Common Spray Booth Terms

Accelerated Drying:  Introducing accelerated air at opposing angles to the laminar air flow to speed up the drying process.  Accomplished through the use of auxiliary air blowers to break up slow-moving layer of air that forms on painted surface due to laminar air flow.

Air Replacement:  A system designed to replenish equal amounts of fresh air into the painting chamber for air exhausted from that painting chamber.

Air-Make Up:  Mechanical system that supplies conditioned and filtered air into the spray booth.  Advanced units designed to minimize temperature variations and remove particulates that could damage finish quality.

Airflow:  Pattern of airflow allowing for maximum efficiency of paint being sprayed onto an object while also directing overspray away from the painted objected.  Advanced setups move air in unidirectional layers while maintaining a steady velocity.

Airflow Balance:  When airflow is at negative pressure (relative to the outside of the spray booth) from air entering the paint booth through air leaving the paint booth.

Auxiliary Spray Booth:  Typically an open-faced or special cut-in spray booth for smaller, less critical paint work, thereby allowing the main, fully-enclosed spray booth to be used for larger objects.

Baffle Filtration:  A method of filtration that redirects airflow through media with offset holes.  Media can be paper, metal, or Styrofoam.

Bake Mode:  Period of time required for curing paint applied to the object being painted.

Burner:  Often used interchangeably with the term “Heater”.  Can also refer to the unit of combustion located inside the heater.

CFM:  Cubic feet per minute; a unit of measurement for the volume of air moving through a spray booth (area x velocity = cfm).

Cool Down:  The period of time required cool both the spray booth and the painted object once curing is completed.

Crossdraft:  Spray booth construction whereby the air flows parallel to the floor (side-to-side).  Air passes through intake filters to remove paint damaging particles and air exits the painting chamber through paint arrestors designed to capture particulate overspray.

Curing:  Process by which a paint finish is brought to its intended degree of hardness and luster.

dBA:  A measure of sound.  A change of one dB is detectable by the human ear.

Downdraft:  Spray booth construction whereby the air flow perpendicular to the floor (top-to-bottom). Air passes through intake filters (typically designed to diffuse air evenly into the painting chamber) to remove paint damaging particles and air exits the painting chamber through paint arrestors (normally placed in a sunken pit) designed to capture particulate overspray.

Downdraft-Side Exhaust:  Spray booth construction whereby air is pulled into the painting chamber from the top of the spray booth and air exits the painting chamber through vents in located the bottom corners / baseboards of the paint booth (top-to-corners).  Typically utilized when a pit or elevated platform is not capable of being designed into the existing structure.

Dual Skin:  Typical paint booth construction whereby two pieces of sheet metal enclose a layer of fiberglass or foam insulation providing energy savings, sound attenuation, and a cleaner, more aesthetic appearance.

Dust CollectionAny fan and filter assembly that collects and holds the dust produced by sanding, grinding, or spraying particulate.

EnclosureRefers to the cabin or the box-like structure of the paint booth itself.

Exhaust ChamberCompartment of spray booth that draws overspray through exhaust filters and then through channels so as to be recycled.  All spray booth systems, regardless of their application, have a working enclosure and an exhaust chamber.

Flash-OffProcess of quickly drying paint to a point when a second coat can be applied.  Typically accomplished using a short period of increased temperature and air speed in the paint booth.

Grain CountMeasures how effectively a spray booth and exhaust filter / overspray collection system will be in trapping particulate emissions.

Intake PlenumThe box-like structure through which air is brought into the spray booth.  May be vertical and located at one end of the booth, or horizontal using part or all of the ceiling inside the booth.

Laminar AirflowAir that is moving in a consistent direction over the surface of an object.  Laminar airflow is generally accepted as the ideal environment in which to spray paint, given effectiveness of removing overspray and contamination during the paint spraying process.

NFPANational Fire Protection Association; the governing body that determines fire safety protection codes.

OSHAOccupational Safety and Health Administration; the governing body that determines workplace health and safety codes.

Paint Booth InsertsA pre-fabricated, self-contained spray booth installed inside an existing structure

Paint Mix RoomA dedicated structure designed to provide a ventilated, contamination-controlled area to safely mix and store paints.

Paint ZoneThe specific location inside the paint booth that delivers proper balanced airflow, creating an optimum painting environment.  This typically extends a short distance around the perimeter of the object being painted, as the air moves around the object and towards the exhaust filters.

PlenumAn enclosed chamber where air is filtered and then distributed throughout the paint booth system.

SBCCIStandard Fire Prevention Code; Standard Building Code; the governing body that determines standard codes for buildings and construction safety.

Semi-DowndraftSpray booth construction whereby air is pulled into the painting chamber from the top of the spray booth and air exits the painting chamber through vents located perpendicular to the floor (top-to-side).  Semi-downdraft paint booths are essentially a hybrid of downdraft and crossdraft designs.

Side-DowndraftSpray booth construction whereby air is pulled into the painting chamber from the top of the spray booth and air exits the painting chamber through vents located on the lower portions of the sides of the paint booth (top-to-side).

Single-SkinRefers to the usage of a single layer of fabricated sheet metal to form the panels and walls used in construction of a spray booth.

Spray ModeThe operating mode of a spray booth during which the painting chamber is conditioned with airflow for optimum spray application.

Spray ZoneSee “Paint Zone”.

Turbulent AirflowAir that is moving in multiple directions, creating a convection-like environment inside the paint booth.  Turbulent airflow is more efficient than laminar airflow to dry/cure the paint once the spray application process has been completed.

UFCUniform Fire Code; the set of codes set forth dictating requirements for fire safety in building and equipment construction.


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