When shopping for a new paint spray gun, you'll come across the terms "high volume low pressure" or HVLP. As the name suggests, these spray guns operate at a high fluid flow rate but lower air pressure. But what exactly does this mean and why would you want an HVLP spray gun?
What is an HVLP Spray Gun?
HVLP stands for "high volume low pressure" and refers to a type of paint spraying system that operates in the range of 0.1 to 10 psi fluid pressure. This is considerably lower than the 25 to 60 psi required by conventional spray guns. At this lower air pressure, HVLP guns can transfer up to 65% of the paint onto your work surface. The rest gets wasted as overspray drifting into the air.
The higher transfer rate results in better control over the spray pattern and less wasted paint floating around your workspace. Lower atomization pressure also creates larger paint droplets that are less likely to create dry spray. For finishes like lacquer that require high flow rates, an HVLP gun gives superior results.
The key components that set HVLP spray guns apart include:
Large bore fluid passageways. The paint passages in an HVLP gun are much wider to allow higher paint flow at lower air pressure.
Air cap and tip. The nozzle and air openings are designed to atomize the paint without requiring higher pressure. To accommodate the higher volume of paint being sprayed, spray gun tip usually 1.3mm or larger.
Lower pressure operation. HVLP guns have regulators that control air pressure, ensuring optimal psi for high volume low pressure.
Benefits of HVLP Spray Guns
Better Transfer Efficiency. Due to less overspray, more paint actually ends up on your workpiece. Transfer efficiency for HVLP guns can exceed 65% compared to as low as 30% for some high pressure sprayers. This also means less contamination in your paint booth or spray area.
Smoother, More Consistent Finish. The softer spray pattern lays down a more even coating with fewer passes needed. This leads to better looking results with less effort.
Works with More Paints/Coatings. The lower pressure atomization allows HVLP guns to spray everything from latex house paint to gel coat to delicate art finishes. High pressure can blow around lighter paints.
Less Overspray Hazards. Increased transfer efficiency means less bounce back and airborne overspray, improving safety and reducing clean up.
Testing a Spray Gun’s HVLP Function
Sometimes it’s hard to tell if a spray gun truly performs an HVLP system even if it’s advertised that way. When in doubt, you can perform a quick test:
1. Connect the spray gun to an air compressor and pressure regulator. Adjust regulator to 10 psi to start.
2. Turn on air compressor to pressurize line to gun.
3. Face spray gun toward cardboard or plywood backstop at a distance of 6 inches.
4. Pull trigger while gradually increasing fluid flow on gun.
5. Evaluate spray pattern. adjustments to fine tune fluid flow, pattern size and fan width. An HVLP gun should atomize and flow paint smoothly, stuttery startup or thick globs indicate more pressure needed for that fluid flow.
6. When fully opened, pressure should not exceed 10 psi for HVLP operation.
We recommend running a few tests like this with water or solvent instead of actual finishing products. That lets you get a feel for airflow and atomization without wasting expensive paints before you’re ready to spray your project.
If you are in the market for a new spray gun, consider RONGPENG R802 Top Grade HVLP spray gun for its many advantages. They are designed to atomize paint at lower air pressures, allowing for maximum transfer efficiency and reducing overspray. Aluminum forged gun body, the nozzle and needle are made of stainless steel, The air cap are made of brass, Which are precise machined, and make the atomization.
Fluid adj.knob to control the rate of fluid, pattern adj.knob to control the of paint, soft, uniform spray patterns. HVLP high transfer efficiency ensure excellent painting results.
Great for Automobile finish painting. Suitable for professional painters, maintainer, DIYers, auto hobbyists.
Feed Type: Gravity
Standard of Nozzle: Φ1.3mm
Operating Pressure: 2.0bar
Pattern Width: 180-260mm
Paint Capacity: 500cc
Air Consumption: 4.1~4.5cfm,117-128L/Min
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