Painting safety and the electrostatic painting process

Working with electrostatic paint spraying involves certain safety hazards that must be taken into account.

Poor execution of electrostatic painting can lead to safety hazards and reduced transfer efficiency. For the safety of the operator, it is essential that all key areas in the electrostatic painting process are properly grounded. 

Working with electricity, as with electrostatic painting, always involves a safety hazard. It is therefore of the utmost importance to make sure everything within the painting system is grounded. This will avoid electrical shocks and hazards and poor transfer efficiency. The key areas in the electrostatic painting process that must be grounded are the operator, the target, the air hose and the paint supply.

The operator

If the operator is not properly grounded, the paint can wrap back towards the operator instead of being attracted to the target or could head to the floor. Follow these painting safety instructions to prevent paint being attracted to the operator:

  • Avoid wearing insulated or rubber shoes; wear shoes with leather soles. 
  • Avoid using gloves. If a glove is worn, make sure the palm and the trigger finger are cut out to create direct skin contact with the gun.  
  • Do not stand on paper unless it is conductive.
  • Make sure the floor is clean and dry. Any paint overspray on the ground can act as an insulator.


The target

The target is usually hung on hooks connected to a conveyor belt and then grounded through its connection to the wall. Key focus points are where the hook connects to the target part and to the conveyor. Frequently these areas will have paint overspray, causing insulation of the target. When the target is insulated it results in a poor wrap. It is important to keep hooks clean and grounded at all times.

The air hose and paint supply

The air hose and paint supply could attract an electrical charge, so be sure to use a specially grounded air hose. Graco hoses  have left-handed threads to make sure you cannot connect the wrong air hose to the gun. The same goes for the paint supply. A good solution is to use a metal bucket directly in contact with the ground and connect a ground wire to a grounded location. Ensure the pump is grounded by connecting the ground wire to a true earth ground. 

It is important to test the electrical charge of all of these key areas with a megohmmeter before beginning to spray. If each one displays a mega ohm reading of one or less, you are good to go. 

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