Simulation of electrostatic rotary bell spray painting in automotive paint shops

A. Mark, B. Andersson, S. Tafuri, K. Engström, H. Söröd, F. Edelvik, J. S. Carlson, Automization & Sprays, 2013, 23(1), 25-45.


A new framework for simulation of electrostatic spray painting is proposed based on novel algorithms for coupled simulations of air flow, electromagnetic fields, and paint droplets. Particularly important for the computational efficiency is the Navier-Stokes solver. The incompressible solver is based on a finite volume discretization on a dynamic Cartesian octree grid and unique immersed boundary methods are used to model the presence of objects in the fluid. This enables modeling of moving objects at virtually no additional computational cost and greatly simplifies preprocessing by avoiding the cumbersome generation of a body-conforming mesh. To validate the simulation framework an extensive measurement campaign has been performed. Several test plates and car fenders were painted with different process conditions and robot paths. The same cases were then simulated and overall the agreement between simulations and experiments are remarkably good. The very efficient implementation gives a major improvement of computational speed compared to other approaches and makes it possible to simulate spray painting of a full car in just a few hours on a standard computer.

Authors and Afillations

  • A, Mark, Fraunhofer-Chalmers Centre
  • B. Andersson, Fraunhofer-Chalmers Centre
  • S. Tafuri, Fraunhofer-Chalmers Centre
  • K. Engström, Fraunhofer-Chalmers Centre
  • F. Edelvik, Fraunhofer-Chalmers Centre
  • H. Söröd, Swerea-IVF, Sweden
  • J. S. Carlson, Fraunhofer-Chalmers Centre

Photo credits: Nic McPhee