Tapping into its long expertise in gas hose components, Flex-Tek has developed a compressed air heating system that allows paint spray guns to apply a far smoother finish in auto bodyshop repair work.
The impact is more than merely aesthetic. The advanced high-temperature and controller elements combine to provide a more consistent and faster application, reduced drying time, less paint use, and – most important of all – up to 20% in cost savings.
The device was the fruit of close co-operation between Flex-Tek subsidiary Tutco and a leading US manufacturer of auto refinishing equipment. The company had been seeking ways of providing a more affordable service while simultaneously improving quality and durability, and satisfying new environmental mandates promoting water-based paint.
Though primarily geared towards the auto repair industry, the new device can also be used in a variety of sectors that commonly require spray finishing or coating, such as aerospace and furniture manufacture.
The push by aeroplane makers towards lighter materials to save fuel and cut harmful emissions has opened complementary markets for Flex-Tek, a long-established supplier to the aviation industry.
Flex-Tex engineers have been working with their counterparts at Airbus and Boeing to develop new-generation, lightweight Kevlar high-pressure hoses that allow airlines to cut the weight of their hydraulic applications.
The use of Kevlar helps new airliners such as the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 reduce their per passenger fuel consumption to around three litres per 100 km travelled – a more fuel-efficient level than even the latest family cars.
By combining greater strength with less weight, Kevlar hoses can pass a demanding set of dynamic and static tests involving stresses of more than 5,000 pounds per square inch and a temperature range of -65°F to 275°F.