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Truck Paint Booth Types, Features, Draft Patterns, and Layouts

Trucks, construction equipment, and other heavy machinery require a large paint booth to get the job done. With spacious cabin sizes and shadow-free lighting, a controlled environment is created to fulfill finishing needs. A heated air makeup unit and cure cycle can also be added for better application temperatures, allowing more trucks to be painted per day. However, there are more configurations to consider before choosing a system for your facility. 

There are four types of truck booths that offer unique performance and installation advantages. Let’s take a look at draft patterns, layouts, and features! 

Type 1: Crossflow 

The crossflow paint booth is the most popular option because it is often the least expensive and smallest system. Its draft pattern draws the air along the cabin’s length, either front to back or back to front. This type is more economical compared to other drafts because less airflow is required. A less significant amount of airflow means smaller exhaust fans and air makeup, leading to a decrease in operating costs. 

There are a few factors that lead to the crossflow paint booth being the smallest option. First, there are no external ducts on the sides. The exhaust fans are usually also above the cabin instead of on the ground. The air makeup unit can be floor mounted next to the cabin, suspended above the booth, or installed on the roof of the building. Since the crossflow booth delivers air to the cabin either through filtered front doors or supply air columns, it needs no upper ceiling plenum. This paint booth style is ideal for a facility with a low ceiling or typically works with trucks of great height. 

Type 2: Semi Downdraft 

Semi downdraft paint booths are the runner-up. Its growing popularity is due to the availability of adding a heated makeup air unit to a non-heated system later on. This draft works by delivering air into an upper plenum above the booth ceiling. It can flow from either front to back or back to front. Similar to the crossflow, semi downdraft also requires less airflow, making it another economical choice. Whereas a crossflow draft draws air in from filtered doors that may allow contaminants or debris, a semi downdraft utilizes an upper plenum, which generally delivers cleaner air. 

This system makes excellent use of floor space and offers installation flexibility. However, because of its upper plenum, the ceiling height of the booth may be a concern. If the truck finishing facility has a ceiling height close to the height of the trucks that will be painted, this booth may not be viable. 

Type 3: Side Downdraft 

Side downdrafts are engineered to provide better airflow and cleanliness while keeping the installation above ground. It introduces air into the upper plenum above the booth’s interior ceiling and releases the air at the bottom of the side walls. While concrete pits won’t need to be installed, a full upper plenum and ducts on either side will be necessary. The extra equipment may be more expensive, but there will be less installation time without concrete work. 

This booth design is quite wide and requires a duct on either side. An upper ceiling plenum is also needed to deliver air along the length of the workspace. However, if the side downdraft is not heated, filters separating the shop from the paint booth’s interior may be used instead of installing a plenum. In the future, if heat were to be added to this system, a plenum would be built on top of the paint booth. 

Type 4: Downdraft 

Downdraft paint booths offer the most superior airflow and cleanliness out of the group. The airflow is directed under the truck being painted as well as the painter. Air enters the upper plenum above the ceiling and exhausts the air through a pit in the floor. As a result, there is a consistent distribution of air within the booth, eliminating overspray at any side and angle, making it ideal for operations that require more than one painter in the cabin. 

The downdraft layout is quite small, as there are no external ducts or fans on the sides. Air makeup units can be installed next to the cabin, away from it, or above the booth to save space. If none of those options are possible, the unit may also be built outside or on the building’s roof. 

Other Features and Benefits 

Truck paint booths have several upgrades that may be added upon installation or in the future. Here are a few more attractive choices. 

  • Lighting—Fixtures can be either outside or inside the booth, which allows for service and maintenance flexibility. LED bulbs are used more commonly than fluorescents, providing increased visibility and brightness. 
  • Heat— Adding heat will allow for more control over application temperatures and proper adhesion of the truck or part coating. Typically, this system can offer faster results, leading to more trucks being painted per day. 
  • Advanced Controls—Companies like Accudraft offer smart and touchscreen control panels. These controllers display and configure temperature, pressure levels, parameters, filters, and more. 

If your facility needs to install or upgrade a truck paint booth, get in touch with Accudraft today! Our expert team can evaluate your space, needs, and budget to determine what is right for your shop.