Powder Coating Booth

Which Powder Coating Booth is the Best for My Job?

Powder coating has, over the years, become a very popular finishing solution and for good reasons too. When compared to liquid-based finishing processes, a powder coating booth is well noted for its attractive and durable finishes. Powder coating produces a hardened finish, which is known to be much tougher than traditional spray based paint. Also, since powder coating application involves utilizing dry powder, each coat tends to be much thicker and doesn’t run as would be the case with liquid-based coats. This process leaves the substrate’s surface much more impervious to wear and tear and exposure to the elements. This means powder coated finishes can resist chipping, fading and scratching better than liquid-based coats.

Powder coating is a more economical means of finishing substrates in the long term. This process is acclaimed for leaving negligible waste when it comes to finishing products with a similar color thanks to innovative powder recovery methods too. Best of all, this waste may be reused again and again. Lastly, powder coating is an eco-friendly finishing solution because powder coats are devoid of toxic solvents in liquid paint and release very little volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. However, choosing the right powder coating booth for your unique needs and preferences may prove to be a daunting and frustrating task. Here is a breakdown of the various options laid out for you in terms of picking the best powder coating booth for your finishing job.

standard batch powder booth

The standard batch powder booth

This basic kind of powder coating booth makes use of 3 different layers of filtration. Within the unit is a blanket filter that features a pocket-type filter at its rear end. This given blanket filter sets to work by trapping most of the powder overspray. The pocket filter ensures that negligible powder particles pass to the booth’s fan area. The last layer of filtration in this powder coating is located on the fan housing’s discharge. This is a high efficiency particulate arrestor (HEPA) system which prevents powder overspray being discharged back into the unit.

This kind of powder coating booth is a pocket-friendly option upfront. However, its filters can accrue powder buildup quickly and need to be replaced on a frequent basis. This is particularly the case if your shop uses a high volume of powder in its day-to-day operations. So this option isn’t the suitable solution if your shop boasts of high production rates.
cartridge batch powder booth

The cartridge batch powder booth

The cartridge batch powder booth comes complete with cartridge modules that are specifically designed to capture and contain powder overspray. Rather than making use of a 3 stage filtration system like the standard variety, air is drawn through fine media cartridges. These devices are set to work by capturing powder particles in the airflow, and then discharge the air back into the unit through HEPA filters.

The key benefit of such a setup is the filters are constantly cleaned thanks to compressed air. This means they don’t accumulate powder buildup quickly and the airflow remains sufficient for much longer durations when compared to the standard unit. Despite costing more upfront, the filters of this type of powder coating booth can last for no less than 6 months, depending on your facility’s production rates before needing to be changed.

Spray-to-waste booths vs. reclaim powder coating booths

One of the main advantages of using a powder coating booth is the capability to reclaim and reuse overspray. In a spray-to-waste unit otherwise known as a non-recovery unit, the overspray is usually collected and ultimately disposed of. In this particular system, different powder colors are mixed together and consequently, cannot be reused. In a powder coating booth with a reclaim system, a cartridge or cyclone system is installed to separate waste powder for reuse. It is important to note that installing a reclaim system isn’t always the most cost-effective solution in certain circumstances.

The cartridge and cyclone systems cost much upfront. So their cost-effectiveness should be balanced with the overall reclaim savings you will be able to make with the passage of time. To be able to effectively figure out if overspray reclaim is a cost-saving option, estimate the volume of overspray your powder coating unit will be likely to produce, then multiply it by the cost of the powder you use over the same period of time. This way, you will be in a good position of getting an approximate estimate of potential cost savings over the passage of time. Nevertheless, if your shop handles high volumes of powder and produces large amounts of overspray, a reclaim system can be a practical investment. 

Choosing the right airflow pattern for your powder coating booth

The other item to address when designing a powder booth is airflow. To reduce powder on the floor the key is to shorten the distance from gun to part and part to filter. Sometimes it makes sense to have side down airflow in a powder booth to shorten the distance to collection versus utilizing a really long one direction air flow booth.

ZPar International is a leading manufacturer of powder coating booths including the batch and cartridge varieties. We also offer diverse paint booths, spray booths and accessories, together with other abrasive blasting equipment.