Spray Painting and Humidity: What You Should Know
June 15th, 2015 by Blog
Does your job involve the use of spray paint? Whether it's painting cars, tractors, airplane fuselage panels, buildings, etc., you should be aware of the surrounding humidity levels. Even if the temperature in which you are spray painting is mild-to-moderate, excessively low or high humidity can affect the overall quality of your task, which is something we are going to discuss further in today's blog post.
Relative humidity is a the percentage of moisture vapor in the air to the amount needed for total saturation. If the relative humidity is 33%, for instance, the air is roughly one third full. If the relative humidity is 100%, the air is completed saturated to the point where it can hold no more. Employees who work jobs that require them to use spray paint should pay close attention to these numbers, as it can affect their job in more ways than just one.
While each and every scenario is different, spray painting is typically best done in environments with a relative humidity of 40-50%. When the relative humidity level drops below 30%, problems begin to arise, one of which is the simple fact that paint dries increasingly fast at this level. You have to remember that the speed at which paint dries is directly influenced to the level of airborne moisture vapor. When there's no enough moisture vapor in the air, the paint will evaporate into the air in an attempt to create a balanced atmosphere. This can pose serious problems for workers who are trying to create an even, consistent spray paint job.
High humidity can be equally as problematic for workers attempting to spray paint a surface. As the humidity rises, it will take longer and longer for paint to dry. Depending on just how high the humidity rises, some paint may never dry, which of course is a severe problem for businesses that perform spray painting services. If the paint never dries, you won't be able to touch, let alone move/ship, the painted object.
A good rule of thumb is to maintain a 40-50% relative humidity in the area where you intend to spray paint. This is a stable environment that's not too dry but not overly saturated either. Humidity can be monitored and controlled through the use of a commercial-grade humidifier, such as the ones offered here at SmartFog.com The bottom line is that you need to keep tabs on the relative humidity of your workplace.