Paint Booth Temperature Settings — A Practical Guide

115 degree thermometer If you own a paint booth, you have likely been told of the importance of preventative maintenance to keep your booth running in peak condition. Just as important is selecting the correct temperature settings for your paint booth.

The temperature settings in your paint booth can vary widely based on what coating you are using and many other factors. Here is a brief guide on how to properly set the temperature in your paint booth:

Paint Booth Temperature Settings in Automotive Refinish Applications

A paint booth must be a minimum of 55 degrees Fahrenheit for automotive paint with a catalyst to dry. For paint booths with an air heater, the rule of thumb in the automotive industry is that for every 15 degrees above 70 degrees, a coating will cure about twice as fast (assuming 50 percent relative humidity). Likewise, for every 15 degrees below 70 degrees, a coating will take about twice as long to cure.

Below 55 degrees, the catalyst becomes dormant and does not crosslink. Once the catalyst is dormant, it never crosslinks properly. Since much of the country is warmer than 70 degrees for at least some of the year, paint companies have different catalysts and reducers to compensate for the rapid increase in cure times while applying the coating.

spraying in automotive refinish applications

If you are spraying a product that takes 30 minutes at 70 degrees to flash before it can be coated with the next step, a shop could cut that time in half by raising the temperature in the spray booth to 85 degrees. GFS paint booths with LOGIC control panels automatically accomplish this through Smart Flash mode.

Heat exponentially increases paint shop throughput. More than twice the amount of work can be put through a heated booth versus a non-heated booth. If you have a non-heated booth, you have to be mindful of the amount of heated air that is exhausted from a heated building. This is especially important during winter in colder states. For example, if the outside temperature is 25 degrees, and your shop contains 150,000 cubic feet of heated air, a non-heated paint booth that moves 12,000 cubic feet per minute (CFM) will exhaust all of the heated air in only 12 ½ minutes, requiring the building’s heat system to replace it.

Paint Booth Temperature Settings in Industrial Applications

The average temperature it takes to cure paint is between 65 and 70 degrees. However, determining the right temperature for each paint job is a complicated process.

You first want to examine what type of coating you are using. No two coatings are the same. A coating from one paint manufacturer is not necessarily the same as a coating from another manufacturer.

spraying in industrial applicationsNext, you should consider what you are painting. The size of the object affects how long it takes to dry and the temperature setting required. A massive C-17 aircraft, for instance, takes significantly longer to dry than a small part.

The last factor needing consideration is humidity. Because of humidity, the temperature in one location is not identical to the same temperature in another location. It takes longer to dry paint on the same object with the same coating on a humid, 70-degree day in Florida than on a dry, 70-degree day in Arizona.

It is impossible to identify a single recommended temperature setting. Your best bet is to check with your paint manufacturer, as they can tell you exactly what temperature your paint booth should be set at to properly dry and cure your coating.

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