What Is Air Balancing?

Air balancing refers to the process of optimizing process air flow in a paint system to ensure adequate ventilation for personnel safety, promote quality of the paint finish by minimizing defect causing contaminants and to optimize energy savings. Paint systems are a combination of multiple process steps usually all connected via enclosures. When the air flow or pressure changes in one of the areas of the process others are affected.

During the painting of the product within the paint booth, the exhaust system must draw out substantial volumes of air, which must be replenished, with equal volumes of air coming into the spray booth to capture overspray and harmful vapors created during a paint spray operation. The control of airflow requires auxiliary electrical systems in the ventilation equipment to ensure that the spray booth receives the required airflow rate even as system pressure changes over time.

The air balancing process requires testing and adjusting existing systems in order to determine the optimal flow of air. Paint system issues that result in inconsistent airflow include filter loading, scrubber waterflow inconsistencies, RTO system deficiencies, grate paint build-up and factory pressure. To check the air balance in your paint system, Synergy technical specialists will need to test your system’s performance by performing a system audit.

The technician will complete a series of air volume measurements using the Pitot tube traverse method and rotating vane anemometer correction factor method to determine the health of the system as compared to the system design. This will result in a gap analysis providing a clear picture where adjustments are required. Once all adjustments are made, it is important to observe the effect of the adjustments during production. This results in for fine tuning for the best air flow conditions possible. When the current system is not capable of maintaining the air balance over time Synergy technical specialists will provide recommendations on how to modify the system components for better performance.

Overview of Synergy Air Balance Services

Synergy Paint System Specialists is dedicated to providing high quality services to meet your needs within your budget. We specialize in quality services including:

1. Paint System Complete Air Balance

Following the construction of a new or modified paint system, Synergy will provide all the testing and necessary adjustments to balance the air flow of the paint system according to the capabilities of the physical systems. All measurements and operating parameters are documented in a comprehensive report that can be utilized for maintenance of the paint system components and for future troubleshooting.

2. Air Balance Trouble Shooting

Synergy technical specialists can resolve individual air balance problems. It is common to have paint system air balance problems such as spray booth cross drafts, solvent odor build up, oven heat issues occur over time. Through the application of our experience with paint systems and defined methods to identify the problem area, Synergy can resolve most air balance issues and provide recommendations to prevent from occurring in the future.

3. Static Pressure Profiles

In order to properly maintain air balance it is important to understand the acceptable range in which various system components are to operate. This includes all supply air filter banks, exhaust air filter banks, humidifiers, paint booth scrubbers and RTO ceramic beds. Synergy technical specialists will identify the proper operating range for each area so they may be maintained properly.

4. Low Pressure Sensor Calibration

Low pressure sensors are commonly used to measure inches of water pressure across filter banks, humidifiers, spray booth exhaust scrubbers and various flow sensors such as orifice plates or pitot tube array. Operators and maintenance teams use these sensors to determine when to make adjustments to variable frequency drives on fans, change filters or perform cleaning. Synergy technical specialists will calibrate the sensors and clean tubing to ensure accurate readings are displayed. A full report will be provided for each sensor.

Benefits of Air Balancing

Improved Finish Quality

Improved Finish Quality

Consistent air exchange improves the quality of paint finishes. A poorly ventilated system will not capture dust, dirt, and other contaminators resulting in low-quality paint jobs. Air balancing will help ensure that your paint booth is well ventilated with the proper pressure, assisting in quality finishes that reduce costs and time spent on improving customer satisfaction.

Personnel Safety Levels

Personnel Safety Levels

The environment should be comfortable and safe for everyone, inside the paint system process equipment and surrounding areas. Air balancing eliminates the discomfort by delivering an optimal flow of air evacuating toxic fumes that could be inhaled by employees and customers.

Reduces Risk Hazards

Reduces Risk Hazards

Since the amount of hazardous material and equipment used in the paint booth, fire is a real risk hazard that could occur when concentration of paint fumes is too high. The key precautionary action to prevent fires in the paint booth is to ensure proper ventilation that can be achieved through air balancing.

 Increased Energy Efficiency

Increased Energy Efficiency

Energy consumption can be reduced in numerous areas of the paint system with proper air balance. Heat escaping from water dry-off and paint cure oven is one example. Through proper air balance heat is contained within the oven chamber reducing costs. Also, recirculating spray booth air systems is a common energy and environmental saving approach for automated paint systems. Proper air balance is more critical in the recirculating paint spray booth due to the concentration of paint fumes.

What Is Air Balancing? FAQs

Why can’t my employees balance our system using static pressure of the spray booth and tunnels?

While static pressure is an indicator of airflow a large portion of the story is lost. While a booth may be a lower pressure than the surrounding tunnels proper downdraft and cross draft velocities may not be ensured. We balance to ensure proper balance to capture overspray using OSHA safety standards for downdraft and cross draft while maintaining VFD frequencies lower than the maximum to allow for filter loading.

Can Synergy automate my paint system air balance?

Yes, our team of process and controls engineers can develop and integrate an automatic booth balance system complete with airflow sensors, transmitters, VFDs and an user-friendly touch-screen HMI to display airflow in real time.

What if our VFD is at maximum output?

MERV means Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. This rating was developed by the American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioner Engineers- ASHRAE. MERV values range from 1-16 the higher the MERV rating the more efficient the filter will be at trapping particles.

How do I maintain ideal air velocity and pressure in my paint booth?

First and most important, the paint system must be balanced correctly creating a baseline. Secondly the paint system must have the necessary control points to easily allow adjustments when changes occur within the system. Operating your filters systems, paint particulate overspray system and environmental systems within the proper operating ranges will allow you to maintain the correct air velocity and pressure. Paint systems are complex ventilation systems with many variables and interdependencies making consistent air balance a challenge. Air balancing a paint system and spray booths can be a difficult job unless the technician understands the principles of air movement and pressure gradients. Our technicians are highly trained and skilled in air balancing, troubleshooting, and calibrating your spray booth. For detailed information on how to ensure consistent airflow within your paint booth call Synergy Paints System Specialists on 586.630.0205 and request for air balancing products and services.



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