How The Bedliner Was Invented

For hundreds of years, asphalt-based products such as pitch and tar were the only option as a type of coating mixture. In the 20th Century, a spectrum of other possibilities emerged, including paint, epoxy and vinyl esters.

The latest coating technology is polyurea.
Polyurea was initially developed to guard tabletop edges in the 1950's. This led to the evolution of two-component polyurethane and polyurea spray elastomers in the 1990s by Mark Barton and Mark Schlichter (US 5534295 patent).

Its fast reactivity and moisture insensitivity made it useful for coatings on extensive surface area projects, such as secondary containment, pipeline cracking and corrosion coating. Use of this material as industrial waterproofing has skyrocketed in demand in the last decade due to its fast-curing, corrosion- and abrasion-resistant characteristics.

Polyurethane, polyureas and poly hybrids had been used on industrial applications for years before the public saw these products in the form of bedliners. ArmorThane owner, Garry Froese; saw an opportunity for these materials to be opened up to a new market. With collision shops suffering insurance related failures, repair shops agonizing over new car warranties and similar troubles in the automotive industry, opportunities still are welcome to this gap, for synergistic work, to expand a business or enter this new industry. Garry started a billion dollar industry when ArmorThane marketed the truck owner with a new spray on bedliner that was more durable than drop-in bedliners and prevented corrosion and other damage caused by traditional bedliners. ArmorThane bedliner was initially soft and rubbery, though they now offer both hard and soft called ArmorLiner and soft called Sure Grip.

ArmorThane is a staple in the industry and is known to have the greatest polyurea product on the market today. Garry came up with the majority of his chemical combinations himself and had these unique recipes copyrighted over 30 years ago when he started his company.  When Garry introduced his company into the industry, he was one of only a handful of people that knew the real potential of this fantastic and unique chemical.

Of the two most common types of polyureas, aromatic polyureas are by far the most common.  Many in the industry call them the workhorse of the industry, offering a wide variety of physical characteristics for various uses.

A second formulation, aliphatic polyureas, use different chemistry to provide UV stability.  This added benefit comes at a price as aliphatic polyureas are typically twice the price of aromatic polyureas.
 Once a little-known chemical, Polyurea has shown itself to be an essential, irreplaceable protection product. As for the market, fierce competition has evolved over the years; unscrupulous at times but great for consumers as you can get this marvelous chemical for a fraction of the price it used to be. Overall anyone in the industry would tell you the same thing. Polyurea is here to stay!

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