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It happens often that a customer says a name of product and asks what it takes to spray it. If I'm unfamiliar with the specific coating, I'll ask a series of questions to see what it's used for. I can then narrow it down to a type of coating I'm familiar with. To be sure, I'll ask if the 5 gallon bucket would slosh if shaken. If the customer says yes, I know most any sprayer will handle it depending on tip size. If the customer says no, then I know it will be a little more challenging to spray it. Following are some pointers for coatings that don't slosh:

1. Direct immersion only. Chances are you will not even be able to pick up a prime with a suction hose. Even if you do, it will probably cavitate, causing low pressure, pulsation and damage to the balls inside the pump.

2. Remove all filters. The tip sizes required for these coatings are large enough that they don't need filters. The finish quality for these coatings isn't so particular that a clog would ruin things anyway.

3. Use fat hose. Usually 1/2" is the baseline, but you may need to go larger if the runs are longer.

4. Keep it warm. As a rule of thumb, oil based materials double in viscosity for every 10 degrees below 70. That means if the coating is 50 degrees, it's 4 times thicker then at 70. If it's 90 degrees, it's a fourth of the viscosity and flows easily.

If you have done everything and are still getting tails on your fan, try putting a little smaller tip on so it doesn't leave the gun faster than the pump can push it through the hose.

You may even save some experimentation by calling the coating manufacturer and seeing if they have a good idea how to spray it in your conditions. If it doesn't seem like they know too much, give Bittner's Spray Equipment a call.

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