirt. If finish quality is a primary concern for your use of a booth you will want to consider if the area can be isolated from the rest of your work environment. Contaminants like dirt and oil can quickly ruin a quality paint job. If cleanliness of finish is important you should consider options like filtered doors so intake air can be kept clean or air make up unit which provides positive pressure to the booth reducing the amount of dust/ contaminants in the spray environment.
Third knowledgeable field representatives. A good field rep will ask you questions concerning what type of coating you will be spraying, is accelerated dry time critical for your production, how large is your facility, where can we fit a duct run, and many other questions. The purpose of these questions will be to help determine if your building is properly sized to handle a spray booth, how it could be possible to reduce product dry time, and how will an exhaust duct be able to fit into your facility. If you have these three factors and code compliance all wrapped up it should be safe to say you have a great solution for safe spraying.