In the premiere edition of Tech Tips, I’d like to address one of the most common problem areas that our customers encounter…the spray gun. As you are probably aware, there are three basic types of guns, the air purge, mechanical purge, and solvent purge. By far, the most common type is the air purge, so it is the type that I’ll focus on. Included in this group are the Graco Fusion AP and Glascraft P2. There seems to be as many opinions as to which one is best, as there are sprayers. However, the one common trait that they share is that, if they are not properly maintained, they will cause you problems. Proper maintenance includes good daily start-up & shut-down procedures, thorough cleaning when repair is necessary, and availability of spare parts.
The start-up procedures are basically the same for all of these guns. After prepping your materials and pressuring up your proportioning unit:
1) Turn the air on to the gun. Purge air exiting from the mix chamber should be present at this point - The air should always be the first thing on and the last thing off.
2) Trigger the gun 2 or 3 times to ensure proper mix chamber movement.
3) Open one of the two material valves and, without triggering the gun, check for misting of material from the tip of the gun. If no misting is present, proceed to step #4.
4) Open the second material valve and, again, check for misting. If no misting is observed proceed to step #5. If misting is observed in either step #3 or 4, STOP! It is an indication
that there is an internal leak in the gun (most likely at the side seal / mix chamber mating surface) and it is unlikely to repair itself. Allowing this material to continue to leak will cause pressure imbalances on the proportioner, gun crossover, and it’s possible for the material to back up into the air passages of the gun and even into the whip hose. If misting is present it is better to go to a second (back-up) gun or clean and repair the original gun.
5) Spray a small test shot of 2-3 seconds on a disposable surface (cardboard or plastic sheeting), then check the gauges on the proportioner. If the gauges are showing equal pressure, then proceed with spraying the job. If they are not showing an equal (or near equal) pressure, this is an indication of possible blockage in the gun, inadequate supply of material to the proportioner, or internal problems with the proportioner.
Proper shut-down procedures for the Graco Fusion AP & Glascraft P2 are as follows:
After parking your proportioner, if you intend to stop spraying for a period of time greater than 15 minutes (even if you leave the proportioner on), or if you are turning the air to the gun off for any reason:
1) Close both material valves.
2) Trigger the gun rapidly 3 or 4 times to expel any residual material from the mix chamber.
3) With the air still on, use your grease gun to put 2 shots of grease into the grease fitting on the gun.
4) Turn the air off. 5) Then, with the air off, put approximately 3 more shots of grease into the grease fitting, until grease is observed coming out of the tip of the gun. I realize that the manuals do not cover this final step and there are technical folks that will not agree with me on this step. However, I have found it to be a very effective step in preventing problems the next day and I have a great many customers using this method, with no adverse effects. When the air is turned on again, the excess grease will be expelled from the gun.
I cannot emphasize enough that proper cleaning during repair is critical to ensure the gun will perform well the next time it is used.
If find yourself asking, “Is this clean enough?”……it’s not! You should pay particular attention to all of the air passages in your gun, especially the passages related to the air purge. These are very critical and the most commonly overlooked areas of the gun during repair / rebuild. Using a good quality gun solvent like CU-6 (we recommend warming it in a crock pot or similar device) and purchasing a gun cleaning kit for your gun will assist you tremendously in this step of the repair process. I would also recommend that you replace all of the O-rings when doing a complete rebuild on your gun.
Another, often overlooked, area of good gun maintenance is the availability of spare parts (o-rings, side seals, & mix chambers). You should always have enough spare parts on hand to rebuild each one of your guns at least once. As you well know, downtime is very expensive. Additionally, overnight freight charges to rush parts to you take money out of your profits. If you need assistance in creating a list of the parts you need to keep on hand, please contact me and I will be happy to assist you.
I hope this article will prove helpful to you. We, at Urethane Supply, are committed to the success of our customers. If you have any questions or need any assistance you can contact the Georgia home office at 1-866-860-8973 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org . You can contact me directly at 601-693-8220 or via email at email@example.com.
If you have any suggestions for future Tech Tips articles please feel free to contact us.
Technical Service Dept.
Urethane Supply Inc.
Distributor of quality Graco Parts And Services. Urethane Supply features spray rigs and equipment for foam insulation and roof coatings.