H.V.L.P.'s History As a Recognized Technology In The U.S.A.


The U.S. industrial finishing industry has undergone a significant change in coatings application technology over the last 22 years. In large measure, the pressure of environmental regulations initiated this change.

Through Can-Am's customer base in California in 1986 the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) who is responsible for the Metro Los Angeles, California area, was introduced to a relatively unknown atomizing technology known as High Volume, Low Pressure (H.V.L.P.). To their credit SCAQMD recognized the potential reduction in VOC emissions associated with introducing H.V.L.P. technology to the thousands of spray painting operations under their jurisdiction.

Based on testing done with turbine powered HVLP systems during the mid-eighties, SCAQMD determined that turbine powered H.V.L.P. systems were capable of reliably operating with transfer efficiencies averaging greater than the 65%. In an effort to assist their constituency to conform to their regulations, SCAQMD has listed selected finishing technologies. The definition of H.V.L.P. as written SCAQMD's regulations reads as follows: "High-Volume, Low-Pressure (H.V.L.P.) Spray is a coating application system which is operated at air pressure of between 0.1 and 10 psi."

The anticipated opportunity to rapidly convert a significant portion of the finishing industry from high pressure, conventional spray equipment to H.V.L.P. attracted a number of new suppliers, including most of the historic suppliers of finishing equipment. Most of these companies are promoting H.V.L.P. equipment powered by high-pressure compressed air, instead of low-pressure turbines. They claim two advantages over turbine powered H.V.L.P. systems: 1) significantly lower acquisition costs and 2) the elimination of turbines.

Today, we find one industrial grade, turbine powered, H.V.L.P. system is competing with compressed air powered H.V.L.P. systems even though the turbine system's initial cost is much higher. Hereinafter we will evaluate these technologies and discover why the more initially expensive turbine system is by far the most economical.


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