How to know if You Need A Plural Component Spray System
When it comes to spraying coatings there is a wide range of options available from a basic suction or gravity fed spray gun, to an airless spray system, up to a complex plural component spray system that may use a spray gun or airless sprayer depending on the application. A plural component spray system can be expensive and often cost $20,000 or more depending on the type of plural component system you choose. If you are trying to decide if a plural component spray system is right for you, this guide will provide you things to consider to see if it might make sense to invest in.
Consideration 1 - The Coating your spraying
The coating your spraying will be one of the largest factors that you should consider if a plural component system is needed. Certain coating systems will often times require a plural component system due to the properties of the coating. Common coatings that may require the use of a plural component system include polyureas, certain epoxies, and polyurethanes depending on the characteristics of the coating. A key factor to consider related to your coating is the pot life of the coating. The pot life of the coating refers to how long the material can be mixed before it hardens/cures. Often times if your pot life is much shorter than 30 minutes a plural system may be needed depending on the amount of material you will use. Short pot lives can make it hard to spray the material premixed before it cures inside of your equipment and ruins your spray gun, airless sprayer, or pressure pot. The plural component system will mix the material at a manifold or in a similar way and wouldn't have material curing until it was sprayed from your spray gun. The Coating manufacturers recommendation - Certain coatings may require a particular plural component system to validate the coatings performance. Failure to use the recommended equipment by the coatings provider can cause the coating provider to not warranty the coatings performance.
Consideration 2 - The Amount Your Spraying
A second consideration when thinking about a plural component spray system is the volume of material you are spraying. A plural component system can be useful with higher volumes of spraying. This will let you spray the two components for long periods of time without having to worry about the material curing in your equipment. Additionally, a plural component system will have minimal hose length that will need purged of material when done spraying. With higher volumes of spraying you often times will have significant costs for cleaning out the equipment after spraying with a non plural component system. You will want to calculate the potential cost savings of reducing the amount of thinner you may use with a two component system. You also may end up wasting material as it gets to close to being hardened requiring you to waste material. These are two factors that can be eliminated with a plural component spray system. Additionally you will want to evaluate how many different coatings you may be spraying. A plural component system can allow continous spraying with nearly instant color or coating changes. If your in a high production setting this can allow you to coat your products in a short period of time especially if you need to change colors rapidly or quickly change between one 2 component coating and another.
Consideration 3 - How Precise your Mix Ratios need to be
If your coating requires very specific details on your mix ratios, a plural component system may make sense because it can have either an electronic or mechanical proportioning system that will be able to precisely and routinely mix the correct volume of each component. A plural component system will also often have alarms to alert you if your ratios are not being mixed properly. Failure to properly mix a coating can cause it to not adhere to the product you sprayed it on. A plural component system can offer alarms to ensure that you stop spraying before an entire job is ruined due to improper mixing causing a coating not to adhere to a surface.