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2 min read

Auto Paint Bubbles? Contamination Could be the Culprit

Auto Paint Bubbles? Contamination Could be the Culprit

Over half of all paint finish issues can be attributed to the quality of your compressed air.
How can you tell?

Low gloss, hazing, cratering, dye back, and fish-eye are very common defects directly related to compressed air. Some can be seen right away, while others may not present themselves until after the bake cycle, or up to several days later.

Understanding the root causes of this issue is only half the battle. Next, you have to find a solution.

  1. What Causes Contamination in an Air System
  2. How Air Contamination Affects Your Paint Finish
  3. What is the Best Solution?
  4. Why Regenerative Desiccant


What Causes Contamination in an Air System?

Unseen to the human eye, there are many tiny substrates and particles in our atmosphere that penetrate compressed air systems. All the unseen contaminants in the air surrounding your compressor are drawn in and concentrated through the compression process. Now add a little bit of oil from the compressor lubrication and your air system is ready to set your quality finishes up for failure.

All the water vapor, oils, and dirt particles impact the performance of your paint system and the professional finishes you are expecting.

Taking the necessary steps to provide very clean, very dry compressed air helps eliminate many of these risk factors responsible for poor paint jobs.

Contaminated air

How Air Contamination Affects Your Paint Finish

Regardless of which paint is used, solvent or waterborne, humidity and contamination greatly affect flash time and finish performance. Longer flash times can hinder the quality of work you expect and delay production. High humidity and long flash time can affect the appearance of pearls and metallic, panel blends, etc. Clean, dry air is critical to your performance!

Although the many sources of air-related problems are known, how to properly solve them is not.


How to Remove Moisture and Contaminants from Your Air Supply

Using quality compressed air dryers and filters is the “best practice” solution for battling humidity, oil, and dirt particles; many just are not sure on what the best practices are and where they should be using them.

  • Providing high-quality point-of-use filters is necessary to assure you have the cleanest, oil-free, and dirt-free air being used in the booth. This clean air eliminates “fish eye” and cratering. You want your filters to be manufactured from durable materials.  Make sure they are treated and protected from corrosion; corroding filter heads and housing have been the cause of many fish eye concerns.
  • Using an air dryer upstream of your spray booth to reduce or eliminate humidity assures you have the driest air for your professional finishes. Very dry compressed air eliminates the issue of low gloss or hazing.

Many cheaper air treatment solutions could cost the paint shop hundreds of dollars in replacement elements, desiccant cartridges, and poor quality paint jobs. This would result in countless hours of retouching.


What is the Best Air Treatment Solution for your Body Shop?

How do you choose the best technology for a humidity-eliminating solution? Do you use a refrigerated air dryer or a regenerative desiccant air dryer?

In paint applications typically requiring less than 10% humidity, with the optimal humidity target below 5%, a regenerative desiccant air dryer is specifically designed to accomplish ultra-low humidity readings consistently.

Unlike the commonly used refrigerated air dryer which requires constant monitoring, and is greatly affected by the atmospheric conditions of the changing seasons.

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Hot Summer on the Horizon? Go with Regenerative Desiccant!

Hot and humid environments greatly impact the performance of refrigerated dryers. Since warmer air holds more water,  refrigerated dryers need extra monitoring and maintenance to assure they are operating optimally.

Regenerative drying technology, however, is not so adversely affected by atmospheric changes when properly sized. They effectively and consistently eliminate humidity with little-to-no maintenance, year round!

When you provide properly cleaned and dried air to your paint booth, you are eliminating a significant area of concern for the quality and performance of your coatings. Making the initial investment of a regenerative dryer will ensure perfect finishes consumers have come to expect.

Looking for a quality desiccant regenerative dryer for your shop? Look no further. Tsunami Compressed Air Solutions has air drying systems that provide the clean, dry air you need at a price your shop can afford. Contact a Tsunami expert today, or purchase our products through one of our premium stocking distributors.

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