Spray Tip Wear, its Causes, How to Identify and Reduce it.

In this article, we will cover what causes spray tip wear, how to spot it and how to ensure your spray tip has a longer lifetime.

Spray Tip Wear, its Causes, How to Identify and Reduce it.  

All spray tips wear over time, it is therefore important that they are replaced to ensure you don’t waste material and your fan pattern isn’t diminished. In this article, we will cover what causes spray tip wear, how to spot it and how to ensure your spray tip has a longer lifetime. 

What causes tip wear? 

There are various causes of spray tip wear, these include: 
Abrasive solid particles in the material being sprayed- when solid particles are pushed past the tip orifice under pressure, they cause corrosion over time. Higher viscosity material will erode the nozzle faster, shortening the lifespan.  
Maintenace of the spray tip- Clean spray tips after use you prevent material from drying and clogging the nozzle. You can clean tips with either a soft bristle brush or by using a spray tip cleaning solution.  

Spray tip cleaning solution

The pressure at which the material is being sprayed- when spraying you should try and use the lowest possible pressure that atomises the material and produces a good spray pattern. The tip will wear a lot faster when spraying under high pressure. 


How to spot tip wear 

It's important to spot tip wear early on to prevent wasting material. You'll be able to identify spray tip wear by the effect is has on the spray pattern. The orifice of the spray tip determines the flow rate of the material and the jet width. When the spray tip is worn it widens the spray tip orifice and this, in turn, changes the spray pattern. When a spray tip is brand new the spray pattern should have an even colour distribution and soft edges. As the spray tip wears the size of the orifice increases and the fan width decreases. This results in more paint being applied to a smaller area, it also increases the risk of paint runs and overspray. Using a worn spray tip uses significantly more material.  

When should I replace a spay tip?

If the fan size has lost 25% of its original size, then you should replace the spray tip. The tip wear point for classic emulsion paint is from 300 to 500 litres sprayed. When material has a higher solids content, the lifespan of the tip will be reduced further. When using materials that are extremely abrasive such as ones containing zinc or mica iron, the tip will wear significantly faster.  


Routinely Changning your spray tip  

Depending on the job you may wish to change the spray tip for each new project, you can then include this within your pricing calculations. This will ensure that you will get the best possible finish. In the long run frequent tip changing will save you money on jobs as less material will be wasted. 

How can I increase the lifetime of a spray tip? 

You will eventually have to replace a spray tip however, there are a few things you can do to extend the life of your spray tips. These include: 
Spraying at the lowest pressure possible- the greater the pressure, the greater wear. You want the lowest pressure that can still atomise the paint whilst giving an even finish. Lowering the pressure will also decrease the amount of overspray. You can read our article on what overspray is and its causes here.
Straining and mixing the material prior to spraying- straining and mixing your material will avoid grit, debris, and solid particles from passing through the spray tip. Over time these particles will cause corrosion to the spray tip orifice. Straining and mixing your paint will also ensure a smoother finish.  
Select the correct size filter and clean it- Gun filters help ensure minimal tip blockages, contamination and damage when spraying. Make sure you’re always selecting an appropriate filter for the material being sprayed. The gun filter also needs to be cleaned after every use and should be replaced when damaged.  

You can buy spray gun filters directly from us here.

You can buy spray gun filters directly from us here.

Properly clean your spray tips- when nozzles are not cleaned properly dried material will clog up the spray orifice. Once enough paint has dried in the orifice the tip will become unusable. You can buy cleaning solvents for spray tips. You can also clean spray tips with a soft bristle brush.  
Need more help? 
If you need any more help don’t hesitate to call us on 0113 231 0500 or use our contact form here.

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