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How to get long life from your valuable investment

After making the investment in the market leading performance and ease of use of a SATA spray gun, painters won’t want to go back. A simple maintenance regime will help sustain the cutting-edge tool for years to come.

For painters, the SATAjet X 5500 spray gun makes the application process effortless, quick and precise, while for collision centre owners, it’s about outstanding transfer efficiency and minimising the application issues that lead to frustrating and costly reworks. And, by following a few practical maintenance tips, you can keep your SATAjet X 5500 at peak performance, while maximising nozzle set lifespan.

When precision is everything

When it comes to SATA’s obsessive level of precision, consider this – the tolerance during the manufacturing of a SATA spray gun is just 0.008mm. One of the places this is most important is the nozzle set – the paint needle, fluid tip and air cap.

SATAjet X 5500. Image: PPG

However, as paint materials flow through the various passages, it causes friction on the fluid tip and paint needle. Although these are hard metal components, the constant flow of high velocity liquid causes wear and tear which slowly alters the precision engineered shapes.

This deterioration cannot be detected by the human eye which is why SATA recommends the regular replacement of the complete nozzle set every six to 12 months, depending on gun usage. Why the complete nozzle set? The components of the nozzle set are actually tested and quality checked as a set during the manufacturing process at SATA’s state-of-the-art Kornwesthiem factory, in Germany, where all SATA spray guns are made.

This ensures the exact spray pattern and atomisation meets SATA standards and can be relied on to return your SATAjet X 5500 to the same box-fresh spraying performance found on a brand-new gun. In contrast, replacing just one nozzle component can easily result in negative effects, such as mottling or colour shade deviations when applying basecoat, higher paint consumption or orange peel with clearcoat.

Avoiding artificial wear

Properly cleaning your SATAjet X 5500 includes the disassembly of the nozzle set. During this operation, it’s especially important to remove the paint needle before unscrewing the fluid tip. If this is not done, the fluid tip and paint needle will rub together during the rotational motion which causes artificial wear and tear.

The crucial fluid tip

To achieve a proper seal, the fluid tip should be hand-tightened to approximately 11Nm to 14Nm for SATAjet models and 12Nm for Minijet models. With the SATAjet X 5500, the fluid tip is sealed via an attached fluid tip seal, whereas other SATA guns are sealed by the air distribution insert. If excessive tightening torque is used, the fluid tip seal and / or the air distribution insert can be squeezed, thus making it shorter or thinner. This subsequent gap between the spray gun body and the seal element, allows air to stream from the air passage into the material channel. This eventually leads to the formation of bubbles inside the vented cup, resulting in a fluttering spray pattern which can cause imperfections in the finish and possible rework. It’s important to note that dried material residues or other contamination in the area of the material channel or nozzle components can also affect the spray fan pattern. Therefore, it’s recommended that you first check if the gun and, particularly, the nozzle set has been thoroughly cleaned. If the faulty spray pattern persists, replace the defective seal.

A range of SATA spray equipment, backed by a comprehensive selection of replacement parts, is available from approved SATA distributors across Australia and New Zealand.

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