G.B. Byrnes Consulting, Inc.

Failure analysis done right!


Overspray Identification and Analysis

Determining if overspray matches a specific painting project requires proper collection, analysis, identification, and comparison of the overspray droplets to potential sources.

Over the years, Geoff Byrnes has developed and perfected micro-analytical techniques for overspray identification and analysis, sometimes even when the individual overspray droplets cannot be seen with the naked eye. He has successfully carried out thousands of overspray identifications on behalf of applicators, property owners, attorneys and insurance companies.

The basic technique

The analytical procedure normally consists separating out the overspray droplets and potential source materials, dispersing each in potassium bromide, and pressing the resulting mixtures into a tiny transparent pellets about the size of a pinhead in a special micropress. The pellets are then subjected to Transmission Fourier Transform Infra-Red Spectroscopy in a beam condensing optical bench to create spectra which are then analyzed. The information generated by this analytical technique has been accepted as sound forensic evidence by Courts throughout the world.

What we need

What we need to perform the analysis are samples of overspray and the dried coating from the project which is suspected to have caused the fallout.

How to collect overspray from a vehicle

You will need:
  1. If at all possible, run the oversprayed vehicle through a car wash (without wax) first. Clean the sampling area of all remaining  road dirt, oil and grease by thoroughly washing it using cotton swabs and alcohol before allowing it to dry. This is important for the most accurate results and if the droplets clean off easily, the matter has been resolved.
  2. Scrape the razor blade over the sampling area at a shallow angle to pick up the paint particles on the edge of the blade. If this is done carefully it should not damage the vehicle's paint or glass - but you are doing so at your own risk! We recommend you obtain your sample from a glass or mirror surface.
  3. Take the razor blade with the coating particles stuck to its edge (that we will remove them under a microscope) and carefully wrap it in a small square of aluminum foil. Seal the foil with sticky tape being careful the tape is only on the outside and does not contact the razor blade or overspray material.
  4. Place the packaged blade in the tub together with a note identifying the sample and seal the lid on the tub using the sticky tape.

How to collect paint from a potential overspray source

Other Comments:

The cost for this analysis is per sample analyzed and includes both a final report and copies of the FT-IR spectral plots. 


G.B. Byrnes Consulting · 3004 Teague Rd Houston, TX 77080 · (713)460-4130 · Email · Last update & © July 2007