When researching how to set up an HVLP paint gun to spray liquid coatings there are lots of quick-setup articles out there and you can easily understand what each setting does. But with powder coating this information isn’t always easy to find and many DIY powder coating enthusiasts are left to trial by fire. We decided to give a quick rundown of the common settings and changes you can make that will effect your powder coating results.
Kilo Voltage (kV)- Power on powder guns is usually measured by Kilovolts and is very important to understand how it effects your powder results. Many beginner guns are at a preset mid-range kV setting, but most of the intermediate and professional guns like the Eastwood Dual Voltage Powder Coating Gun have the ability to switch or adjust kV for the job. Generally when you’re powder coating a large area or want to coat larger parts more quickly you can use a higher kV, but it won’t work in the tight areas and you will experience the Faraday Cage effect where the powder will swirl and not stick to the part. In these instances you need to drop the kilovolts so that the powder can flow and stick to the boxed in or tight crevices. This is why it is nice to have a powder gun with the ability to change the output power on the fly. For instance; you could coat a set of large diameter wheels with the higher kV to cover the majority of the wheel and quickly dial the power down to get into the windows between the spokes on a set of alloy wheels. This will ensure proper coverage and avoid bare spots and recoating.
Air Pressure/Flow Volume- Other than the kilovolt charge applied to the powder; the pressure and volume that the powder is forced out of the gun can change the finish on a part. If you have too high of a pressure you may see the volume is far too high and you will be wasting powder and getting inconsistent build on a part. Most of powder coating guns have the ratio of air pressure and volume preset and simply changing air pressure will change volume on a scale that the manufacturer has determined. We suggest adding an inline air pressure gauge to the powder gun to correct the pressure on the fly depending on the part you are covering. As with the kV settings you may want to turn the power up and the air pressure to coat a large area where you can hold the gun further from the surface and coat a large area with less effort. With most hobby and DIY guns like the Eastwood Hot Coat Powder Coating Gun you will run the air pressure under 10 PSI and many times in the 5-8 PSI range. We always suggest doing a test spray before applying powder to your project to make sure settings aren’t off and a large puff of powder doesn’t come out and stick to a part in a hard to reach area.
Hopefully this crash course on Powder Coating Gun settings have helped you and will allow you to be on the road to perfectly powdered parts in no time! For our full line of powder coating supplies from powder to powder coating ovens to powder guns and hi-temp masking tape you can visit our site HERE.