Planning is essential in all stages of a spray booth’s development. When designing a spray booth, consider the type of booth that will be installed and the best location for it. Your building requirement—and the use and maintenance of the booth—must be taken into consideration when deciding the booth’s location. The key is efficiency of operation and effectiveness of application, the location helps to deliver to both. Listed below are some things to consider when deciding on the best location for a spray booth:
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Types of Spray Booths
Each type of spray booth has unique requirements, so the type of booth should be decided before planning too far ahead.
- Dry filter—A dry filter booth is the most standard type, and it is less expensive (to start) than other options. Production must come to a stop once the dry filter has reached its capacity, and the time it takes to load the filter will vary according to filter size. Using high-quality equipment (e.g. filters, spray guns) could help extend the life of the filters. If a quality finish is desired, a dry filter spray booth may be the best option and is the most common. Typically these booths require a smaller footprint and therefore help to optimize floor space.
- Water wash—A water wash booth uses water to push solid combustible materials into a waste reservoir. The initial costs may be more for a water wash booth, but long-term costs can outweigh them if it can be afforded at the start. There are special guidelines for exhaust ducts in a water wash spray booth. These guidelines will dictate the placement of the spray booth because its configuration is more complex and requires additional floor space for the washer tank and pumps.
- Powder coating—Powder applications are much friendlier to the environment than liquid coatings, and they can be more cost-efficient due to their high transfer efficiency and their ability to reclaim powder. However, the initial cost for powder booths is more than others since this type of application process requires a powder coating oven, which will take up more useable floor space. If booth cost and floor space are issues, a simpler dry filter booth may be more ideal. If cost is not an issue and a solid, durable color is of utmost importance, then powder solutions may be the best option. Before booth design and development commences, establish the proper location for the powder coating booth and oven.
Requirements for the Structure
Design can be tedious, but it’s necessary for completing the project efficiently. Remember that your booth needs to adhere to NFPA and OSHA guidelines for spray booths. Listed below are some of the fundamental requirements and things to consider before assigning the spray area.
Local codes should also be reviewed so the structure can be constructed accordingly.
- Space necessary for mixing and spraying—Specifically, federal code requires a clear space of at least three feet on all sides of the spray booth (including its roof) is required for safety and easy maintenance. Ignitors, combustible materials, and unprotected electrical equipment should not be in the immediate proximity of the spray area. The surrounding walls and roof must have a fire-resistance rating of one hour. If a separate mixing room is necessary to store or mix Class I and Class II liquids, the space between the rooms must have a fire-resistance rating of two hours. The mixing room should be designed to contain a spill. Both rooms require mechanical ventilation, so space for exhaust fans, ducts and supports may affect the shop floor plan.
- Electrical and mechanical parts—Since constant ventilation is necessary (in order to redirect harmful vapors adequately) both during and after spraying, the spray area should be designed to provide proper ventilation for spraying and storing substances. Air Make-up Units (AMU) are necessary to supply fresh, clean air to a spray paint operation. The amount of make-up air required varies according to size and type of booth, which affects the amount of floor space needed to accommodate a particular size of AMU. Thought needs to be given to where the AMU is located in respect to the booth, either outside on the roof, alongside the booth, or on top of the booth structure. Any electrical devices, such as motors, lights, switches and/or control panels, must be located out of the electrical hazardous areas of a spray booth. This space requirement must be considered in the overall layout and location of the booth.
- Exhaust ducts—Spray booth exhaust duct design must be taken into consideration to support the overall spray booth operation. Routing the ductwork from the spray booth to the outside atmosphere can be tricky and challenging and with clearances needed to accommodate building interfaces and trusses, and other building utilities. All must be considered when deciding on the location, size, and type of spray booth required for your specific spray application. Exhaust ducts must be properly supported with hangers which allow for expansion and contraction. Along with the spray booth itself, choosing a location for the booth must be carefully considered for all duct structures and supports as well.
To make for easier maintenance, adequate space between the rest of the shop floor or other buildings should be considered. Additionally, safe access to compressed air, gas and electrical utilities should be maintained and regularly inspected.
When considering the location for a spray booth, there are certain ventilation and space requirements that must be met. Different types of spray booths have different requirements. The location of the spray booth can improve or inhibit production. No matter which location you choose for your booth’s operation, make sure it’s the best area for efficiency and that you’re using the best booth for the job. That’s where we come in. At Spray Systems, our team will ensure an expertly crafted spray booth solution that’s unique to your needs, while ensuring that it’s placed in an ideal location for maximum productivity. Contact us today!