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The Challenge - Hvlp vs Conventional Spray Guns / Hvlp vs Air Assisted Airless / Turbine, LVLP, RP Etc.


 
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challenge
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START FIRST: DEFINITIONS


Conventional Old School

cat

High overspray levels rated upward of 65%-70%.
Conventional air spray has decreased in popularity due to the high material costs of modern day paints and government EPA limits and regulations in many markets including the auto and wood finishing markets. Conventional air spray guns suffer from poor transfer efficiency - transfer efficiency is the percentage of coating solids exiting the gun that actually end up on the object being finished. With conventional equipment only 1/3 of the material gets applied to the surface. The rest is lost in the air unless you have an expensive recapturing process or facility.

It is estimated that you may be wasting as much as 50%-75% of you material costs into the environment depending on your technique and usage.

Conventional spray guns generate operate under very high pressures. This translates into a loss of much of your material and your money. Material is lost 2 fold. 1) Compressed air uses such high viscosity that some of the solids are pushed away from the object and lost into the atmosphere in the form of overspray and 2) Bounce-back because the paint particles are propelled at such a high velocity during the atomization process that they literally jump off the surface when they hit not unlike water sprayed onto the sidewalk when watering your lawn.

 

advantages

High finish quality

Fast working speed

Great with specialty coatings like adhesives, splatter effects, etc.

advantages

Older technology

Super high overspray
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Wasted Material 65%-70% wasted
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Not Environmentally approved

Outlawed by the EPA in many industries

 


HVLP
hvlp

HVLP is one of the most common and well supported technologies around. Many of the new literature and training techniques will use HVLP in their examples.

HVLP spray guns are designed to improve transfer efficiency. HVLP guns push paint particles at about half the velocity of conventional spray guns. While this means you have to spray closer to the surface, you gain by having your material actually get applied to the object instead of floating into the air.

Does this mean there is no overspray? No, compressed air exiting the gun still pushes back and pushes solids away from the object being sprayed, just a lot less. It is estimated by the US EPA that typical material savings can well exceed 50% which is money in your pocket.

Traditionally, HVLP guns use more compressed air than conventional air spray guns, which means increased energy costs. Today however, HVLP guns use less cfm of compressed air than older HVLP guns and we currently carry the only "Green" Spray guns which consume 50% less power then their competitors, can operate on 110v compressors and yet deliver the same quality of finish.

HVLP guns due to their softer spray are great for applications where the operator needs a high degree of control at the gun

advantages

High finish quality

Great Material Savings

EPA and Government Approved

One of the most common application methods - easier training and support

advantages

Slower working speed and a smaller fan
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Larger Compressors Required
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Lower atomization of clear coats
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Problems with thicker paints
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AAA

AAA
AAA one of the fastest growing production facilities technologies today.

Airless have only 35% transfer efficiency and are actually dangerous to work with.

Air-assist airless with the newer hi-end designs have become popular for larger manufacturers due to speed of application and comparable transfer efficiencies and the ability to spray directly from a can or container without straining. (pickup tube and gun have strainers built in). These factors are ideal for larger users or manufacturers, higher production runs, or those who wish to spray continuously out of a can or dispenser.

To Review, Air-assisted airless advantages include higher speed in application, comparable low overspray levels of HVLP, comparable finish quality to HVLP and continuous spraying of large surfaces.

advantages

Super fast application speed - one of the fastest available

High finish quality

Great Material Savings

Low Overspray

EPA and Government Approved

advantages

Requires a pump and a small compressor for operation

Much higher startup costs, but never over $2000.
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Purchase wholesale direct for lowest prices available in US

Difficulty with Stains and Dyes
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Some AAA systems suffer from Micro-popping and Micro Bubbles - these appears as tiny bubbles in the finish and is similar to solvent or air entrapment seen in some solvent-based polyurethane finishes. Micro popping can reduce the gloss and make the finish appear hazy or rough. If the material still does not meet your finish quality requirements, you may need to use more atomizing air to get rid of the micro-popping.

We solve this for you ask us how: Our CAT system does not suffer from this problem - see here

 

 

 


Reduced Pressure

CPR
New to the block is Reduced pressure or Complaint technologies. These guns are air-atomized spray guns which offer greater pressures than HVLP, a faster working speed, and slightly higher atomization levels.

Due to industry demands for higher production speed most reduced pressure guns are approved for use in about 90% of the USA. They are approved even in CA San Francisco bay area, so one figures the low over spray levels, while slightly higher than HVLP, are still very excellent.

advantages

Faster application speed than HVLP - upward of 30%

Among the Highest finish quality

Great Material Savings - similar to HVLP

EPA and Government Approved in most areas

Particularity good with clears and stains and dyes.

Old timers like them because they feel and operate like traditional spray guns.

advantages

If you care, they are not approved in all areas for use

Most people do not know about them because they are newer to the market than HVLP

We will be happy to teach you about these guns, please drop us a line at
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LVLP
Low Volume Low Pressure

CPR
The Japanese have brought us LVLP. This technology cuts down on overspray and has a very soft fan pattern. Perfected by the Japanese, these guns ofen have a better finish quality than HVLP and as mentioned, super low overpsray levels - this means great material savings with no compromise in finish quality vs HVLP.

advantages

Among the lowest overspray levels you can purchase as much as 80%

Great Material Savings

Superior Finish Quality Similar to Reduced Pressure with some besting HVLP

advantages

Slow application speed similar to HVLP

Typically Smaller Fan Patterns in the 8"-10" range

Not Good with Metallic Paints

Most people do not know about them because they are newer to the market than HVLP

We will be happy to teach you about these guns, please drop us a line at
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challenge
Waterbase Material

Most people choose HVLP or any air-atomized spray gun for waterbase materials. For waterbase material it is important having the correct nozzle in that spray gun. Many waterbornes in the wood market for example are starting to become heavier. With a high viscosity one requires a larger spray nozzle than conventional wood coatings. Again the waterbase market evolves quickly so a gun featuring multiple tip options, like those at spraygunworld.com are a good choice - if unsure about your viscosity levels, we have ford #4 viscosity cups for measurement. Also feel free to thin more than the manufactures suggested 10%

For air-assist airless, Some AAA equipment and waterbornes do not perform well together. The AAA system infuses air in the paint, causing air entrapment or micro-pop, micro-bubbles during application. HOWEVER, have no fear! It is important to note that CAT technologies has new Waterborne tip sets in their AAA guns so this problem has been solved. If your AAA gun does not have waterbased specific tip sets, you can purchase just the CAT AAA Waterbase Gun and hook it to your existing AAA pump.

Conventional equipment is still recommended for waterbase adhesives. Sheering is a problem in some coatings like waterbase adhesives. Such applications will benefit from CATs waterbase adhesive laminator spray gun designed to prevent to prevent sheering.

Water-based finishes are inherently more difficult to recommend application equipment for than solvent-based materials, without knowing more about the specific application requirements. Many "salesmen" do not know the differences and current evolution of the waterbase industry. We do - please ask us at ask@spraygunworld.com


 

challenge
Stains and Dyes

HVLP

HVLP guns are popular for staining and dyes due to their softer spray and high degree of control at the gun when compared to conventional equipment. A proper tip size is required due to the very thin nature of pure stain and dyes - NGR. This is a great technology if you want to apply them dry and minimize grain raising, even no wiping.

Some stains and dyes can be sprayed successfully with air-assisted airless technology. If you do not need as much control and require faster speeds for more production runs then AAA works great. Be sure to get the correct tip size unless you want to wipe your stains after application. If you want to apply a stain in a wet manner, we would recommend air assisted airless.

Reduced pressure guns are the best for stains and dyes. They produce the highest level of pigment control and even toning and shading. They do suffer from higher pressure levels so cabinet makers who only do assembled cabinets may look at the VTX by Devilbiss, but this gun is limited in use, is less versatile and has a higher cost See Here. In the end, reduced pressure is the best technology if you want to apply them dry and minimize grain raising, even no wiping.

 


 

challenge
New Hi-Solid Materials

Topcoats continue the trend toward higher solids.

Higher solids facilitate faster film build, which improves productivity. Due to their hi solid content, these materials are more difficult to spray and require higher atomization than previous lower solids materials. A top of the line gun is required to provide the highest atomization and still provide good control. Cheaper "throw aways" begin to show their deficiencies with pushed to higher atomization levels and tend to leak after a few uses when put to high pressures. This is especially true for the air-assisted market which uses a complex combination of airless and airspray technologies. We make certain at Spraygunworld.com that the guns we offer are all professional grade and can handle modern hi-solid coatings.

HVLP, AAA , and R-P technologies have also proven over time that they can apply materials more efficiently by producing lower overspray and fostering greater control. Aside from the improved efficiency and finish quality, these modern technologies deliver a more consistent and uniform film.



challenge
Portability

For maximum portability look no further than an HVLP turbine unit. HVLP Turbines are completely self contained and can do BOTH fine finish work AND mimic the use of a bulky contractors airless rig - all in about a 20lbs package. See here Remember, an airless operates at dangerous pressures and has only 35% transfer. Yet, often stores will push you to an airless system since they are very commonplace. However, with 70% transfer efficiency, a Turbine HVLP with multiple setups might be a better option to invest your hard earned money. With a Turbine, you will be saving upward of 50% material costs for the same jobs and a turbine can do BOTH fine finish AND faster walls and even splatter effects. Just plug it into any 110v outlet and spray!

Green Spray Guns - Many stores do not know of these guns and might tell you that HVLP cannot be sprayed with a small compressor. However, Green Spray guns operate on as little as a 4 Gallon 5 cfm compressor. Such HVLP and RP guns in ou Green Spray Guns lines operate on common 110v 2 HP compressors found in any home improvement store.

Standard HVLP and R-P guns - 3HP HVLP - For Standard HVLP and Reduced Pressure Guns you should look for at least an 10 gallon tank - the bigger the better. If you have questions about your compressor match - please email us at ask@spraygunworld.com. 10-20 gallon barrels on wheels can be moved around with you.

Industrial Grade - 4HP or larger HVLP these are not portable unless you have a gas powered compressor or have some means of porting your compressor with you.

Air Assisted Airless - AAA requires a pump and a small compressor to run. Both units are light so it makes the entire system portable. However, you do have 2 rigs to carry around with you. The compressor and typically the AAA pump is mounted on a cart for easy roll around on site. Nevertheless, the speed and hi-quality finish make this a great choice for a serious contractor or facility that does not move equipment around.

 



challenge
Viscosity

Turbine units handle almost all viscosities and can do BOTH fine finish work AND mimic the use of your airless rig all in about a 20lbs package. Therefore for maximum portability for all types of material look no further than a turbine unit.

HVLP turbine-type spray systems work best with lower viscosity material. However, when doing outside and interior walls with latex then gun produces an airless type finish with less overspray. Turbine HVLP provides a maximum fixed atomizing pressure as produced by the turbine motor. The higher power turbine systems will handle higher viscosities up to a point. We recommend a 4 stage for latex paint for a contractor. 3 stage is fine for a Serious DIY. See here

For very fine finishing like cabinetry or pianos, with high viscosity coatings or coatings where the finisher chooses not to reduce the product are better handled with standard air, HVLP spray guns for compressed air or air-assisted airless.



challenge
Automotive

HVLP spray guns are very popular in the automotive industry. With the extreme cost of today's automotive paints the savings are immediate and noticeable. HVLP is a terrific choice for any auto body painter and the best choice for metallics.

Reduced pressure has become the rage for automotive clears. They lay down a wetter pattern and are faster to keep a wet edge going on your car. Many of our gun kits come with BOTH Reduced pressure and HVLP so you don't have to decide.

AAA is not used in the automotive industry although it is gaining popularity in the plane boat and industrial markets.

For mobile painters it is possible to use a turbine unit. For maximum portability look no further than a turbine unit. They are completely self contained and can do BOTH fine finish work AND mimic the use of your airless rig in about a 20lbs package. ( Due to their lower power there are some important considerations when using a turbine for automotive body work - please email us at ask@spraygunworld.com. )

 



challenge
WINNER?

Spraying is simple but you must have the right equipment. Going down to the hardware store for a Harbor, Ingersoll, Porter Cable etc. may be a poor use of your dollars. Choosing the correct equipment requires professional advice from top professional products, not hobby products. There is not one preferred method but a variety of factors that must be examined while making a great spray gun choice. Much depends on the finish, setting of application and speed.

THAT IS WHY WE ARE HERE!

By Selling direct we offer true professional tools at similar prices to lesser hobby guns. We offer free excellent advice on ALL coatings in any industry. Spray Guns is all we do 365 days a year - literally. Please feel free to ask us your questions and we will help guide you to a great spray gun choice.

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