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Graco’s AirPro spray guns herald versatility

Graco Inc. has introduced its extensive line of AirPro spray guns for a variety of markets including wood, metal, automotive, waterborne, high-wear and adhesive applications. The air cap and nozzle are designed to optimize spray performance and reduce air consumption, resulting in an even distribution throughout the spray pattern, according to the company.

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The guns are available in nine variations: three conventional, three HVLP and three compliant.

“If you look at our air caps and those of competitors, they’re all going to look about the same,” says Wendy Hartley, Graco product manager. “The key is the combination of the nozzle and the air cap and the way that the holes are designed, and the way the two distribute the material or the air in the material. It also has to do with the design of the gun body, so that there is less turbulence throughout the gun; not creating too much overspray in your spray pattern.”

The woodworking guns have air caps and nozzles specifically designed for the application of stains, NGR [non-grain raising] stains and toners. There are also air caps designed to spray waterborne materials, including lacquers, UV materials and paints.

“The .020" and .030" [needle /nozzle size] models were designed for the custom woodshops with the lighter stains, NGR stain, the lighter materials, where you don’t need as much fluid flow. On a production line they have to move fast, so they have to have the faster fluid flow that a .048" tip can give them. The .020" and .030" are a more appropriate size for the custom woodshops with the stains being of lower viscosity material.

“Sometimes, with the lacquers, people tend to move up in size and if they need to do that, they’ve gone to our waterborne model, or even the general model has worked out well. They may need to move up to a .055" tip, and we’ve had good success with both of the models with lacquer.”

Air caps with needle/nozzle sizes of .051" and .070" have been designed for spraying waterborne and solvent-borne adhesives and sealants, most notably for furniture.

“The guns are lightweight,” adds Hartley. “We have a light trigger pull, and the stress on the operator’s arm and hand as they use the gun is less. We’ve had really good feedback about the ergonomics of the gun as far as it fits most hands very well.

“They have high-quality stainless steel components that are wetted. We also spray-test each one of our guns before we send them out, so there is a lot of attention to the final product to make sure it has a good spray pattern and good quality.”

The Graco conventional gun is available through distributors for $285. The HVLP and compliant guns are priced at $425 each.

Contact: Graco Inc., 88-11th Ave. N.E., Minneapolis, MN 55413. Tel: 877-844-7226.

This article originally appeared in the October 2008 issue.

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