Problem 2 Odense Steel Shipyard:

Mathematical modeling of paint flow from a spray gun

During the past year and a half, Odense Steelshipyard has been working on a paint project, where the goal is to replace expensive decals with robot painting. For this purpose a new paint spray gun has been developed (a decal gun). This spray gun makes it possible to paint stripes with very sharp edges.

The biggest difference between this new spray gun and a traditional air-mix spray gun, is the geometry of the nozzle from which the paint ejects.
In a traditional spray gun, the paint is ejected through a small hole, either circular or elliptic, with dimensions around 0.5-1.0 mm. In the new spray gun, this hole is replaced by a slit with a width of 0.2 mm and a length of 20-100 mm. The length of the slit determines how broad a stripe the spray gun can paint.

In order to make an off-line robot programming system, which can simulate the distribution of paint on the surface, it is necessary to have a mathematical model of the flux distribution of the spray gun. There exist models of the traditional spray gun, but not of the new decal spray gun, so the problem consists of developing such a mathematical model for the new spray gun.


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July 30, 1999, Marit Hvalsøe Schou, e-mail: