TITUSVILLE, Fla. (April 5, 2005) – A revolutionary product designed to protect automobile paint from damage has received important performance verification from the NASA-funded Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program (SATOP) and the University of Central Florida (UCF).
John Ryan, CEO of Armor Auto LLC, a Missoula, Mont. company that specializes in manufacturing aftermarket automotive accessories, has spent years developing the protectant, Armor Coat.
Prior to the creation of Armor Coat, the only product available to protect a car’s exterior paint coat from chips and scratches was a tape-like adhesive that did not conform properly to the curves of a modern-day car. Ryan decided that a spray-on adhesive with the same ingredients would not only attach perfectly to the outside of the vehicle, but also take far less time to apply. Once developed, Ryan needed to verify that Armor Coat would not deteriorate as the car ages.
After learning about SATOP, Ryan filed a Request for Technical Assistance (RTA) with the program’s Florida center in Titusville.
On Armor Auto’s behalf, Ryan Greenough, SATOP program engineer, contacted Dr. Christian Clausen, a chemistry professor at UCF, a SATOP Alliance Partner. Dr. Clausen performed various analyses on the product samples including radiation, adhesive and UV testing. He also performed a sandblast test on the samples, which were then analyzed under a microscope.
“Many elements needed to be assessed before this product was market-ready,” said Dr. Clausen. “After conducting a battery of tests, I can confidently say that Armor Coat is a durable product.”
Results showed that Armor Coat would hold up against the elements while protecting the vehicle. After six weeks of testing, it was evident that Armor Coat was indeed ready to be marketed.
“Small business owners don’t always have the necessary resources to realize their goals,” said Ryan. “SATOP has helped my company receive the verification that would have been extremely difficult to access.”
For his innovative product, Ryan already has been featured in Restyling Magazine, alongside corporations such as 3M, his competition. Now that Armor Coat is on the market, Armor Auto receives 50 to 60 inquiries daily about the product, which is available through the company Web site at www.armorauto.com
“SATOP is a wonderful program. They are 80 percent responsible for getting Armor Auto to market,” said Ryan. “Without the independent verification provided by SATOP, it’s possible that Armor Coat could have been unprofitable to produce, and we could not have handled the financial impact of a product recall. I now have the confirmation to confidently move forward with Armor Coat.”
According to Greenough, the RTA could not have been completed without Clausen’s resources, knowledge and expertise.
“Once more, Dr. Clausen and UCF have come through as an outstanding SATOP Alliance Partner,” said Greenough. “I believe that Armor Coat’s validation is a victory for Armor Auto as well as for SATOP. It’s truly wonderful to see a small business in Montana has benefited from cutting edge resources in Central Florida. That’s what SATOP is all about.”