Paint booth and particulate filtration for improved project finishwork and coatings
Department of Mechanical Engineering
As part of capstone projects, almost every single College of Engineering student will fabricate a part or machine during their education at UW. The last step in fabrication is often painting or coating, which is sometimes just as essential as the shape or material of the part. The ME staff get many inquiries about painting facilities, and for now students make do in less than ideal conditions, such as painting off campus, painting under welding hoods, or painting in labs without adequate ventilation. A paint booth and particulate filters will give students a dedicated space for painting and finishwork, which will both protect student health and will result in higher quality work. Paint and surface coats are essential to the function of many parts, for corrosion resistance in wet environments, for aerodynamic properties, or because the colors are essential to the user experience. A fresh coat of paint or a glossy lacquer can be the difference between a part that looks amateurish and professional. Painting or coating molds is and essential part of the process to manufacture foam molds for composite parts. An increasingly common mechanical testing technique, DIC, requires that parts are painted in a speckle pattern before testing.