Aircraft Painters Move Closer to Perfection

Aerospace air cap minimizes solvent pop and improves finish quality.

New electrostatic spray gun model proves ideal for quickly finishing large areas

CUSTOMER: Aerospace manufacturer

GRACO EQUIPMENT: Pro Xp Manual Electrostatic Air Spray Gun – Aerospace spray cap

CHALLENGE: When painting airliner fuselages, painters at a large aerospace factory had to move quickly to cover as much area as possible. With each pass, they sprayed a 50/50 overlap to produce a solid, even topcoat that met strict quality and safety standards.

If electrostatic spray gun settings, painter technique or environmental conditions were off, a condition called “solvent pop” easily occurred. Small open blisters blemished the topcoat.

After being sanded off and aerospace coating reapplied, solvent popping would sometimes happen again. This made the paint hanger a bottleneck in the airliner production process.

SOLUTION: The production manager knew they needed to get the job done right the first time. He teamed up with his finishing equipment distributor and Graco engineers to design an air cap for their Pro Xp Electrostatic Air Spray Guns.

The resulting aerospace air cap has tapered ends that produce a fine, consistent spray with each pass. It also atomizes high solid paints at high fluid flow rates. Both features minimize error on finishes that require perfection.

Pro Xp electrostatic paint spray gun with aerospace air cap

RESULTS: The aircraft painters now use the aerospace air cap for most topcoats and whenever they fear solvent pop could occur (for example, when it’s too warm or humid).

The need to redo airliner finish notably decreased, making the paint hanger an efficient part of the airliner production process.

Now part of the Pro Xp’s new aerospace gun model, the aerospace air cap has proven ideal for coating large areas with the highest quality finish.

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