Aside from being unsightly, foam in wet paint booth systems can cause a variety of problems:
- Booth balance can be upset potentially interfering with the painting operation itself
- Foam in the sludge pit, skimmer, or in the sludge consolidation equipment can reduce or even prevent the ability of the equipment to remove sludge
- Foam in the booth itself could lead to the foam exiting the stacks
- Foam that gets outside of the booth system could present a safety hazard
Sources of Foam
Foam is usually the result of a combination of mechanical and chemical factors:
- Booth systems are highly aerated to begin with – sometimes this can be magnified if the booth pump is cavitating – check pump screens for blockage and low levels in the sump
- Water-based paints tend to have higher foaming tendencies than solvent-based paints
- Excessive concentrations of chemical products
- High total dissolved and suspended solids
- Solvent or paint spills, system contamination
- Water-based detackification program is out of control
- High pH or alkalinity
Of course, addressing the above sources or reasons is the first line of defense for foam control. In some cases, that may still be enough however, and a defoamer or antifoaming product may be required. These products destabilize the foam bubbles so their existence is short lived. Galaxy Chemical Corporation has a variety of defoamer products to control most paint booth foaming situations.
Defoamer is typically fed at the source of the foam on an as-needed basis. This can range from intermittent, small doses to continuous low level feed using electronic diaphragm pumps.
Consult with Galaxy Chemical Corporation for all of your paint booth chemical and technical needs.