An environmental room allows facilities to better control the climate and contamination during a painting process, if they don’t already have the space in their existing layout. This room is separate from the facility and houses all paint booths, powder booths, and other finishing equipment. Think of it as an enclosed space around a paint booth so it can have high-efficiency air filtration and re-circulation. Environmental rooms are especially ideal for industrial and aerospace facilities that have several other operations happening at the same time, other than painting and refinishing.
A huge benefit of an environmental room is that it can have its own climate control settings—separate from the rest of the facility. This allows for a better environment for the painting process and can be adjusted according to the types of coating being sprayed. For example, waterborne paints have very different temperature requirements than powder coatings. Temperature can play a huge factor in finishing quality, as the wrong settings can cause clumps, streaks, or other defects.
Another benefit of being able to control the temperature and humidity of an environmental room is being able to use it for storage. While this room may initially be thought of as a space for spraying, it can be used for storage or mixing as well. Coatings, especially powder ones, need to be stored in specific temperature and humidity levels according to their technical data sheet (TDS).
A major issue many larger manufacturing facilities struggle with is contamination. Think of your entire process and facility layout. A floor plan that does not consider the painting step can result in lower quality finishes. For example, a furniture manufacturer may build, paint, and ship products all from one facility. In this case, the area where construction occurs may be a high-dust zone, whereas a painting area needs to be dust-free. An environmental room is the perfect solution for creating a seamless transition between the steps in the manufacturing process.
The more steps you can take for filtration and keeping things clean, the better off finishes will be. Once dust and other particles are airborne, it’s very difficult to get rid of it. Therefore it’s crucial to ensure products (and people) are entering the room clean and from a clean area.
Environmental rooms can be designed with a semi-downdraft airflow. This type of airflow is great for painting underneath an object (like an aircraft) and helps reduce contamination and over-spray. Like mixing rooms, environmental rooms have a fan system set up on the outside to help with airflow. They also have ceiling filters to help move airborne particles out of the space through the exhaust fans. This helps evacuate as much of the fumes as possible before the spraying starts.
Having an environmental room is only as good as its monitored. Otherwise, it’ll just become like any other room in your facility. Additional temperature and humidity control systems should be added and adjusted as often as needed according to a coating’s TDS. It’s also important to keep track of what materials are being used in the room and follow those product’s recommended storage requirements.
Environmental rooms can lead to huge savings for manufacturers. By only adjusting temperatures, lighting, airflow, etc. in one room rather than an entire building, facilities can save on energy and utility bills. If the room is being used for storage rather than painting, it can eliminate the need for many expensive cabinets. Another long-term cost saving benefit of these rooms is that it’s use can change over time. Depending on the needs of your facility, it can be used for mixing, spraying, prep work, or storage.
Every facility has their own unique process and needs. If your industrial or aerospace shop struggles with any of the above issues, consider an environmental room. At Accudraft, we offer our customers a multi-purpose mix room to help solve their production problems. If you’re interested in learning more about our environmental rooms, contact us online.