Iwata Series 2 is Now Available in the US!

Here’s a simple explanation to help you decide which Series 2 is right for you.

Sprayology 101: How Paint Evolution Influenced IWATA Series 2 Spray Guns

Series 2 is the latest evolution spraygun by Anest Iwata, not to be confused with the Supernova. It features unmatched ergonomics, Split Nozzle 2.0 technology, and even better transfer efficiency than the Supernova.

The Series 2 is available in three different models:

  • LS400 Base
  • WS400 Base
  • WS400 Clear

Each is available in a digital and non-digital version. The digital version comes with an integrated DPG1 high-performance digital pressure regulator. It has been integrated into the handle to avoid sacrificing any of the gun’s ergonomics.

It’s easily installed and removed for maintenance cleaning with its patented ClickMag system.

With three different versions of Series 2, what’s the difference?

How do you know which one’s right for you? To answer that, we must first understand a little bit more about paint evolution and its chemistry. Let’s travel back to a time where there weren’t any paint restrictions. Cars were painted by guys named Bill in driveways, patios, open warehouses, anywhere his heart desired. He had an old pressure-pot spray gun that he would fill with lacquer-based paints that were so strong they could melt your nose hair and leave you feeling a little groovy. He’d crank up the air pressure, squint his eyes (in place of safety glasses) and paint everything in his path.

Pressure-Pot Bill

Sadly, over time guys like Bill would develop a terrible case of lung cancer. When we look back to the time when lacquer was King, we now see that it was full of all kinds of harmful solvents, acids, tars, and in some cases even lead. This led to safety guidelines that put pressure on spray gun manufacturers and paint manufacturers to refine the painting process.

Spray gun manufacturers developed HVLP spray guns to apply a higher volume of material to the surface at lower air pressures. This also puts less overspray into the air itself. Paint manufacturers ditched the older, lacquer-based paint formulas for a new solvent-based paint that contained fewer harmful chemicals and also worked well with this new HVLP technology.

Solvent-based paints consist of three basic ingredients: dry-colored pigment powder, resin, and solvent or reducer.

Solvent-based paints

Solvent-Based Paints generally consist of three basic ingredients. First is pigment. Your color in its raw form it’s a dry-colored powder. If we look at a mixing bank, you could consider your toner the pigment.

Second is the resin or binder this takes your powdered pigment and turns it into a liquid or takes your toner and helps bind it to the surface you’re coating.

The final ingredient is solvent or reducer. This helps the viscosity of your paint flow through your spray gun. It also manipulates the dry time, giving your paint the time it needs to flow out properly and adhere to the surface you are painting. Because of the solvent paint chemistry, it needs to be sprayed with an even, consistent fan pattern that also puts down enough material allowing the paint to flow out and dry properly.

Now, if we move forward in time, we see the creation of waterborne paints.

Water-borne paints

As water technology has evolved, it is now split into two different groups: First-gen and Second-gen.

First-gen Waterborne Paint. Waterborne Paints First-gen are really similar to solvent-based paints. They share three basic ingredients, two of which are relatively the same. They have pigment (the color) and binder (the resin); the third ingredient is now a water-solvent hybrid mix.

As the paint’s sprayed, a water molecule encapsulates the solvent-based paint as it floats through the air. It’s kind of like a giant water balloon fight happening on a microscopic level. Imagine a water balloon but instead of the rubber, the balloon itself is water and it’s filled with solvent paint. The solvent balloon flows through the air and bursts on the surface, leaving the paint behind.

The point of the hybrid mix is to make the paint safer for the environment. As it flows through the air, the water keeps the harmful solvent vapors to a minimum. Because first-gen waterborne paint and solvent paints are so similar, the application process is relatively the same. It needs to be sprayed on with an even, consistent fan pattern that also puts down enough material onto the surface. Because of the water, the introduction of air movement helps speed up the dry time.

Second-Gen Waterborne Paint. Waterborne base coats are the latest evolution in paint technology. With breakthroughs happening in Green Technology every day, we now have safer materials for people and the environment. Second-Gen waterborne base coats still have three basic ingredients:

  • The pigment (hasn’t changed much from first-gen waterborne paints)
  • The binder or resin is now a new hybrid waterborne binder. This waterborne binder might still have some solvent additives, but it significantly fewer than its predecessor
  • The third material is now a water hybrid reducer with various additives to help with flow and evaporation

Unlike first-gen waterborne paints that were like a water balloon (with a water exterior and solvent-filled center), we now have a water balloon that is more like a colored water droplet made up of water and a few solvents.

This latest evolution in paint technology needs to be applied with a spray gun in a specific way. You need to be able to apply two wet coats back-to-back to achieve this. A larger nozzle size and higher air pressure helps atomize the droplets into the proper size.

Now let’s talk about clear coats.

Clear Coats generally consist of two to three different materials. The first is the body of the clear coat, which is resin. Second you would have an additive, generally a catalyst or an activator. This activates your resin, prompting it to dry into the hard shell that protects
your base coat.

The viscosity of clear coat can vary as well. In some cases it can be extremely thin, similar to base coat, and in others it can be extremely thick. This is when a third ingredient may be required: a solvent. Like in base coat, this can help viscosity and in some cases manipulate the dry time. But that’s generally handled by the activator.

The clear coat application and process varies as well. In some cases, you might want a thin, fast-drying clear coat for on-site repair. You also might want a thicker clear coat that’s going to help protect and also match OEM textures for Collision Repair. If you’re doing custom, you might want one to dry slowly so it flows out nice and flat. This is why the viscosity and dry times vary so dramatically in clear coats.

Breakdown Of Paint Types And Uses For Series 2

Now that we’ve overloaded you on the Paint Talk, how does this information translate to the three different Series 2 spray guns?

Iwata LS400 Base spray gun

LS400 Base

Let’s start with the Series 2 LS400 Base HVLP spray gun.

This gun was designed specifically with solvent and first-gen waterborne base coats in mind. Remember, when you’re spraying solvent and first-gen waterborne base coats, you need a consistent, even fan pattern that delivers enough material to give your paint the time it needs to flow out and dry properly.

The series 2 LS400 excels at this. It has the most consistent fan pattern and unmatched transfer efficiency.

Iwata WS400 Base spray gun

WS400 Base

The Series 2 WS400 Base is a compliant non-LP spray gun that is designed specifically for second-gen waterborne base coats and the future of paint technology.

When we look back at second-gen waterborne base coats, we’ve learned you need to apply two wet coats back-to-back to achieve this. Higher air pressures and specific nozzle sizes are required in order to put down a consistent, even amount of paint.

The Series 2 WS400 base is meant to be sprayed at higher air pressures. It delivers very coarse, center-wet atomization allowing the material to flow onto the surface evenly making the application process almost effortless.

Iwata WS400 Clear spray gun

WS400 Clear

Clear coat application can be tricky. You need to be able to put enough material down but still have the versatility to achieve factory OEM texture or a smooth, flat finish. The Series 2 WS400 Clear is a compliant non-hp spray gun that makes this easy to achieve. This versatile spray gun has an unbelievably consistent fan pattern with low overspray and unmatched transfer efficiency. This makes the clear coat application process easier than ever.

Uses For Different Series 2 Recap

  • The LS400 Base is for solvent and first-gen waterborne base coats
  • The WS400 base is for second-gen waterborne base coats or any base coat that requires a wet-on-wet application
  • The WS400 Clear is for any clear coat applications

We hope you found this information helpful! We know there's a lot more technical information when it comes to talking about paint and spray guns. This was meant to be just a simple explanation to help you decide which Series 2 is right for you.

Interested in the new Anest Iwata Series 2 Lineup?

See your local jobber for pricing and availability


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