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Understanding Chemical Coating Equipment

Pneumatic, Hydraulic, Air Driven, Electric Spray Machines: What's The Difference?

The selection of the appropriate equipment is vital for companies that spray material to be used for coating as well as insulation projects. The ability to perform the job effectively depends on the tools or equipment used to complete the task and it is therefore essential to know the various types of spray equipment in order to do an effective job.

 

THE WIDE VARIETY OF SPRAY MACHINES

You have the choice between three types of spray machines: electrical, pneumatic, and hydraulic. Your best possible choice will depend on your requirements and how you plan on employing your equipment. By understanding how air-driven and pneumatic spray machines function and how they work, you'll know what you should consider before purchasing one.

Coating equipment is not equal in its capacity to operate with certain materials, as they necessitate varying pressures to apply. Most high-pressure equipment is interchangeable, regardless of whether it's being utilized for coatings or foam, however, low-pressure machines tend to be used to spray foam. The appropriate pressure needed for spray coatings is within the range of 1850-3500 psi. However, machines can be used to spray foam within the range between 800 and 2000 psi. Low-pressure machines can be used to spray foam only under the restriction of not using lengthy hoses since they require greater pressure to disperse the material efficiently.  

Pneumatic and Air-Driven Machines

The two-component pneumatic system has been in use since the late 1960s. However, since pneumatic spray systems don't have pressure monitoring technology the operator has to be attentive while spraying either the coating or foam and watch for any changes that might indicate an off-ratio situation.

The system consists of two pumps that are operated with an air motor operating in an exact pressure ratio. The psi rating is related to the amount of material it can disperse in the form of pressure. If the ratio of pressure is 25:1, the device will be able to deliver 25 psi pressure per one pound of air pressure applied.

If the host size is sufficient to be able to distribute the required material, pneumatic systems will disperse the product evenly. It's not a surprise that this method has been in use for a long time and is extremely reliable. However, the main disadvantage is that it doesn't allow for the proper pressure effectively controlled, putting the operator with the responsibility of monitoring the foam to ensure proper dispersion and placement.

Pneumatic equipment is usually the preferred choice for smaller start-ups because of its relative ease of use and low cost. As business expands and grows, larger jobs will require more powerful equipment.

Hydraulic Machines

In the 70s, these systems use hydraulic power to run chemical proportioning pumps. It is typically employed to spray polyurea coatings as well as dual-component foam. Some systems have a valve that permits the orientation of the sprayer direction to change. The rapid pump's transformation is the machine's most attractive feature, which results in a very low loss of pressure as the direction changeover occurs.

Because the chemicals that are used to make spray foam need to mix prior to application, the hydraulic process provides better monitoring tools to ensure that the mix of chemicals is uniform and proportional when it is applied. If the system detects an improper application of the wrong mix. If it does it shuts down immediately to stop the bad distribution of the product which allows the operator to fix the issue, rather than applying the bad product.

The polyurea, as well as foam chemicals, require temperatures that range between 100 to 180°F. Primarily, heaters warm the chemicals to the required temperatures and hoses that are heated maintain the temperature set point to ensure the highest quality foam is added with these high-end hydraulic systems.

In large-area tasks, like coating large rooftops, the use of a hydraulic machine that can spray foam is especially effective and allows for excellent heat output and high output.

Electric Machines

If you require high throughput in the coating or spray foam application job, electric spray systems can provide excellent performance and value. This makes them the perfect choice for contractors searching for polyurea equipment to sell.

Electric machines can be beneficial in ensuring consistent pressure when the spray or coating applicator is engaged and also maintain the appropriate level of pressure even while the machine is running but not operating.

Motor control technology ensures that the two mixing pumps keep the same pressure of the fluid and regulate the motor's electrical current. The applicator orifices and the pumps are the same dimensions, therefore the pressures of both pumps must be comparable to allow the proportioner to attain a ratio of 1:1 chemical ratio. Modern technology will stop if the pressures of the pumps begin to drift out of balance and lose balance, preventing users from spraying poor foam or coating and causing an error alerting the user of the reason for the shut-down.

The heating component of electric machines is also extremely advantageous. In order to be functional, the electronic spray foam systems heat the chemicals to the required heating point using massive primary heaters. The majority of contractors rely on hoses to keep the temperature of the product while it is sprayed however, lower temperatures may chill insulated hoses and cause them to have to be warmed up prior to being able to retain heat. If the machines have been shut down for a prolonged period and the hoses were not warmed up, significant time could have gone by until when the time the hoses have reached an amount that they are able to hold the temperatures needed for heat retention.

Electric systems are durable and, if maintained properly they have a long life span. They have been found to last between 15-20 years. They're an investment and maintenance may cost more, however, it is superior to purchasing a brand fresh piece of machinery.

TRADE-OFFS OF PNEUMATIC TECHNOLOGY

MONITORING PRESSURE

The pneumatic technology has been used for many years and is extremely reliable. However, since pneumatic spray systems do not incorporate the technology of pressure monitoring found in electronic and hydraulic systems, the user must be attentive while applying coating or foam, looking for any signs that might indicate an off-ratio issue.

HEATING CHEMICALS

The foam or polyurea chemicals used in spray systems must be heated from 100°F up to 180°F. The spray systems typically have large electric primary heaters to warm the chemicals to the desired temperature. 

Technically, the hoses can simply be insulated to maintain chemical temperature set points, but insulation alone isn’t going to be enough when a contractor starts up in the morning or for an extended shutdown during the day. Heated hoses raise the chemical temperatures in the hose to operating levels at start up and maintain the temperature set point throughout the day.

While keeping the temperature of chemicals is crucial, heated hoses should not be used to increase chemical temperatures set by primary heaters. Additionally, Electricity of 200-240 or 350-415 voltage is needed to power the proportioning pump, the primary heaters, and the heated hose. Compressed air is also needed to operate the applicator.

WHICH SYSTEM IS THE RIGHT ONE FOR YOU?

Because of the wide variety of spray systems available these days, potential buyers must spend the time to learn the way each one works in addition to the advantages and disadvantages. Apart from pneumatic systems, there are hydraulic, air driven and electronic spray machines, each having its distinct specifics.

If you're looking for the latest or polyurea or foam spray equipment, there are plenty of options for all kinds of projects that ArmorThane will be happy to help you with. Take a look at ArmorThane's spray foam and polyurea coating equipment here.

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