A spray booth is a vital piece of equipment that is primarily used in bodyworks garages where car accident repairs take place. They serve a multitude of functions that include the filtration of harmful vapours, running at an optimum temperature during the spraying process and providing a low-bake drying option that helps to increase workshop turnaround times. Spray booth integrity can be improved by correct operator usage and carrying out detailed maintenance plans on a regular basis.
Before painting can commence, a spray booth needs to run for several minutes to create an ambient temperature. Isolator switches must be turned on so that an electrical feed can be established.
Dials on the control panel should be checked before spray booth operations commence. Ambient spraying times should be set to approximately 20 degrees Celsius and the booth should be set to the "spray" function.
The booth can be turned on using the green push button provided. This will activate the burners and filtration system and bring the booth up to working temperature. While the booth is warming up, paints can be mixed and added to the spray gun. The entire working area should be clean and free of tripping hazards before painting begins.
Before entering the spray booth to paint, the correct safety equipment must be worn. Anti-static coveralls protect clothing and repel dust while latex gloves stop paint coming into contact with the skin. Most importantly, air-fed respiratory equipment must be worn at all times.
Only the person painting a vehicle should be in the spray booth while work is in progress. This protects other employees from the perils of harmful vapours and reduces the amount of dust generated by continually opening and closing booth doors.
When applying water-based materials, many modern spray booths are fitted with blowers that help the curing process. To activate them, simply exit the spray booth and select the "flash off" option on the control panel once a coat of paint has been applied. The booth will revert back to "spray" mode automatically once the flash off period is complete.
Before baking, allow paint to settle onto a vehicle for approximately 10 minutes. This allows solvents to rise from the painted surface and helps to prevent popping during the oven process.
Ensure all solvents, such as panel wipe and tinned thinners, are removed from the spray booth before baking begins. Check that the baking temperature is set in accordance with technical data sheets relating to the paint products being used. This will usually be in the region of 70 degrees Celsius.
Turn the oven off and move the switch from the "spray" to the "bake' option. Once the filtration system has halted, press the green button on the control panel to activate the baking process.
Do not re-enter the spray booth for any reason while baking takes place. Most materials will need to be baked for approximately 30 minutes but once again, operators should refer to the technical data sheets supplied with the paint they are using.
Upon completion, allow the oven to cool for 10 minutes before unmasking the vehicle.
To ensure efficient operation, spray booths must be kept immaculately clean at all times and filters should be changed on a regular basis. A weekly and monthly detailed cleaning plan should be established so that floors and walls are not able to accumulate excessive dust and grit levels.
Never use a spray booth without wearing the correct safety equipment.