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Finishing Academy Paint Booth Training

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3.1 Introduction

3.2 Laminar Airflow

3.3 Pressure Differences Move Air

3.4 Draw-Thru Systems

3.5 Pressurized Systems

3.6 Incorrect Airflow Balance

3.7 Correct Airflow Balance

3.8 What Affects Balance

3.9 The Effects of Changing Balance

3.10 Affecting Balance Through Mechanics

3.11 Adaptations During Spraying

3.12 Conclusion

3.6 Incorrect Airflow Balance


In this system, more air enters the booth than is allowed to leave. When the air systems are first turned on, the suction from the exhaust tries to evacuate the room, but in time the surplus air builds up pressure in the middle of the booth causing a cloud to form. Air is a compressible fluid and will just “bunch up” at the point of interference. This cloud is invisible until the painter starts his painting operation. Then the air is colored with paint and the cloud is very visible.

Turbulence is also obvious when using a small handheld velometer. Since the meter is a vane type device, air entering from one side causes the vane and its needle to move to the appropriate place on the scale. When air enters from both sides such as at a location of turbulence, the needle and vane oscillate and it is difficult to get a reading on the meter that is stable.


In any case, turbulence is one of the worst things that can happen to a painter. It causes all manner of blemishes in the paint from thinly applied paint to overspray and dirt inclusions, to low visibility. Turbulence will show up as paint overspray on the walls and lamps of the paint booth, on the floor, and on the painter himself. It makes the working conditions very difficult and the chances of customer dissatisfaction very likely.

Paint booth pressure levels, incorrect airflow balance


Graphic by permission of Ron Joseph & Associates, Inc.




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