Infra-red paint drying

Car body repair
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Automotive hand tools
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Car doors
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Car enamel colors
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Car painting problems
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Cleaning car upholstery
Door locks
Fender repair
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Folder tops
Infra-red paint drying
Interior automotive trim
Metal welding
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Oxyacetylene rods
Oxyacetylene welding
Painting over paint
Paint surface preparation
Panel replacement
Refinishing paint tips
Refinishing equipment
Safe car spraying
Sanding, striping, rubbing
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Spraying lacquer

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Better paint jobs, and more of them, can be turned out by a shop that has control over the drying process. The application of heat and ventilation described elsewhere in this book is one method. The use of infra-red electric lamps is another method, and one which is applicable to the small repair job or the complete refinishing of a car.

Infra-red paint drying

In the illustration of a large infra-red paint drier, it is interesting to note the small portable drier in the lower right corner. This is used for drying a fender, door, or other small part after refinishing. The entire oven allows complete cars to pass through, and, in fact, two cars can be accommodated in this large drier at one time, as shown. This oven is equipped with 528 individual lamps.

An idea of how profitable automotive refinishing can be in those days, may be obtained from the fact that this organization did occupy 25,000 square feet of shop space and employed 100 skilled workers. The incoming cars where completely cleaned and hand sanded, then masked. Synthetic enamels are applied in glass-enclosed filter-air spray booths, and the car then goes to the baking tunnel which is seen here.

Speeding up the drying process, understandably, enables a shop to turn out more jobs per day. The quality arises from the fact that since there is less time required for drying, there is less opportunity for dirt and dust to get into the finish. Furthermore, the speedier drying reduces the likelihood of sags developing.

It is pretty generally agreed that a temperature of 150°F. is the maximum that a car can stand safely. Anything more than this is likely to cause damage to the safety glass, the battery sealing compound, or the glue in the upholstery panels. Even at this temperature the drying period should not exceed an hour. And there are many who prefer 125°F. for 1 1/2 hours.

When using heated air for drying panels, it is important to maintain air circulation. Failure to do this will prevent proper oxidation of the finish. Air filters are a "must." They can be made of frames carrying oiled steel wool, or they may be of the commercial variety.

Since this matter of drying automobiles is a constantly developing one, the alert shop operator will watch the advertising in the leading automotive publications. One interesting drier now on the market consists of an arch of infra-red lamps that goes over the car. The car can be sprayed in almost any part of the shop.

Then this heating arch is placed over the car, and by means of an electric motor in its base, it moves back and forth over the car to dry the surface quickly and uniformily. Such equipment may often be obtained directly from the manufacturer whose advertising appears in automotive publications, or may be purchased through the larger automotive jobbers.