Intro to Airless Paint Spraying

As technology improves, so do the methods of efficiency. The modern process of spraying paint has been around for over a hundred years, but it’s more popular today than ever thanks to advancements in technology and the methods that have been developed over time.

Today, there are four main types of spray delivery methods…

The first spray delivery method is Air Spray. These systems use highly pressurized air, created by a compressor, to atomize the fluid being sprayed and deliver it onto the work surface.

Another fluid spray method is High-Volume, Low-Pressure -- or HVLP. These systems also utilize compressed air, but in a different way than standard air spray systems. With HVLP, a turbine delivers a large volume of air at a much lower pressure to atomize and spray the fluid. These systems are designed for smaller jobs, and offer the least overspray and unmatched precision. The unit must be 10 PSI or less at the aircap to qualify as HVLP.

A third spray delivery method is Airless Spray, which need neither a compressor nor a turbine. Rather than rely on air, these systems use a pump to deliver fluid at high pressure to the spray tip. They deliver fast speeds and they spray the widest variety of materials, unthinned.

Finally, Air-Assisted Airless is the fourth delivery method. This system combines airless and air spray methods to deliver the finish quality of an HVLP sprayer, with the speed and efficiency of an airless sprayer. This is achieved by adding compressed air to an airless spray fan pattern.

When it comes to achieving professional painting results, being able to quickly apply the coating you’re using in an even, consistent manner makes all the difference. Airless spraying allows you to do just that; plus, it’s faster and easier than using a brush or roller. In fact, using an airless sprayer is up to 10 times faster than using a brush, and at least four times as fast as a roller!

So, how’s it done?

Airless spraying achieves this speed by atomizing, or breaking up fluid into small droplets, without the use of compressed air. Instead, fluid is pumped under high pressure through a spray tip. The fluid emerges from the tip as a high-speed solid stream – but when that stream hits the air, it becomes disrupted – and the fluid separates into very small droplets that form the spray pattern. If you’ve ever placed your finger over the end of a running garden hose, you created a very simple form of airless spray.

In contrast, air spray systems inject compressed air into the fluid stream of paint to achieve atomization.

Since 1958, when Graco invented portable airless spraying, professional contractors have preferred this method of spraying for many reasons:

One reason is that using airless spraying increases speed. Airless spraying is faster, so more jobs can be completed in less time, using less labor – plus, it’s great for jobs with a short weather window.

Another reason a professional contractor prefers airless spraying is that an improved quality can also be achieved through airless spraying. Airless sprayers produce an even coat of paint (referred to as the mil build) on all types of surfaces, leaving a high-quality finish.

Airless spraying is also very versatile. Airless sprayers can be used for a wide range of coatings for both interior and exterior jobs and can easily be transported around job sites.

So, what is airless spraying? Simply, it’s the fastest and most versatile way to achieve professional painting results.


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