Airless vs HVLP Cart Turbine Rigo

Airless and HVLP are pieces of equipment designed for spray painting.

The paint is driven through a tube to the gun


In short, the parallels end here, and there are key differences that must be considered when selecting.


Let’s look at these differences

  • Air or airless: Airless equipment drives paint through an extremely small nozzle under high pressure. It is airless in that there is no air input or use of air at all. The paint product is atomized by spraying to form a slender vertical beam, Various nozzle sizes enable adjustment of product quantity and spray angle. The very high pressure means application is uniform: large areas can be rapidly coated, as opposed to when the product is sprayed in limited quantities or applied in very thin layers The pressure required to form tiny droplets also means that a significant percentage is “ shot” in such small particles that these are like “smoke” (the particles do not attach to the wall but are dispersed into the air).

Rigo's Cart Turbine HVLP (HVLP = high volume-low pressure) drives paint into the tubes under very much lower pressure than with the airless system (0.5-1-2 up to a maximum of 4 bar, rarely used, and an airless minimum of 80 but reaching 160 bar, i.e. very different values...). Once it reaches the gun, the paint is not sprayed under the pressure but is finely separated by the action of the air produced by the turbine. The turbine generates a cone of low-pressure air (max 0.4 bar) with a high flow rate (up to 2,600 litres per minute); the paint product forms minute droplets held within the cone itself.

Here again we have the formation of this smoke, but to a very limited extent (a very low percentage).

The airless system, applies 55-65% of product to the wall, and the CT 85-90%. Therefore, the wastage is curbed and a greater material yield obtains (greater economy of materials).


  • application: airless delivers a great deal of the product. An airless gun applies a 15-litre can uninterruptedly in ten minutes or so (this is a rough time estimate, as larger and smaller nozzles speed up and slow down operations, respectively). Re-loading 15 litres into the Cart Turbine ensures uninterrupted runtimes of at least two hours. This means airless application is more rapid, but it cannot be adopted when coating smaller surface areas. If we wish to coat complex and smaller surface areas, such as a heater or radiator or door/window frames, it will be very hard to apply the product with the airless system and avoid running and sagging, and practically impossible to adjust thicknesses. On the other hand, with the Cart Turbine system you can adjust the thicknesses and quantities most satisfactorily!


  • applicable products: airless systems (only certain models) can also be used to spray fillers or plasters, for smoothly seamless results, too, but they can’t be used to spray coats with inert ingredients such as outdoor quartzes. Cart Turbines can spray coats even with very coarse inert materials.


  • to sum up: Airless for sheds and very large surface areas, with certain types of product and with limited amounts of finishes available. The versatile Cart Turbines enable application of a broad range of products, finishes and thicknesses.


These two solutions therefore differ and are complementary, but they are not interchangeable.

  • Painters will use the CT system on construction sites mainly whilst will generally opt for airless to spray in sheds or unfinished buildings only.