types of spray guns for painting

Types of spray guns for painting, their differences, pros and cons

There are many types of spray guns for painting in the online market. In this article, we have discussed the types of spray guns, their differences, advantages, and disadvantages.

types of spray guns for painting


Types of spray guns for painting, their differences, pros, and cons

All existing types of spray guns are adapted to perform certain tasks – in the household or professional sphere. The choice of a suitable device depends on the required quality of painting. The types of paint and varnish material that you plan to work with, as well as the complexity of care, and the need for additional equipment.

In this article:

  1. Pneumatic spray guns: varieties, the principle of operation, pros and cons
    • High-Pressure Spray Guns (HP)
    • High Volume – Low Pressure (HVLP) Spray Guns
    • Low Volume – Low Pressure (LVLP) Spray Guns
  2. Electric spray guns: varieties, the principle of operation, pros and cons
    • Airless electric spray guns
    • Air electric spray guns
    • Spray guns operating from the power grid
    • Battery-powered spray guns
  3. Paint stations
  4. Manual mechanical sprayers
    • Airless and air-based methods of coloring
    • What to pay attention to when choosing a manual spray gun

Pneumatic spray guns: varieties, the principle of operation, pros and cons

This type of spray gun is the first one that was used to automate the painting process – it was and remains a tool for professional use with the highest quality of work.

Pneumatic spray guns

The general principle of operation is to supply paint and varnish materials from the container to the nozzle, through which a powerful jet of air is passed. The design of the nozzle is made in such a way that the airflow breaks the paint drops into fine dust and takes it out, spraying it in the form of a so-called torch, a cone radiating from the nozzle.

Pneumatic spray guns can be executed with an upper or lower location of the paint tank.

Advantages of pneumatic spray guns

  • The paint is applied as thin and even as possible.
  • Easy to set up and use.

Disadvantages of pneumatic spray guns

  • It is necessary to choose a compressor correctly for the spray gun.
  • Not all the paint gets on the surface to be painted – some of it remains in the air, forming a colorful fog.
  • The device is only suitable for working with paint and varnish materials of a liquid consistency.

In total, three subspecies of pneumatic spray guns are produced, using different coloring technologies. The general principle of operation is the same, the differences are only in the operating pressure and the volume of air consumed, which directly affects the efficiency of the device.

High Pressure Spray Guns (HP)

One of the first appeared but still used technology for applying paint and varnish coatings. Among all pneumatic devices using this technology, they are considered the most budget-friendly, with the most simplified nozzle design. Literally, the abbreviation of the name translates as “high pressure”, under which air is supplied to the nozzle and output with paint to the outside.

High Pressure Spray Guns

Advantages of High Pressure (HP) spray guns

  • Low price of the spray gun.
  • High quality of the painting.

Disadvantages of High Pressure spray guns (HP)

  • Low paint transfer coefficient – from 35 to 50%. The rest is spread in the form of colorful fog.
  • To work, you need a powerful productive compressor.
  • If you need to dial a certain thickness of the paint layer, you may have to make several passes.

The use of such spray guns is not limited by anything, it’s just that it is already outdated and not such an effective technology – if you need a reliable device for minimal money, then HP is out of competition among pneumatic machines.

High Volume – Low Pressure (HVLP Spray gun)

HVLP Spray guns do not necessarily need a large outlet pressure to operate – this idea was implemented in a technology whose name is literally designated as high volume – low pressure. This means that the airflow breaks up the paint entering the nozzle, but the shape of the nozzle reduces the pressure at the outlet.

High Volume Low Pressure Spray Gun increases the clarity of the paint torch, and less pressure allows you to keep the spray gun closer to the surface to be painted, without being afraid to “inflate” the already applied, but not dried paint. Together, the transfer efficiency of such devices increases to 65%.

High Volume Low Pressure Spray Gun

Advantages of HVLP spray guns

  • Economy – up to 15% compared to HP technology.
  • Less colorful fog.

Disadvantages of HVLP spray guns

  • The price is significantly higher compared to HP.

Such devices are “workhorses” – the price-quality ratio makes them the most common among medium-level spray guns.

Low Volume – Low Pressure (LVLP Spray Guns)

If the paint is applied to the surface with such a thin layer that it is necessary to get its thickness with additional passes, then it makes sense to increase the efficiency of work by being able to adjust the size of the sprayed drops. This is the main feature of the spray technology “small volume of air at low pressure”, which allows you to raise the transfer coefficient to 80%.

Low Volume Low Pressure Spray Gun

Advantages of HVLP spray guns

  • A maximum efficiency is an ideal option for expensive paints.
  • To work, you do not need such a powerful compressor as for spray guns with other spray technologies.
  • The speed of work is not lost, thanks to the increased transfer coefficient.

Disadvantages of LVLP spray guns

  • It is impossible to completely get rid of the colorful fog.
  • The high price of the spray gun, although it justifies itself with regular use.

Spray guns working on LVLP technology are professional devices that are not always advisable to purchase for home use.

Electric spray guns: varieties, the principle of operation, pros and cons

The classic electric spray gun is a universal device of the household class, although some design advantages have made it a good solution for professional use. All such types of spray guns for painting are divided into groups, depending on the principle of operation and mobility of the device:

Airless electric spray gun

This method of applying paint is versatile in terms of the ability to use paint and varnish materials with a high level of viscosity. In such devices, the paint is fed into the nozzle by a piston pump, which develops a large pressure, and spraying occurs due to the design of the nozzle. This principle of operation breaks the paint drops into small particles, but they are significantly larger than those formed during the operation of a pneumatic spray gun.
Electric spray guns
Advantages of airless spray guns

  • No colorful fog – the paint droplets are heavy enough that they do not linger in the air.
  • The pump does not have to be with high engine power and can be located directly on the spray gun itself.
  • Low price.

Disadvantages of airless spray guns

  • A relatively thick layer of paint is applied to the surface – the consumption of paint and varnish materials is slightly higher than that of pneumatic devices.
  • Despite the versatility of the device, it is desirable to bring each painting to a certain level of viscosity. Too liquid will begin to form streaks, and thick can clog the nozzle nozzles.
  • It does not provide high-quality coloring.

As a result, airless spray guns are mainly a device for domestic use, where versatility and mobility are valued. On an industrial scale, due to the high consumption of paint, it is more rational to use it when applying primers, when the speed of work comes to the fore and perfect quality is not required.

Air electric spray guns

Here, in general, the same principle of operation is used for pneumatic devices – the paint is fed into the nozzle and broken into dispersed dust by the airflow. The main difference is in the method of obtaining the airflow. In electric spray guns, solenoid or turbines electric motors are used, which, depending on the power, are mounted directly into the body of the spray gun or are made separately.

Spray guns with free-standing engines can ride behind the operator like a vacuum cleaner or they can be hung on the shoulder like a bag – special fasteners are provided for this.

Advantages of air electric spray guns

  • High quality of painting – paint and varnish materials are transferred to the surface in a thin, even layer.
  • Even devices with a free-standing supercharger are light enough to be moved behind them during operation.
  • The ability to select the power of the device depending on the needs.

Disadvantages of air electric spray guns

  • When working, a colorful fog is formed – it is mandatory to use protective equipment.
  • Since the air blower does not have a receiver, the engine is running constantly. At the same time, the noise of the motor is comparable to a vacuum cleaner.

As a result, the scope of application of air electric spray guns has no special restrictions – the power and performance can be selected for domestic and professional use.

Spray guns operating from the power grid

Such devices make up the vast majority of those that are present on the market. These include both pneumatic and electric spray guns: in the former, the electric motor is part of the compressor, and in the latter, it directly rotates the rotor of the pump or supercharger.

Electric spray guns

Advantages of spray guns working from the network

  • The ability to choose a spray gun of the required power.
  • The period of continuous operation is limited only by the capabilities of the electric motor.

Disadvantages of spray guns operating from the network

  • To work in places without a central power supply, a generator is needed.
  • The operator’s mobility is limited by the length of the power cord.
  • The wire may twist and interfere with the work.

There is only one restriction on the use of network spray guns-if there is no electricity at the facility-from a stationary power grid or a generator.

Battery-powered spray guns

Despite the widespread electrification, this class of devices has also found its buyer. They are used not only in places without a stationary power grid, but also simply to increase the mobility of the operator, which is often required during painting works that are carried out from towers.

Battery Powered Spray Guns

Advantages of battery-powered spray guns

  • Complete absence of wires – there is not binding to the outlet and the operator can move as he likes without fear of getting tangled in the power cord.
  • If necessary, you can connect the spray gun to the network.

Disadvantages of battery-powered spray guns

  • Due to the battery, such a spray gun is significantly heavier.
  • The battery life is usually limited to 20-30 minutes.
  • There is no way to make an autonomous high-power spray gun.

Since battery-powered spray guns are significantly more expensive than network models, it makes sense to purchase them only if they are supposed to be used intensively.

Paint stations

These are powerful devices that can feed paint directly from a bucket. The paint gun and the paint pump itself are separated for these devices. When working, the operator holds a small paint gun in his hands, to which paint is applied under high pressure. The electric motor and pump are located on a separate platform.

In the design of some devices, wheels are provided for a more comfortable movement of the unit together with the paint. Such spray guns have many adjustments. It is advisable to use them for large volumes of work on construction sites.

Manual mechanical sprayers

If a large amount of work is expected in an area without electricity, then even using an autonomous spray gun with a spare battery is impractical – it will last for about an hour of continuous work.

mechanical sprayers

The solution will be manual types of spray guns – they are metal or plastic cylinders in which there is a mechanical plunger pump, like a car. A pair of hoses come out of the housing – one for pumping into the internal container of the sprayed solution, and the second goes directly to the sprayer.

There are also a number of household devices in which the composition for spraying is simply poured into the cylinder, then it is sealed and the air is pumped inside by a pump.

The pump operates in two modes-usually they are switched by means of ball valves. First, the spray composition is pumped from the external container, and then pressure is injected into the internal container. When the pressure reaches the desired value, you can start working.

For ease of operation, such spray guns are equipped with handles up to two meters long, which allows you to paint large areas with a minimum of operator movements.

Airless and air-based methods of coloring

In manual devices, these methods of coloring work somewhat differently. During airless spraying, the air is pumped into the container, which creates pressure that pushes the spray composition out of the nozzle.

At the same time, it is difficult to achieve uniform application of the composition on the surface to be painted, so such devices are most often used for spraying plants with chemicals or for treating surfaces with antiseptics or anticorrosive compounds.

The air method of application works almost the same way, but when spraying, the composition is additionally mixed with air and together with it leaves the nozzle in the form of a torch, which allows you to evenly apply the composition for spraying.

What to pay attention to when choosing a manual spray gun

The main characteristics on which the quality and convenience of work depend are the following:

  1. Tank capacity: Direct dependence – the larger the tank, the more composition can be sprayed before refueling. Spray guns are usually equipped with containers of 2-2. 5 liters and sprayers in which the composition is poured directly into the working container can hold 10-15 liters.
  2. Working pressure: Since the pressure has to be maintained manually, most devices are designed to operate at 5-6 atmospheres. A pressure gauge is usually installed for monitoring.
  3. Performance: It shows how much of the composition the spray gun can spray within a minute-the speed of work depends on it.

Since the mechanical spray gun does not have an engine, it is a very reliable and unpretentious design. It is perfectly suitable for working in suburban areas or in other places where there is no electricity.

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