Read time: 3.5 minutes

TL;DR:

  • Installing and operating any kind of downdraft spray booth usually requires more resources than crossdraft models, but the results can be well worth the costs depending on the situation.
  • Modified downdraft booths, which are also called side downdraft booths, are almost identical to standard models except the air is pulled through exhausts along the side of the booth rather than through a floor grating.
  • Modified downdraft booths allow operators to circumvent the requirement for a concrete pit, which can be very expensive or impossible depending on the workplace.
  • Operators who are deciding between a modified and conventional downdraft design should know that the conventional designs can be safer for workers inside the booth.
  • Modified downdraft booths are a prime choice for manufacturers who need to produce quality results and are unable to use a normal downdraft model.

Much like conventional downdraft spray booths, modified downdraft designs are primarily used in manufacturing or repair work that demands high-quality finish. Installing and operating any kind of downdraft booth usually requires more resources than crossdraft models, but the results can be well worth the costs depending on the situation. While modified booths are free from some of the limitations of their conventional counterparts, there are still several significant considerations that buyers should face before finalizing their choice.

As with any decision regarding company equipment and facilities, it’s important for operators to thoroughly investigate their needs and process details before selecting a spray booth. As specialists in standardized and customized spray booth solutions, Spray Systems is ready to help operators who are looking for experienced guidance and expertise. We serve companies in various industries, including large equipment and aerospace manufacturers.

What is a Modified Downdraft Booth?

Conventional downdraft booths draw air into the booth through intake fans located in supply plenums along the roof of the unit. The fans propel the air directly toward the floor so that the flow passes over all of the surfaces of the object or part that is being painted. Air and overspray then enter a grate in the center of the floor where it passes through an advanced filtration system to remove toxins from the paint chemicals.

In the context of downdraft spray booths, the word “modified” refers to the direction of the airflow through the interior space. Modified downdraft booths, which are also called side downdraft booths, are almost identical to standard models except the air is pulled through exhausts along the side of the booth rather than through a floor grating. This may seem like a relatively minor difference, but it actually has a broad impact on the optimization and suitability of the booth.

Key Benefits and Features

Downdraft generally produces higher quality finish than other types of airflow because overspray is pulled directly to the exhaust. Supply air is also cleaner since it is pulled from above the booth rather than the front, rear or side. This cuts down on the amount of dust and dirt entering the booth through the supply intake. However, conventional downdraft units have a big drawback in that they require a concrete pit directly beneath the booth.

Modified downdraft booths allow operators to circumvent the requirement for a concrete pit, which can be very expensive or impossible depending on the workplace. Since the airflow passes into plenums along the base of the booth’s sides, the unit can rest evenly on the ground like a crossdraft model. These booths also require minimal maintenance and upkeep, which can be a big bonus for operators who only use the booth occasionally.

Drawbacks and Other Considerations

The modified downdraft design may overcome one of the big drawbacks associated with downwards airflow, but it has several potential drawbacks of its own. These units require a lot of ducts to function, which contributes to a relatively high installation cost that can actually be more than a normal downdraft booth. Operators also run the risk of leaks and other issues from the additional ducts running to the roof of their building.

Another thing to consider is the impact on painters. Operators who are deciding between a modified and conventional downdraft design should know that the conventional designs can be safer for workers inside the booth. Since the air is ultimately drawn to the side of the booth rather than the floor, painters will be exposed to overspray as they move around the part or object.

Is a Modified Downdraft Booth the Right Choice?

There are dozens of factors that influence a spray booth decision, so there is no simple way to find the best booth. However, modified downdraft booths are a prime choice for manufacturers who need to produce quality results and are unable to use a normal downdraft model. The modified design can also be more cost-effective in other environments if the unit is relatively small, since it won’t require a significant amount of extra ducts.

We design and create spray booth solutions every day, which is why Spray Systems Inc is your one-stop destination for information, consultation and installation needs. Our team of industry experts works closely with customers to identify key concerns and priorities so they can recommend a design that truly fits the project. There are a lot of things operators need to know before picking a booth, but this decision can be much less stressful with seasoned professionals to help out each step of the way.

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