What You Should Know About HVLP
Over the past several years, there have been great changes in automotive refinishing. Such changes are due to the different types of paint being used, as well as the necessity to reduce overspray, which indirectly reduces the cost of paint and thinners. In many areas, environmentally-friendly legislation has mandated that we reduce the amount of emission into the air supply. To help comply with these regulations, we now have “HVLP”, which denotes High Volume – Low Pressure.
The History of HVLP
About 50 years ago, when you purchased a vacuum cleaner, there was a small paint spray setup that utilized the exhaust port of the vacuum to supply air to the sprayer. This spray gun had a small glass jar to hold the paint. While it was not refined to today’s standards, it did work fairly well, provided the paint was thinned properly. This was the original HVLP, but no one knew it at the time!
This original system did prove that it was no longer necessary to use high-pressure air to spray paint. Using low pressure, the result was less overspray and less paint was used. It took several years before a true professional HVLP was developed, and such development first took place in Europe. Skat Blast was one of the earlier pioneers in the development of the HVLP process and their HVLP manufacturing is done in Canfield, Ohio (Made in USA).
CASE HISTORY – Paint Savings
In the late 1980’s, as an Ohio manufacturer of Abrasive Blasting Cabinets, Skat Blast, Inc. used conventional paint spray equipment for painting our extensive line of equipment. At the time, we were using about 10 gallons of paint daily and about an equal amount of paint thinner – using part for cleanup purposes). In addition to the cost factor, we were greatly concerned about the total amount of VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) being emitted into the air. At the time, the paint cost was about $20 per gallon and the thinner was about $5 per gallon, or roughly $250 per day in material cost.
Using our SHOWTIME HVLP System, paint consumption was reduced to about 5 gallons per day and thinners were reduced to about 7 gallons per day, resulting in an immediate saving of $115 daily. On a 5-day work schedule, this resulted in a weekly savings of $575, or enough to pay for a new HVLP Paint System each week at that time! In addition, the maintenance schedule of filter changes and paint room cleanup was cut roughly in half, further proof of the cost savings.
The paint spray operators noticed a cleaner environment and better visibility when painting; and paint fumes were reduced significantly, due to reduced overspray. There was no noticeable difference in the quality of the finish, although in reality more paint was being applied to the product, resulting in a higher gloss and heavier coat of protective paint. Operator Badge Tests conducted by the Ohio EPA further documented the reduction in overspray in the paint spray area. Since that time, Skat Blast has never again used conventional spray painting equipment for any other purposes, and those older paint spray guns were scrapped as being obsolete and unsuitable for painting in today’s environmentally-conscious world.
CASE HISTORY – Marine Use
An Ohio boater noticed that the canvas top of his boat was starting to leak and needed a new coat of water repellent. However, he was concerned about doing the job, as the top was too large for aerosol sprays and of concern were the other boats at the adjoining docks if a paint spray system were used. Taking a SHOWTIME HVLP System to the dock, he began to spray the top, with only a minimal amount of masking tape and newspaper required over the windshield.
About halfway through the project, the owner of the marina asked what he was doing and where was his air compressor? The SHOWTIME HVLP was plugged into the 115-volt dock outlet, and the 38’ hose easily reached all areas required. After observing this, the marina owner then asked about getting overspray on the other boats, which were docked on each side. There was virtually no overspray, and the job was completed in a short time. To say that the marina owner was impressed is an understatement.
The following winter, he purchased two (2) SHOWTIME HVLP Systems for use around the marina and is now able to do boat painting and restoration never before possible, due to the reduced overspray. Large boats are in use in the summer months; so most work of this type must be done in the winter. Our HVLP opened up new opportunities for this customer.
CASE HISTORY – Wooden Fencing
In most areas, it is required that a fence be used to enclose a swimming pool. For privacy, a wooden fence is sometimes desirable but has some maintenance costs involved. In this case, there was a 6 ft. high wooden stake fence about 250 ft. in length (125 ft. per side). 15 gallons of stain were purchased for staining this fence, as the wood was expected to soak in the stain quite readily. Initially; a conventional paint spray system was used with a 30-gallon portable gasoline-driven air compressor used to supply the air required to operate the spray gun. After spraying about 1/2 of the job, 10 gallons of stain were almost exhausted. and there was only 5 gallons of stain remaining! Since this was a weekend job and the paint store was closed, it was decided to try a new SHOWTIME HVLP Paint Spray System to see if the job could be completed without waiting until the next week. What a pleasant surprise – not only was the job completed, there was about an extra gallon of stain left for touchup purposes! In addition, you could easily tell where the HVLP took over, as there was almost no overspray on the grass outside of the pool. The surfaces of all areas were identical in appearance. This proved again that a SHOWTIME HVLP Series can save about 50% of the material cost and will quickly pay for itself.