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How to pick the best spray gun?
Spray guns are widely used these days. Not only are they more convenient to use, but if set up and operated properly, a spray gun can provide a very smooth and consistent finish of paint on any surface, something which cannot be achieved by ordinary methods of painting or finishing.
Spray guns, also known as pneumatic spray guns convert fluid paint into tiny droplets of paint, known as atomized paint. The pneumatic gun uses compressed pressurized air to both atomize as well as to propel the paint. This makes it very easy to apply a thin mist of paint on a surface, which is also very consistent. The gun makes it really easy to apply light and small coats of paint in short bursts of time.
The paint spray gun typically contains two passageways within it, one for air, and the other for paint. The trigger of the gun is connected to both of these passageways which causes both the air and the paint to move, leading the atomized paint to flow into the chamber of the gun and out through the nozzle.
Spray paint guns have evolved from earlier airbrushes and they prove to be much larger and different in use from airbrushes. Spray guns can either be handheld or automatic and the heads of the guns can be changed in order to change the pattern of the spray applied.
What are the types of Spray Guns
There are typically two major types of paint spray guns. These include:
High Pressure Spray Guns:
These are the conventional types of spray guns which include an air compressor which is used to produce very fine and small particles of paint. The compressed or pressurized air is also used to propel the paint out of the tip or the head of the gun. These guns have widely been used, but suffer from the need of extensive masking and also the thinning of paint. They are used in applications like exteriors and interiors of houses, automotive work and other high quality exterior finishes.
High Volume, Low Pressure (HVLP) Spray Guns:
These can be of two types, those which use an air compressor operating at low pressure or those which use an air turbine instead of an air compressor. While the air turbine type of HVLP spray gun produces the most accurate and the finest of sprays, the air compressor type also proves to be much more efficient and much finer than conventional high pressure air sprays. The benefits of this type of spray gun are that the paint coat is much thicker and reduces pollution, overspray and consumption of materials. These spray guns can be used for most applications requiring painting.
While high pressure air spray guns can be cheaper than the HVLP spray guns, they are much less efficient. Air turbine based HVLP guns are the most costly of HVLP guns, but the quality of paint finish that is rendered is much higher.
HVLP Guns involving an air turbine system are used in the industry to provide the finest grade of paint and are typically not meant for consumer use.
An air-compressor based HVLP spray gun is highly recommended for consumers. While they may not be as inexpensive as conventional sprayers, they can be worth the investment in the long run. As they operate on a lower pressure, their lifespan is also higher.
Features of Spray Guns
The major parts of a paint spray gun, common to both the paint spray gun types include the following:
The reservoir of the gun, which is used to store the paint. Reservoirs can be of two types:
Gravity fed reservoirs are located on the top of the gun and inverted so as to allow the paint to flow down into the chamber of the gun.
Suction fed spray guns involve the reservoir of the gun being located below the gun, with a small tube and using suction in order to pull the paint upwards into the clamber of the gun.
The air cap, which is also the primary chamber of the gun.
The fluid tip, which is essentially the tip leading to the reservoir containing the paint.
A fluid needle, which is used to control the flow of the paint from the fluid tip and is connected to the trigger.
Holes on the end of the air cap which control the pattern of the spray of paint.
The trigger, which involves movement of the fluid needle, retracting into the fluid tip and causing suction to be created in the gun and allowing the paint to flow out.