Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The DuraCoat® Machine - Part 2.5: The Roar of the T-Rex – Engine Install!

In part one of this series we introduced you to T-Rex, The DuraCoat® Machine. If you missed out on that you can read up on it here: Part 1 - The Rise of the T-Rex

And in part two we saw the beast on the dyno. You can see that here if you missed it: Part 2 - The Roar of the T-Rex - Dyno Test

Now the engine has been mounted and we can finally hear it roar! We discovered that this baby has so much power that the existing brake system would not hold it at a stop so those have been upgraded with hydroboost. New mufflers also needed to be installed to ward off any undesirable attention from the local PD. Roar Baby Roar!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The DuraCoat® Machine - Part 2: The Roar of the T-Rex – Dyno Test

In part one of this series we introduced you to T-Rex, The DuraCoat® Machine. If you missed out on that you can read up on it here:  Part 1 - The Rise of the T-Rex

The next chapter in the rise of the T-Rex brings us to the Dyno. Dyno testing puts the engine in a safe environment to measure horsepower and torque, allows for any adjustments or corrections to be made to optimize performance, and most importantly makes sure the darn thing doesn’t explode.  

Exhaust noise was pumped outside so all we hear is the power and roar of this beast.  We got her up to 6400rpm with torque at 477 lb ft. The horsepower was calculated at 581 and still climbing. To keep it street legal and easy to drive we didn’t try to push her any further but she definitely could have taken it.  For you motorheads, one of the Dyno printouts is below.  All you really need is to watch the video so we’ll shut up now and get to it.

Friday, August 19, 2016

DuraCoat Durability Testing Results

There’s a lot of hype out there right now regarding durability testing of gun coatings. While we believe that real-world performance far outweighs laboratory tests, companies such as NIC Industries, the makers of Cerakote™, have created a false reality where these tests have been given a greater weight of importance than we believe they should. Lab tests do have a place in our world, but we believe they do not recreate the real environments and handling that firearms will be put through and as such they should be viewed with this in mind. There is also the factor that these tests could be easily rigged so that a specific outcome is achieved, should one decide to stoop to such lows.

But, seeing as there has been a sense of importance placed on these tests in today’s market, we have posted our own DuraCoat® durability testing results below. All tests were completed by independent labs. 

Adhesion – ASTM D3359
Adhesion of a coating can be measured using a test known as Crosshatch Adhesion. This test is performed by scratching coated steel panels in a crosshatch pattern and then using tape to attempt to remove any of the coating. The results are then scored on a 0B to 5B scale with 5B being the best score. DuraCoat Matte Black passed the test with a top rating of 5B.

Flexibility via Conical Mandrel Bend – ASTM D522
Flexibility can be tested using ASTM D522 which places coated steel panels in a device that bends the panel around a conical shaped mandrel. This tests the ability of the coating to flex and stretch with the deformation of the metal substrate. The smallest mandrel used is 1/8”. Coatings that withstand the 1/8” test receive the highest rating available for this test. DuraCoat Matte Black passed the 1/8” mandrel test with no signs of cracking or deformation.


Impact Resistance – ASTM D2794
Impact Resistance can be measured using ASTM D2794. This test is performed by dropping a weight onto a coated steel panel at a certain distance causing the panel and coating to deform. This distance is increased until the coating fails. Coating failure is the point at which cracking or delamination occurs. This test can be performed both by Direct Impact and Reverse Impact. DuraCoat Matte Black was tested using both methods. It was determined to have a Direct Impact strength and a Reverse Impact strength of 160 inch-lbs which is the maximum the impact tester can measure.

Pencil Hardness – ASTM D3363
Pencil Hardness measures the ability of a coating to resist scratching, marring, or gouging. A range of lead pencils are used to test the coating by scratching the surface to see if damage occurs. The hardest lead used before the coating is scratched determines the rating. It should be noted that a higher hardness rating is not always best in terms of overall durability. A coating that scores very high runs the risk of being brittle. Flexibility is a very important factor in the durability of any coating. DuraCoat Matte Black rated a 6H pencil hardness. This score reflects DuraCoat’s perfect balance of hardness and flexibility which results in its outstanding durability.

Corrosion – ASTM B117
An in-depth DuraCoat® versus Cerakote™ Salt Spray analysis, performed by an independent lab, can be found here: DuraCoat vs Cerakote Salt Spray Results

Below is a screenshot of the lab report for these tests. Due to the size of the report and the amount of non-pertinent information contained in the report we have only posted the results table. Any reference to the lab's identity has been withheld to protect their privacy. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

The DuraCoat® Machine - Part 1: The Rise of the T-Rex

Some may say: “Oh, it’s just a Hummer.” But, it has a greater story to tell.

One day, Steve Lauer, owner and inventor of DuraCoat®, decided it was time for a second Hummer. The H1 he bought back in 2000 needed a companion. Since they had stopped building H1 Hummers by this time we naturally went to the best place to find such things: the internet. Since finding a new H1 would be difficult we spent our time searching through the listings and stumbled upon something. It’s a Hummer! It’s a Humvee! NO! It’s a T-Rex! Wait, what? We had found something different, something unique. Something with a story just waiting to be told.

The T-Rex was a Hummer look-alike made from the late 90s to the early 2000s by a small vehicle company called Jurassic Truck Corporation in Arlington, TX. The T-Rex was designed to look like a H1 but weighed 2000 lbs less and was a fraction of the cost. They were sold mostly in kit form but a few were sold as nearly complete, basically just missing the engine. There are no official numbers but supposedly less than 200 exist. The one we found on Ebay was a kit that was built in the early 2000s into a full truck with monster truck proportions. No other T-Rex could be found for sale and very little information could be found to tell us more about the history of this find. So naturally, Steve bought it. 

That brings us to today. The T-Rex is in for a major upgrade to make it even more monstrous. We called upon Fast Freddies Rod Shop in nearby Eau Claire, WI to tackle this mission. The plan was to install a blower and new drive train to really make this baby go. Stay tuned as we follow the rise of the T-Rex.

Update: Read the next chapter here: Part 2: The Roar of the T-Rex - Dyno Test

The T-Rex delivered to Fast Freddie's Rod Shop

Steve (right) with Fred and some of his crew

Hood cutout for the new blower

The new parts have arrived!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

UV Testing: How does DuraCoat® hold up to Sun and Weathering?

It’s summer! Let’s take a look at how well 
DuraCoat® withstands the sun! 

All coatings degrade in the sun. That is just how it is but some fair better than others. A coating that degrades from sunlight will not just fade but will start to break down which could cause other failures such as chipping or premature wear. UV weathering of a coating can be simulated by a lab test. This test is completed using ASTM D4587 standards. Basically, steel panels are coated and then placed in a light chamber. This chamber is filled with UV lights. The panels are exposed to constant light until a measurable change has occurred in the coating.

Of course your average gun is not exposed to 24/7 UV lights but this test is a great way to determine how the sun will affect the coating on your gun long term. It is also a way to tell how well it will hold up when used on items that will be outside 24/7 such as vehicles, bicycles, mailboxes, or one of the many other ways that DuraCoat® is used. Or, maybe you’re lucky enough to have a Ma Deuce in the backyard.

So, how did DuraCoat® hold up to the sun? Well, DuraCoat® held up amazing! We had an independent lab test six DuraCoat® colors using both standard Hardener and UV Hardener. The lab stopped the test at 504 hours once there was visual color change. You can view the lab report below (we withheld the lab’s identity to protect their privacy and only included the pages of the report pertinent to this test). The table of results is also posted below. When viewing this table the most important line is the ΔE (Delta E) which measures the change. The higher the number the more the change so ideally you want the lowest number possible.

The table shows how well DuraCoat® withstands the sun and how it performs even better with UV Hardener. Some colors fair much better than others and the UV Hardener helps some colors more than others. It really just depends on the pigments. Just for fun we had a few panels coated with Cerakote™ Graphite Black added to the testing chamber just to see how DuraCoat® and Cerakote™ compare in this scenario. To compare apples-to-apples, DuraCoat® Matte Black with standard Hardener had a change of 13.66 while Cerakote™ Graphite Black had a change of 69.74.  
DuraCoat® performed 5X better!

So relax and be comfortable knowing your gun or bow or motorcycle will look its best for many sunny days to come – and don’t forget to ask for UV Hardener for your next outdoor project!

UPDATE: These results were provided to us by an accredited independent lab. The Cerakote™ panels were indeed coated with Cerakote™ H-series Graphite Black. In response to comments made by Cerakote™ we have updated this post to include photographs of the actual panels used in the test. Numbers aside, you can clearly see that while the DuraCoat® did fade, the Cerakote™ panel showed coating failure and degradation around the edges which goes beyond just fading.

DuraCoat (left) fades gray while Cerakote (right) fades brown due to the differences in pigments used in each coating. Notice the additional degradation around the edges of the Cerakote panel.

We at DuraCoat® are a very open and honest family-run company and we have been silent long enough in regards to NIC’s repeated and constant attacks on our products. Their response to our UV testing is just the next step in their constant bullying. They claim that “it is important for the customer to have the facts” but yet they continue to claim that Cerakote™ is ceramic-based when independent lab analysis shows otherwise. They also continue to claim that their product lasts over 3500 hours in a salt spray chamber. We have had three independent labs test Cerakote™ that was applied by Cerakote™ Certified Applicators and all failed in less than 500 hours. They even used our DuraCoat® and Lauer™ trademarks in Google ads to draw potential customers to their website. A lawsuit and settlement soon followed. It is really the credibility of NIC Industries and Cerakote™ that should be in question.

Read more here: