Electrostatic painting is a process of using a magnetic field to apply paint to metals and various types of plastics. It is based on the principle that “opposites attract”. By giving the object to be painted a negative charge and the paint a positive charge, the attraction is created and the result is a durable, smooth, hard paint finish that is plated on.

Most people have experienced static electricity as they walk across a carpet and then touch metal—shocking! The shock occurs because the friction from their shoes on the carpet helps to build up an electric charge in the body. When a grounded metal object is then touched, the resulting electrical discharge causes an electric shock. An electrostatic field is similar to a typical magnetic field, because when an object becomes charged it creates an electrostatic field. If the object has an excess in the number of its electrons, it is considered to be negatively charged. If the object has fewer electrons than its environment, it is positively charged. Two electrostatic objects that have oppositely charged particles will then be attracted to one another. This is the concept behind electrostatic painting.

In electrostatic painting, the item to be painted receives a negative charge from a negatively charged electrode that looks similar to a battery cable. The paint has a positive charge, and it is sprayed on using a revolving nozzle. The positive and negative charges attract the paint like a magnet, to the metal surface. The paint seeks grounded objects and “wraps” around the object being painted. This occurs because the attraction between the opposing charges is so strong that the charge will draw the paint around the object, completely covering the surface. The paint is attracted statically to the metal from every direction so there isn’t any mess from overspray. Imagine how this might work with painting a wrought iron fence, for instance. The paint would be sprayed on and it would wrap around and adhere to the back of each part of the fence. There would be no mess on the surrounding area and there would be very little, if any, paint lost or unused, since there is no overspray.

There are many benefits and advantages to electrostatic painting. The finish is plated on due to the electromagnetic field. It provides a smooth, hard enamel finish. The thickness of the paint is easy to control. It is cost effective because it saves both paint and time. It is very clean because there is no overspray or spattering and the application is uniform. The surface of the painted object is hygienic because it is non-porous and it is impervious to chemicals used for cleaning.

Electrostatic painting is a very efficient, cost-effective and clean method of painting. It can be used on conductive surfaces and provides a smooth finish. It produces a strong and durable coating that will endure for years to come. This process has been used in factories for many years. But with the design and development of mobile painting units, coatings can now be electrostatically applied in almost any location. Painting professionals can help you take advantage of this method of painting for your home and yard.

Author Kirsten Ghaster

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