Painters can be more comfortable and better protect their health
Spring Valley, Minn.—Whether it’s tinting a difficult color, blending a repair that’s nearly invisible to even a trained eye, or laying down some vibrant candies on a show car, being a top-notch painter can be a rewarding career. But it can come at a cost, with occupational asthma being the biggest risk for those using unsatisfactory respiratory protection, particularly for those susceptible to isocyanate hardeners in refinish materials.
Painters who use charcoal air purifying respirators can be more comfortable and better protect their breathing by upgrading to a supplied air system such as the new SATA air vision 5000, which improves upon features found in the still-available vision 2000, said Tony Larimer, director of Sales & Marketing at Dan-Am Co., exclusive independent distributor of SATA in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
“All paint manufacturers recommend supplied air, and all of their training centers are using it,” he said. “And with either the vision 2000 or the vision 5000, both are pulling air from outside the paint booth, so you’re not recycling air from inside a place that may not have great airflow or is filled with paint fumes.”
Because either SATA supplied air system uses the shop’s compressed air, it must be supplied with quality, clean air, such as SATA’s 484 triple-stage filter unit, which incorporates an activated charcoal filter as its third stage. Larimer said the number of shops already equipped with quality filtration has increased in recent years as they’ve tooled up for spraying contaminant-sensitive waterborne paint, so many will not need to upgrade. For other filter units not incorporating a charcoal filter, such as the two-stage 444, a charcoal filter is worn by the painter on the belt.
Air vision 5000 boosts painter comfort, visibility, safety
With a number of comfort-boosting benefits from the air vision 5000, painters can finish their workday more refreshed and with more energy, Larimer said.
Similar to the vision 2000, which is available to price-conscious shoppers at about 25 percent less, the air vision 5000 is NIOSH-certified to work as a system, so the components of each system are not to be interchanged.
With a wide field of view of nearly 220 degrees, the air vision 5000 hood offers nearly 50 percent more visibility than the 2000’s hood. And the hood now incorporates a bump cap, important in tight spaces or where it’s required in certain industrial uses.
“It’s more comfortable for a painter inside the booth to have such a wide field of vision,” Larimer said. “Especially if you’re painting amongst parts or bumper covers and different things that can be in the way, you have no issues with seeing those.”
Airflow with the new system is very quiet, reduced to a comfortable 64 decibels, but with increased airflow that is evenly dispersed with a deflector that snaps into the hood at the chin area for those users who are sensitive to air blowing across their face. The “skull frame,” or headband, inside the hood is removable for greater adjustability before the hood is snapped onto it, and the new hood has four fixing points inside.
“So you can have the hood slightly forward, slightly backward, or at a tilt forward or tilt backward so that it’s perfect for how you want to look through it,” Larimer said.
As on the 2000, visor tear-off shields are antistatic to repel overspray and can be used multiple days before changing. The hood’s cape includes carbon fiber so that it, too, retains its antistatic properties, even after washing. And because the hood is in NIOSH’s loose-fitting hood category, fit tests are not required (and it can be worn by painters with facial hair.)
“The built-in bright red gauge at the point where it connects to your waist belt lets you see if your needle’s in the green zone,” Larimer said. “So you can immediately see if you have enough pressure to give your full hood a positive pressure, and then you always know you’re protected.”
The belt of the 5000 is longer and more comfortable, especially when weighted with optional modules that can be clicked on and off, including an air cooler, air warmer, and humidifier, the latter two particularly useful for shops using refrigerated air dryers to treat their air. The adjustable air warmer and cooler spin the air to exhaust the cooler and warmer air, respectively, out of a vent at the bottom of the accessory for a dramatic improvement, with the cooler able to lower the temperature as much as 61 degrees Fahrenheit.
“So for these painters who spray all day in the paint booth and run the bake cycle a few times so it’s 100 degrees or more in the booth, it’s a really nice comfort feature for them,” Larimer said. “And the cape on the air vision 5000 hood, and even on the vision 2000 hood, is long enough that you can tuck it into your paint suit and blow cool air down your back.”
The 5000 began shipping to distributors in February.