What is the worst contamination/dirt scenario you have seen in a paint booth?
We have seen a full range of paint booth contamination scenarios. Typically, when businesses put in new equipment, they also change a lot of other things in the shop, which can result in contamination in the spray booth.
For example, one shop we worked with started getting little blue fibers in their paint all of a sudden. They talked to their paint reps and jobbers, but they still could not figure it out. What they learned was that a change they made in their shop processes resulted in this booth contamination. When they changed their paint booths, they also changed their uniforms — to a new blue color. They discovered that these new shirts were pilling and the fibers were landing in the paint jobs. A quick remedy would have been to wear paint suits, which help protect the painter and prevent contamination. Following a basic safety practice could have saved them months of rework.
Another time, a manufacturer set up all of their mixing operations inside their paint booths on the intake side. Multiple tables, paint cans, guns, towels, rags, hoses and a variety of other items had been in their spray booth for a long period of time. Since the intake air passed over the top of all of it, everything they were painting was covered in dirt and contaminants from their mixing operations inside the booth.
Other scenarios that could be remedied with common safety practices include not changing filters regularly, and sometimes even from storing and eating food in a paint booth, causing food particles to show up in the paint.
Outside of that, the worst damage can be seen from silicone entering the paint environment. This can be caused by cleaners used in other parts of a shop, especially if there is a detail department. Ideally, you should always use silicone-free cleaners. Some new cleaners will claim to be silicone-free, yet they include an additive that reacts the same way as silicone. Spraying just a small amount of that into a shop will cause fisheyes in the finish. To prevent this problem, keep your detail areas completely separate from the paint shop — in a different building or walled off.