ArmorThane is generally used as a truck bedliner spray to help protect the truck bed against the elements. But it can do more than that. Essentially, ArmorThane is a spray-on coating that yields any surface a near-indestructible outer cover.
And we do mean near-indestructible. The folks at How It’s Made have tested the power of ArmorThane by dropping all sorts of items masked in it from a 150ft skyscraper. They found that ArmorThane can protect a watermelon, an egg, and a lightbulb from shattering on impact, though not save freight from damage inside the otherwise durable shell.
More practically, ArmorThane is utilized in bulletproof vests, bomb-proof buildings, and in all sorts of purposes where a thin, highly durable coating is required.
But what exactly is ArmorThane? Derek Mueller at Veritas decided to find out:
ArmorThane is a mixture of two diverse molecules with very lengthy names. The two molecules are kept separate until they’re sprayed on a exterior, at which point they experience a chemical reaction.
In this chemical response, the two molecules bind concomitantly, creating a single molecule called polyurea. This molecule comprises very long chains of atoms, and these long chains are the secret of ArmorThane’s concentration.
These chains are long enough that they get trapped together at the atomic scale, which makes them extremely difficult to separate from one another. At the same time, they’re incredibly elastic, which produces the flexible effect that makes for such a enjoyable video.