The Differences between Liquid Paint Booths & Powder Coating Booths
We often get asked questions about if you can powder coat in a liquid paint booth and what differences are their between liquid and powder coating booths. Whether because your trying to powder coat in a liquid paint booth or just trying to understand why they are different, this guide will help you understand the differences between liquid and powder coating booths so you can understand why they are different and why that can matter.
How Powder Coating Booths work
To understand the difference between powder coating and liquid coating paint booths it is best to understand how each type of booth works. A liquid paint booths always exhausts outside of the building while a powder coating booth in contrast will typically be able to discharge the air it pulls in back into your building. A powder coating booth relies on a cartridge or on a multi stage filter system to catch powder as it is sprayed and doesn’t adhere to a parts surface. A cartridge style powder coating booth enables the powder built up on the cartridge of the booth to be purged and with the right equipment in place recovered for easy reuse. A multi stage filtration powder coating booth captures powder that is wasted in filters and is generally known as a spray to waste powder booth because you cannot easily reuse the powder coating in this type of powder coating booth. Both powder booths rely on a fan pulling air through the booth, one into the multi stage filters and the other into the cartridges. They also will typically use a HEPA rated filter as this enables a powder booth to exhaust back into the shop because the HEPA filter collects all dust particles and allows the air that is discharged from the powder coating booth’s duct to be free of anything hazardous.
How Liquid Coating Paint Booths Work
A paint booth for liquid paint works similarly to a powder coating booth where air is pulled across a filter by a fan however there are also quite a few differences between the two types of booths. A liquid paint should be exhausted outside so that hazardous gases are released to the atmosphere rather than back to the building your working in. Since powder coating doesn’t have hazardous gases until it is baked, it is generally safe to exhaust back into your building if you have a proper HEPA filter.
Primary Differences between Liquid and Powder Coating Booths
Liquid paint booths have to vent to the outside to prevent build up of hazardous gases and prevent exposure of hazardous gases in the building. Liquid paint booths typically rely on a single filter that is generally set to capture less fine particles when compared to the cartridge and multi stage filter systems used in a powder coating booth. Liquid paint booths remove a lot of air from your facility which can create the need for a large heater called an air make up to replace the air being removed. A powder coating booth relies on extensive filtration including a HEPA filter so that you do not have to exhaust the air outside. Powder coating booths can be designed to allow for recovery of powder where a liquid paint booth will always have to waste the material that is not applied to your product. The ability to not exhaust to the outside, an option with a powder coating booth, helps keep heating costs down. However, the simpler filtration systems of liquid paint booths make them more cost efficient when spraying liquid paints that will rapidly fill filters.
Ultimately the differences in powder and liquid paint booths are important to understand because it can help make sense of why each booth is best suited for either liquid painting (for a liquid paint booth) or powder coating (for a powder coating booth). While you can powder coat in a liquid paint booth it is not ideal and you should never consider liquid coating in a powder booth as it is not exhausted outside. Having an understanding of the differences can help you see why each is needed for different reasons.