Case Study – The Garage
Spray Booth Filtration for The Garage, Sheffield
If it’s to deliver a great finish, a spray booth needs clean air. We’ve been helping The Garage achieve exceptional filtration levels to protect the quality of its car coatings.
The Garage is a relatively new client for Algar Air, but the Independent VW Audi Group specialist has been building a strong reputation in Sheffield for more than a decade. And like any good motor repairer, The Garage needed a spray booth that could deliver the sort of pristine finish you might expect on an Audi, VW, Seat or Skoda.
There’s an unavoidable issue for anyone wanting to use a compressor powered paint sprayer: air compressors suck in air from around them, and that air will almost inevitably include oil and water vapour and dust. Unless removed from the airstream, the particulates can be ‘spat’ out by the sprayer, resulting in inconsistencies. Dust will result in an uneven finish. Water and oil can lead to the ‘orange peel’ effect familiar to anyone who’s ever used a paint sprayer.
The solution was to install a multi-stage filtration system that would scrub the air free from contaminants.
First, a pre-filter reduces the particles in the air to achieve the following particulate levels:
- Residual oil content*: 0.5mg/m3
- Removal of solid particles up to: 1 micron0.02
A second filter then scrubs the air to an even cleaner standard:
- Residual oil content*: 0.01mg/m3
- Removal of solid particles up to: 0.01
Finally, a filter containing activated carbon is specifically designed to remove oil and water vapour:
- Residual oil content*: 0.003mg/m3
- Removal of solid particles up to: n/a
Why three stage filtration?
Imagine a sieve with tiny holes. Into it you pour a liquid containing lots of ‘bits’, some large, some tiny. Because the sieve has a fine mesh it quickly clogs. It’s not long before the water is completely trapped.
Now imagine three sieves in a vertical row. At the top is a sieve with larger holes. It lets most of the material through, capturing only the largest pieces. Beneath it, the second sieve with smaller holes captures more debris, but because the biggest pieces have already been removed and the smallest escape, it doesn’t clog.
Finally, the third sieve has the tiniest mesh. But because only the tiniest particles now remain, it captures them while still enabling the water to escape.
It’s the same principle with compressed air filtration and, as with our sieve example, the order in which the filters are placed is vital to ensuring the right balance of particulate capture and airflow.
The result is a spray booth that now delivers the clean, filtered air The Garage needs.
*Related to 20°C and 1 bar, absolute