Spray painting has long been used to create durable, attractive surfaces on many kinds of objects. The most common type of spray paint booth is automotive refinishing, which uses paint booths designed with unique features to achieve its intended application. A paint booth is an enclosed space in which an object can be taken through all stages of the spraying process without being exposed to weather or other outdoor conditions. Beyond automotive refinishing, one can use a powder coating booth for various types of coating work in industries ranging from aerospace to shipbuilding. This article will discuss five key components of paint booth design. These are the following:
The supply-air duct is responsible for bringing in clean filtered outdoor air to mix with the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) inside a powder-coating booth. It also helps reduce particulate matter that would otherwise be dispersed into the environment by simply venting into open space.
A critical component of the supply-air ductwork is utilizing an automatic control system that senses both negative pressures within the booth and increases above specified VOC levels. Negative pressure ensures that contaminants do not pass through cracks or holes around doors or windows where the system is unsealed. Excess VOCs are measured by sampling the air after it has passed through your booth’s filters and comparing that to levels of VOCs present in the incoming makeup air. That allows the control system to know when filters need to be changed, keeping them clean for maximum filtration efficiency.
Surrounding walls must meet certain design criteria as well. In particular, they must absorb (not re-emit) fugitive paint vapor. These criteria make customers choose between flexible or rigid wall systems with various sound attenuation added on top, separated by stud core materials like wood, plastic, and steel. When designing surrounding walls, pay close attention to required construction tolerances; deviations may require a new design consultation.
Exhaust solution/ducting must be designed to contain VOCs from entering the surrounding environment by following local exhaust standards and any industry-specific standards required for proper containment. These criteria require a minimum of 3 inches diameter piping to carry vapor and a minimum of 4 inches diameter piping to handle paint mist and other particulate matter that may exit your booth.
Lighting can either come from an overhead source or wall-mounted fluorescent fixtures added around the perimeter of the booth opening. If overhead lighting is desired, you will need to plan on adding electrical junction boxes inside your booth so that you can easily replace the light bulbs without requiring service personnel access through your booth’s doors.
Filter systems need to be designed according to your local and international exhaust standards, industry-specific standards required for proper containment, and supplier-specific instructions. For booths that use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters that capture 99 percent of particles, most suppliers can help specify the air volume required at each opening. Therefore, you can know where your booth stands when filtering out contaminants inside your work environment.