How to Properly Set Up Your Activator Gun
Many painters have a problem with under activation or over-activation of the spray guns. The gun is always blowing dots at each end or hardly anything in the middle on most occasions. Such problems affect the spraying process since certain parts of the spray are likely to receive less material whereas other parts receive more. Spray guns should be reliable whether they are expensive or not, so if you face any challenge with your gun, consider the following gun set-up steps and procedures.
Preparing to Set Up the Gun
Depending on how you are spraying the activator, you should hold the gun in a straight position. Before you begin setting the gun, spray a point on a piece of paper to determine the shape it makes. If the pattern has round edges, widen the fan to see if it disperses. A good activator gun should have straight margins and a wide open fan in most cases.
Adjusting the Needle
When you spray the shape on the board and there is too much fluid in a certain area, it indicates that too much fluid is coming out of the gun. The shape may be even, but the fluid may be too much. This means the needle is releasing too much fluid and needs to be backed off. Slowly turn the needle about one turn inwards (clockwise if you are looking at the gun from the back side) to reduce the fluid release. You can try spraying the paper again and if you still get some excess liquid flowing, turn the needle until you get the perfect spray with the correct amount of activator.
As you turn the needle in, the fan may also get smaller. The spray out of the gun should be even from the top of the fan to the bottom of the fan. This will produce an activator spray with even atomization across the entire fan pattern. The even fan pattern is what you should look out for to determine whether the fan is set up properly or not.
Adjusting the Pressure
Pressure is one of the factors that is crucial for a spray gun, and it also plays a significant role in how the spray needle releases the activator. The pressure should be set anywhere between 8-12 PSI to be able to spray the gun around 6-8 inches above the water. Because every activator gun atomizes better at different pressures, you may have to spray multiple pieces of paper to see how well the gun is atomizing to help set up your activator properly. Just remember at the lower PSI, you will be around 6-8 inches
As the line becomes finer, the pressure drops, and the activator produces a very fine and even shape. As the pressure drops, the activator may be too much, or the shape of the fan may not be even. Too much pressure deters fluids from coming out of the gun and makes the middle of the fan very light while the top and bottom of the fan is much heavier. Adjust the air pressure to ensure it is moderate, not too much to over atomize fluids, and not too little to release thicker and overflowing fluids.
General Setting Tips
While using the gun, ensure the activator is atomizing properly by the settings that we have discussed above. Depending on how you set your gun, ensure that you hold it straight and set the fan and the needle accurately to get sufficient activator fluid atomization and even shapes. Ensure moderate but enough pressure to release enough activator for the way you will be spraying the gun. Ensuring you have properly set up your gun will be the first step in making sure you have a perfectly activated film for the hydrographics process.