Powder coating is an extremely popular finishing option for industrial shops. It is solvent free, can help meet sustainability goals, emits zero to low VOCs, and has recyclable overspray. However, it’s easy to have insufficient powder coating finishes due to lack of equipment maintenance and upkeep.
For better powder coating finishes, try these five powder coating booth maintenance tips.
Residue, grit, grime, rust, oil, and dirt frequently build up on parts and racks. These contaminants can cause the powder coating to crack, bubble, or flake during the curing process. Therefore, parts prep and cleaning are crucial before spraying to remove all surface contaminants with a chemical pretreatment or blasting and wipe-down. Included in parts prep is ensuring proper grounding of racks. Faraday cages and rods should also be free from powder residue and debris. Otherwise, painters will have a hard time spraying into the corners and crevices of parts.
Powder can become moist and clotted in hot and humid conditions, which is why maintaining proper storage conditions is crucial. Coating storage ideally requires a dry and cool climate, although it’s always best to consult with the powder’s manufacturer on exact temperature and humidity levels. It’s also important that the powder coating has a short and sterile route to the paint booth from the storage room. Otherwise, dust and dirt may build up on the coating box and compromise the cabin’s air quality.
Clean cabin lighting is extremely important. The booth’s light fixtures should be cleaned to remove any powder that has caked up during the spraying process. It’s also just as important to have working bulbs. While this may seem like an obvious tip, shops should replace bulbs as soon as they have burnt out. Having replacement parts like light bulbs on hand can help reduce operational downtime and maintain proper spraying conditions.
Pro-tip: Light within a booth should be close to sunlight (5000 kelvin and 92 or greater CRI). Dirty fixtures or missing bulbs can negatively affect powder coating by causing inaccurate coloring and low-quality finishes.
Poor maintenance is often the culprit of filter issues, which is why it’s vital to regularly check the booth’s filters. Filter checks will reveal any damage, which may need to be replaced, or clogging, which can often be cleaned. However, both damage and clogging will put more stress on exhaust fans, which can negatively impact the powder coating finish. It can also cause unpredictable or reduced airflow within the booth. There is also powder booth occupational health concerns to consider if HEPA filters are not changed according to the manufacturer’s recommended MERV rating.
A powder coating spray booth is no doubt essential to operations, so it’s crucial to keep it running and performing at its best. Routine preventative maintenance can help to avoid big and costly repairs and long downtimes. A maintenance plan should include:
Sometimes, an unexpected break occurs and emergency service is needed. It’s beneficial to have a reliable provider with quick response times, like Accudraft. We will put you in touch with the closest authorized paint booth professional in your area to get your equipment checked, evaluated, and serviced ASAP. Our team is able to repair and work on Accudraft and non-Accudraft booths, so you know you’re always getting the best service.
To get started with powder coating booth maintenance, contact Accudraft now.