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Types of Spray Paint Booths and Their Uses

Once only the domain of auto shops, modern manufacturing relies heavily on spray paint booths. From tiny circuit boards to multi-ton industrial equipment, many industries now take advantage of this technology.

In addition to providing an efficient, effective means of finishing these products, spray paint booths help improve worker safety, ensuring compliance with a number of safety groups, including OSHA, NEC (National Electrical Code), and NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency).

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The Benefits of Spray Paint Booths

Spray paint booths offer two main benefits:

  • 1.They protect the object's finish from contaminants.
  • 2.They create a safe working environment.

With excellent intake and exhaust systems, paint booths draw in air through a series of filters before expelling it – along with dried paint particles and toxic fumes – through the exhaust system. This closed environment not only helps protect the painter's lungs, it also reduces risk of explosion and fire.

Types of Spray Booths

Like everything else in manufacturing, you can find a spray paint booth designed for your particular application. You'll find models intended for small plastics, furniture, motorcycles, automobiles, aircraft, boats, and more.

  • Open Face Spray Booths: These models include a ceiling, two sidewalls, and a rear exhaust plenum. Air flows through the open front and out through the rear exhaust system. Open type booths are popular choices for woodwork and finishing furniture. You also find these booths in auto facilities, from manufacturing to repair centers.
  • Pressurized Booths: This is an enclosed spray booth that exhausts air outdoors at the same volume at which it draws in air. An air makeup system or heater is used in colder environments, to aid temperature control and air purity. This is a popular style for manufacturing and refinishing automobiles and electronics, where a clean environment is a vital component of finish quality.
  • Non-Pressurized Booths: This system draws air from, and expels it into, the building via a series of filters. Some environments require a heated air makeup unit. Many industries use non-pressurized spray paint booths, including auto manufacturing and refinishing, metalwork, and fiberglass.

Paint Booth Configurations

Both pressurized and non-pressurized spray booths come in a variety of airflow configurations, each with its own pros and cons.

  • Cross flow booths: Airflow moves from front to back and side to side.
  • Downdraft booths: Airflow moves from the ceiling to the floor. You find varying styles within this type, though the "pit" style is most common. It uses an excavated pit and tunnel as part of the exhaust system.
  • Semi-downdraft booths: Airflow typically moves from the ceiling to the rear of the booth.
  • Side downdraft booths: Airflow typically moves from the ceiling to exhaust filters in both sidewalls.

Each booth type has its own ideal applications, depending on the airflow and shop's needs. When finish quality is important, downdraft and side downdraft are the most popular options. When price is of greater concern, cross draft and semi-downdraft become more popular. The cross draft model is also popular when space is at a premium.

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