Advances in spray guns for water-based finishes
August 14, 2011 | 9:35 pm CDT
This month, CWB talked to spray gun manufacturers to provide readers with invaluable information on new developments in technology, as well as how to achieve superb results with water-based finishes.

Here are a few of the responses:

Q. Have there been any recent new developments in spray guns to specifically accommodate water-based finishes?

A. John A. Darroch, president & CEO, Apollo Sprayers Intl Inc.:
Most manufacturers of spray guns are now providing stainless steel or other materials for internal components coming in contact with water-based finishes.

A. Wendy Hartley, product marketing manager, Graco Inc.: Graco’s new AirPro waterborne aircaps and nozzles have been designed specifically to spray environmentally friendly waterborne materials, even those with high solids content like lacquers, UV materials and paints. Prior to the release of these new waterborne aircaps, painters still were getting good results spraying waterborne materials using standard aircaps and nozzles; however, they are now able to achieve even better results with these new aircaps. Because the waterborne aircaps have been optimized for waterborne finishes, they lay down the material better and have high levels of atomization for fine finishes. They also meet or exceed VOC standards.

Q. Please share a tip to help finishers achieve beautiful results with water-based finishing materials — or avoid problems when using water-based finishes.

A. Darroch: The most natural results I’ve seen and experienced have come from building up multiple layers of a light wet film as opposed to spraying heavy wet coats. Generally, good results can be achieved in four to five coats. Also, using a water-based product designed for the spray technology being used is critical to the best possible finish.

A. Hartley: To achieve the best finish with waterborne materials, the coating needs to have a high level of atomization. Higher atomization results in smaller particles, which are more likely to lay down consistently across the surface. The high atomization, along with consistent smaller particle distribution across the spray pattern, is what gives you a superior fine finish. Too much atomization can result in a rough, dry surface, called dry spray.

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