Electric Spray Painting

What is it?

An electrostatic paint spray system is a device used to paint certain objects (usually metal) more efficiently. It was first developed in 1938 (Spray Gun Industry) by Harold Ransburg in the U.S. This type of paint spray system helps improves the transfer of paint onto the finishing product (Elliott Equipment).

What does it do?

An electric paint spray system can be used on many things. It is basically an easier and more environmentally friendly way to paint objects, big or small. How is it environmentally friendly you may ask, by electrostatics.

How does it use electrostatics?

In the "Law of Electrostatics" it states that like charges repel and unlike charges attract and this is how an electrostatic spray painting system works. The droplets of paint and the paint gun itself usually has a positive charge. The object being painted is charged oppositely or is grounded, but in this case it would have a negative charge. Since unlike charges attract, the paint droplets gets attracted to the object. The paint gets charged by rubbing against the side of the spray paint gun as it comes out, making it a positive charge. This rubbing of objects is called 'Charging by Friction'. This is more efficient because rather than aerosol spray painting which is messy and just goes on one area at a time, the attraction between the paint droplets and the object makes the paint stick on to it more and is able to make the paint completely cover the object, for an electrostatic paint sprayer.

electrostatic spray painting vs. normal spray painting

Electrostatic spray painting:
  • environmentally friendly; as it uses just the right amount of paint, therefore not wasting any extra paint
  • takes less time; as the machine itself is more efficient
  • more clean; as the paint only goes to the object and not everywhere else
  • has a stronger hold on the paint because of the unlike charges

Normal spray painting:

  • very messy; as the paint does not stick on to the object very well and just falls off
  • takes more time to get the paint to stay on the object

Electrostatic spray painting


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By: Hannah Richardson 9B