Paint booth/kitchen code for manufacturing

Paint booth/kitchen code for manufacturing

1 year, 6 months ago

Note: This is Part 1 in a series

By Ellen McCulley
Licensed Architect, Nelson Design, Inc.

Many of our manufacturing clients have facilities with paint booths or paint kitchens. This article outlines some of the key code requirements regarding these types of installations. We typically see the following circumstances and have thus written the article based on these assumptions:

  1. The building contains an automatic sprinkler system throughout.
  2. The paint being used is a Flammable Liquid Class IB
  3. The open use of the paint in the paint kitchen exceeds the maximum allowed quantity per control area of 60 gallons.
  4. The storage of the paint plus the open use quantity in the paint kitchen exceeds the maximum allowed quantity per control area of 240 gallons.
  5. The paint booths use a spray application only.

The following contains requirements for paint booths and paint kitchens from the International Fire Code (IFC). Other codes, such as OSHA, are applicable as well but are not analyzed in this article. NFPA codes may be applicable, too. Owners should check with their local and/or state Authority Having Jurisdiction. The applicable chapters in the IFC include Chapter 50: Hazardous Materials; Chapter 24: Flammable Finishes; and Chapter 57: Flammable and Combustible Liquids. This article deals with Chapter 24. The subsequent edition of wibi will address chapters 50 and 57.

Section 2403: Protection of Operations
ItemCode ReferenceDescription
Electrical wiring and equipment2403.2.1.1Flammable vapor areas: Electrical wiring and equipment in flammable vapor areas shall be of an explosion-proof type approved for use in such hazardous locations. Such areas shall be considered to be Class I, Division 1 or Class II, Division 1 hazardous locations in accordance with NFPA 70.
2403.2.1.3Areas adjacent to spray booths: Electrical wiring and equipment located outside of, but within 5 feet horizontally and 3 feet vertically of openings in a spray booth or a spray room, shall be approved for Class I, Division 2 or Class II, Division 2 hazardous locations, whichever is applicable.
Open flames and sparks2403.2.2Open flames and spark-producing devices shall not be located in flammable vapor areas and shall not be located within 20 feet of such areas unless separated by a permanent partition. Exception: Drying and baking apparatus complying with Section 2404.6.1.2
Hot surfaces2403.2.3Heated surfaces having a temperature sufficient to ignite vapors shall not be located in flammable vapor areas. Space-heating appliances, steam pipes or hot surfaces in a flammable vapor area shall be located such that they are not subject to accumulation of deposits of combustible residues. Exception: Drying apparatus complying with Section 2404.6.1.2.

Section 2404: Spray Finishes
ItemCode ReferenceDescription
Spray booths2404.3.2.6Size: The aggregate area of spray booths in a building shall not exceed the lesser of 10 percent of the area of any floor of a building or the basic area allowed for a Group H-2 occupancy without area increases, as set forth in the International Building Code. The area of an individual spray booth in a building shall not exceed the lesser of the aggregate size limit or 1,500 SF (139 m 2). Exception: 1 individual booth not exceeding 500 SF.
Fire protection2404.4Spray booths & spray rooms shall be protected by an approved automatic fire-extinguishing system complying with Chapter 9. Protection shall also extend to exhaust plenums, exhaust ducts and both sides of dry filters when such filters are used.
2404.4.1Fire extinguishers: Portable fire extinguishers complying with Section 906 shall be provided for spraying areas in accordance with the requirements for an extra (high) hazard occupancy.
Drying operations2404.6.1Spray booths and spray rooms shall not be alternately used for the purpose of drying by arrangements or methods that could cause an increase in the surface temperature of the spray booth or spray room except in accordance with Sections 2404.6.1.1 and 2404.6.1.2. Except as specifically provided in this section, drying or baking units utilizing a heating system having open flames or that are capable of producing sparks shall not be installed in a flammable vapor area. Refer to code for a full listing of requirements.
Ventilation2404.7.1Operation: Mechanical ventilation shall be kept in operation at all times while spraying operations are being conducted and for a sufficient time thereafter to allow vapors from drying coated articles and finishing material residue to be exhausted. Spraying equipment shall be interlocked with the ventilation of the flammable vapor areas such that spraying operations cannot be conducted unless the ventilation system is in operation.
Recirculating air2404.7.2Air exhausted from spraying operations shall not be recirculated. Refer to code for exceptions.
Air velocity2404.7.3The ventilation system shall be designed, installed and maintained so that the flammable contaminants are diluted in noncontaminated air to maintain concentrations in the exhaust airflow below 25 percent of the contaminant’s lower flammable limit (LFL). In addition, the spray booth shall be provided with mechanical ventilation so that the average air velocity through openings is in accordance with Sections 2404.7.3.1 and 2404.7.3.2.
Independent ducts2404.7.5Each spray booth and spray room shall have an independent exhaust duct system discharging to the outside. Refer to code for exceptions.
Interlocks2404.8Interlocks for spray application finishes shall be in accordance with Sections 2404.8.1 through 2404.8.2. Refer to code for full listing.

About the Author

Ellen McCulley graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Iowa State University, where she received the Pella Architectural Award from the Department of Architecture in the College of Design. She is a registered architect in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and Missouri, and joined Nelson Design, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Carl A. Nelson & Company, in 2012.

How to obtain code review for your project or facility

Carl A. Nelson & Company is available to help clients address code-related issues in their facilities. Call (319) 754-8415 and ask for Ellen McCulley. Review past installments of Decoding the Code at