Electrostatic Spray Painting

By: Alyssa Bishop

How it Works

Compressed air is used to drive atomized particles of paint through a spray gun onto the target.
These particles resemble powder or dust. The particles acquire an electrical charge from the friction created as they pass through the nozzle. Because positively charged particles repel each other, they distribute themselves evenly before they make contact with the object that is being painted. Since the object is oppositely charged, usually by being grounded, the paint sticks to the surface.

Three Different Kinds

There are three different kinds of spray painting but powder coating, also referred to as electrostatic spray painting, is the form that uses electrostatics to work, and is known to be the most efficient.

The three forms are:

  • Powder Coating
  • Vacuum Coating
  • Flatline Spraying

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Benefits of Electrostatic Spray Painting:

  • Fast application
  • Even Coating
  • Little Waste
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What form of electrostatics is it?

Spray painting involves the use of electrostatics by using friction to charge the particles. As the particles fly out of the spray nozzle, they rub against the wall of the machine, and become electrically charged.
electrostatic spray painting

What's the difference between normal spray painting and electrostatic spray painting?

When using a typical spray paint gun, the paint only applies to the surface directly in front of the gun. An electrostatic gun has the ability to make the paint wrap around the material and provide an even thickness throughout the whole object you are applying the paint to. Electrostatic guns are also used to apply paint to uneven surfaces such as poles or carvings. Normal spray paint guns use atomization to work. Atomization is when air pressure breaks down liquids into small particles, therefore creating a spray. When the air pressure breaks down the paint, it creates a forward velocity that blows the paint onto the surface.This can create a huge amount of overspray, and can waste a lot of paint. Electrostatic spray guns are known to achieve almost 90% transfer efficiency.

Problems with Electrostatic Spray Painting

One problem that can occur with electrostatic spray painting is the fact that for nothing to be hazardous, all the things being used have to be grounded. This includes people, objects, and the target zone. If something is not grounded, it can become electrically charged, instead of staying neutral. If an object does happen to become electrically charged, it can result in static sparking, which can cause fires or electric shocks.
What is Electrostatic Spraying?