Use of Airless Spray Guns to Apply Heated Coating in a Cabinet Shop

Summary

A cabinet manufacturer in Georgia uses an airless spray system to apply lacquers and top coats, reducing coating and volatile organic compound (VOC) usage.

Background

The airless spray system used by the cabinet manufacturer utilizes a high pressure pump to supply coating to the paint gun at up to 3,000 pounds per square inch. The coating is also heated to reduce viscosity. Coating atomization takes place through an orifice in the gun nozzle without the use of compressed air. The coated cabinet components are then air dried. The coating does not require excessive thinning or use of solvent to overcome quality problems. A total of 330 gallons of lacquer thinner is used for equipment cleaning and some thinning. The average VOC content of all coating sprayed is 5.4 pounds per gallon including thinning and clean-up solvent.

Results

Reduction Achieved:

The total amount of coating spray applied by the cabinet manufacturer is 1,150 gallons per year coating 270,000 square feet, or 235 square feet per gallon. In another wood finishing shop that uses high volume low pressure (HVLP) spray guns to apply similar coatings, 3,441 gallons per year are applied coating 350,000 square feet, or only 102 square feet per gallon. Coating application by the cabinet manufacturer using airless spray guns reduces coating usage by approximately 56 percent or 1,497 gallons annually in comparison to the other wood finishing shop.

VOC usage for the shop using HVLP guns is 0.05 pounds per square feet of coated surface per year compared to 0.03 pounds per square feet for the cabinet manufacturer using airless guns, a decrease of 40 percent. HVLP guns do have good transfer efficiency; some of the difference between these two finishing shops is probably due to the expertise of painters applying the coatings.

Economics:

Assuming an average cost of $10 per gallon for the coatings, estimated savings for the cabinet manufacturer are $14,970 per year in comparison to the other wood finishing shop.

Process

Materials Used

(Gallons/Year)

VOCs Used

(Pounds/Year)

Spray with Sealer

120

Spray with Clear Lacquer

570

Spray with Stain

15

Spray with Toner

440

Lacquer Thinner

330

Total

1,475

7,925

 

Surface Coated per Year

270,000 Square Feet

0.03 Pounds per Square Feet