Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

January, 2009

Painting Speed

Q: I want to know about average painting speed of an operator spraying cylindrical object about 1 ft diameter and 1 ft height.

A: Thank you for your question, but I don't have an answer, because it depends on the fluid flow rate of the paint passing through the spray gun, the atomizing air pressure, whether the cylindrical object rotates on a conveyor or whether the painter must walk around it, and more. Are the cylinders close together, or do they hang from as conveyor at approximately 12"-18" distances? Can the painter cover more than one cylinder at the same time, or must the complete the painting of one cylinder before he gets to the next one?

Do you need this information to calculate conveyor line speed? Please end me nay more details so that I can try to assist you.

Q2. Thanks for your answer. But I want to ask more questions:

  • The fluid flow rate of the paint passing through the spray gun, what is the normal average rate people use? So with the atomizing air pressure ?
  • The cylindrical object rotates and hanged on a conveyor, but we have to adjust the rotating speed according to the operator spraying speed.So the painter doesn't have to walk around it.
  • The cylindrical object are not close together, maybe the approximately 12" distances you suggest is OK.

The painter must complete the painting of one cylinder.

Yes, I need this information to calculate conveyor line speed. Thank you very much.

A2. I still don't know the answer to your question, but I estimate it will take approximately 10-20 seconds per cylinder. This depends entirely on how the painter sets up his spray gun and how fast he likes to move. Some painters are slow, others are very fast.

One way to get to your answer is to take a few cylinders to a custom coating shop in your area and ask two or three different painters to paint some cylinders. If you don't want to use your production cylinders, you can make some from aluminum foil that you can purchase from a hardware store. If you can get several painters to coat these cylinders for you, you will be able to get a reliable average time.

Please bear in mind that if the cylinders have protrusions, handles, or anything else on the surface that also needs to be painted, you will need to allow more time.

I can't tell you the fluid flow rate or the atomizing pressure because that is dependent on the coating viscosity and the ease with which the paint can be atomized. Again, your best bet is to go to an outside paint shop with some real or mock cylinders, and with your paint. Observe the shop's painters as they do the job. You will also quickly learn if there are any unforeseen or unexpected parameters that you need to take into account.

I strongly suggest that you do not try to calculate the speed by using spray gun parameters. Your calculations are bound to give you erroneous answers.


Ron Joseph

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