History of HVLP

HISTORY OF HVLP

 

Over 50 years ago it was common to receive a set of accessories when buying a vacuum cleaner for the home (Kirby or Electrolux). One such accessory was a small plastic spraygun with an attached jar for paint. One end of the hose was attached to the spraygun and the other to the ‘blower’ end of the vacuum cleaner. Surprisingly, if the paint was thinned enough, it would spray quite well. Although the system lacked power and sophistication – HVLP was born. It showed that high pressure was not necessary to spray paint. Low pressure could work in exactly the same way – with one major difference – the lower velocity of the air resulted in less overspray and less wasted paint.

True HVLP originators such as Sicmo (Monaco) and Apollo (England) built the first professionally used low pressure sprayguns. In fact, until the late 1980’s all other HVLP sprayguns copied these early guns in every respect. The Sicmo spraygun (under different names) is still in use today with no significant changes in decades. Apollosprayers started in England in 1966 and then later in 1981 became the first HVLP spray equipment manufacturer in North America. Apollo was instrumental in demonstrating to SCAQMD, (South Coast Air Quality Management District – California) the greatly decreased overspray/waste aspect of High Volume/Low Pressure systems.

Sicmo was also the first maker of a true HVLP conversion spraygun. Patented in 1971 by its inventor Mr. Farnsteiner, this spraygun was, and still is, the most air-efficient conversion spraygun. Unlike all other conversion sprayguns on the market today, the Sicmo does not rely solely on ‘restriction’ to lower pressure. In addition to restriction, the Sicmo uses a unique air-entraining venturi to actually increase the volume of air passing through the gun. When broken down, the venturi mechanism itself comprises over 20 different parts – this could be considered by some to be a drawback to the device. Currently there are many Taiwanese copies of Sicmo HVLP spray guns on the market.

Fuji Spray® was also one of the original makers having started manufacturing HVLP turbine systems back in 1986.

A few HVLP makers have disappeared over the years. Some of these names include Sprayfine, Amspray, Capspray, Titan, Croix and even Sicmo, mentioned above. Amspray, Capspray and Titan are now associated with Wagner. Croix is a part of Graco.