March 2003 Q&A

Painting and Pregnancy

I am three months pregnant and I work with industrial paint. I wear a respirator. How safe is it?

Congratulations on your pregnancy! However, without knowing what exact type of respirator is worn or what chemicals the paint contains, it would be presumptuous of me to answer authoritatively. I'd suggest you consult your physician on this topic. Please err on the side of caution if any doubt exists about your health and safety and that of your baby.

Get the Book

I tried finding your book, Painting Problems: Solved, on without success, although you assured me they sold it.

That book is out of print, but my other book, Industrial Painting Principles and Practices, is available. Go to the Amazon Web site. In any search box, put in "Roobol" or "roobol" or "ROOBOL" and you will find it.

More on Electrostatic Grounding

In answer to a question on electrostatic grounding, I don't feel that you went far enough. I was in electrostatics when we sprayed silver metallic paint onto electrical wiring devices. The pressure pot had to be put on an insulated stand to prevent the charge from feeding back through the paint in the hose itself, not only along any dried coating on the hose or spray gun. We also had to make sure that the voltage was off and the pot grounded during refilling.

Thanks for adding to my answer. Although the original question did not involve conductive coatings, what you listed is correct for conductive metallic or waterborne paints. Helpful comments such as this from readers are very much appreciated.

Comparing Automotive Paint Processes

I work for Khodro Co., a car manufacturer in Iran. The company is interested in using a side-to-side body rotation E-coat conveyor in one of its new paint shops. I have searched for data on this system but have not found enough to convince our managers to install it. Can you help answer the following questions:

1. Do you have comparison information about various conveyor systems and application methods, such as side-to-side body rotation, pendulum conveyors, rigid carriers on a power or power-and-free conveyor, batch immersion-(indexing) type conveyors, and the time needed to get each of them up and running?

2. Are there any disadvantages in setting them up at different places around the world?

Wait a minute here; you have things backward. You are trying to find justification for a body rotation device during the E-coat step without even having the process and cost comparisons that would support it over the other conveyance types. Rotating the car body during E-coat does enable higher film builds on horizontal panels, such as the roof, hood and deck lid. It also allows especially good body-unit drainage. But it is slow. So body rotation such as this is fine for low-volume production, and also offers the advantage of taking less floor space than flow-through rigid or pendulum overhead hanging.

You need to do more homework on all these methods before deciding which is best for your auto plant. Talk with companies that provide and install the various kinds of equipment. I don't know enough details on your operation to provide appropriate analysis for you. Once you have done this, you will find that any of these devices can be installed equally well anywhere around the world. Naturally, the more remote locations will likely involve higher shipping and construction costs.

Restoring Old Boat Interiors

I am looking for splatter paint to restore the interior of an old motorboat. Can you help me locate this product?

Probably your best bet will be a paint company store where professional decorators buy their supplies. The company outlet may be able to purchase or prepare this special type of coating. The variegated color effect can also be achieved by applying the first color normally, then after it dries somewhat, spraying on a second color (and, if desired, a third or fourth color) using very low atomizing air pressure to produce the dots or blobs of paint splatter.