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Specialized Coatings ‘06

Specialized Coatings ‘06


Gone Racin’ to…
Specialized Coatings

Roger Rohrdanz and I drove up to Specialized Coatings in Huntington Beach, California, to see a special clear coat product that they are distributing. This company recently moved into a huge building with over 13,000 square feet of working space and a staff of 15 people. They have a commitment to quality and service that has made them a favorite among hot rodders and car restorers in Orange County and beyond. The facility was immaculately clean and they have invested in some of the largest baking ovens and eco-friendly equipment of any of the coating companies in the region. We met Keith Crecelius, the firm’s co-owner, and Kelly Inman, the man who is the heart and soul of this company. We watched as they answered phone calls and took walk-in business, giving honest and straightforward answers to each of their customers, who seemed to be very happy with the product from this company. Keith and Kelly pointed out the Hepa approved filtration system that purifies the air after the powdercoaters spray the materials and place the parts in the baking ovens. Although regulations are strict in this beach area, Specialized Coatings had no problem passing all requirements mandated by the city.
Specialized Coatings does work for the small project hot rodder as well as for some very large customers. They mentioned that some of their customers include Coddington, Chip Foose, Budnik Wheels, JE Pistons, TRD (Toyota Research and Development), Aquarium Of The Pacific, the Military and Walt Disney. Kelly mentioned all the various things that come in to be coated, including medical components, patio furniture, awning structures, and all types of car parts. They are very patient and take a great deal of pride in mentioning all the work that they have done in the nine years that they have been in business. They show the same friendliness to each and every customer who comes into the showroom. There is something very likeable about these two, and their staff. It is apparent by all the plaques and honors they have received from the hot rodding community over the years for their generous support for such events as the Labor Day Cruise and Cruisin’ for a Cure. Besides their generosity, they have deep roots in the hot rodding and racing world. Kelly raced motorcycles and sprint cars for 18 years, and Keith was a factory representative for Kawasaki. This company knows the racing and hot rodding community, and therefore can assist the customer with just about any need.
As Roger took photos of this facility, we asked about the two special products that are being talked about in the car restoration field. Specialized Coatings new product lines are called "Surface Armor," and "X5 MicroClear" Ceramic Clear Coats. Specialized Coatings can handle just about any object to be coated for protection since both products are air-dry liquids. With proper training and knowledge the end user can also do the process in their own home. We saw polished engine parts hanging up to dry as Kelly explained the process and the reason that the Clear Coat is so successful and effective. The clear coats can be painted or sprayed on any polished or finished surface and keep the original appearance, whether it’s a high polished or a raw cast look. The poly-ceramic backbone of this product makes a surface that is crystal clear, corrosion resistant and non-stick. Kelly pointed out that the particular engine parts that we were looking at cost the owner thousands of dollars to polish and prepare, but only a fraction of that amount to clear coat. The polished aluminum block, heads, intake and transmission had a very smooth, crystal clear finish which means that the customer will never have to polish these parts again. The clear coat will take up to 550 degrees for the "Surface Armor," and 1000 degrees for the "X5 MicroClear."

The clear coats are also impervious to just about any type of chemical or attack to their surface. This product has been in accelerated testing for over 5000 hours of direct salt spray and U.V. exposure with no negative results. Road salts, eggs, chemicals, paints, concrete, and glass etching acids have been left on the clear coat with no effect. Even accidents and scratches, while breaking the surface of the clear coat, will not spread under "X5 Micro Clear," causing delamination, as with other coating materials. Corrosion will only affect the area of the accident, and it can be buffed out and touched up quickly. Kelly explained that even mild nitric, and etching acids would not mar the surface of the clear coat. They have left brake fluid, Acetone, eggs, household chemicals, paints and even beer sitting on the surface for extended periods of time and nothing has destroyed this clear coat. Along with a super density, this poly ceramic alloy has a non-stick quality that allows it to be painted or sprayed on signs and other surfaces that are targets of graffiti. Then with a high-pressure wash of water or brushes, the graffiti can be removed. The only processes that can remove this clear coat is sandblasting and heat that exceeds the recommended levels. Acetone will remove the product while it is still wet, but not after the clear coat has cured. The hobbyist can have the company do the work for them or purchase the quart container of the two clear coats and apply it to any surface that needs to be protected.

The advantages of this clear coat have not been lost on the hot rodders that have tried this product, including Dick Messer at the Petersen Museum, who is interested in coating many of the cars and polished brass railings at that Museum. Not only will the cost of maintenance decrease, but the non-stick advantage will allow for easier dust removal. Museums spend a great amount of time and money in polishing brass and removing dust from displays, and nothing will stick to the clear coat. The product has been used in the beds of huge dump trucks in Canada to keep sap, resins, and gunk from tar sands from sticking while unloading. The advantage in fuel savings has been worth the cost of applying the product, as the trucks no longer carry the extra weight back and forth, but unload all of their cargo at the dumpsite. The clear coat has been used on the hulls of ships to keep barnacles and oils from sticking. Any sailor will tell you how much it costs to constantly remove barnacle growth and how the barnacles slow the ship and raise the fuel consumption. The lab testing has been done and FAA field-testing is in progress to receive approval to use the clear coat on the wings of aircraft to keep ice from forming. So far, ice simply drops off the wings before it can build up.

Kelly described the process for applying the clear coat. First the part is chemically cleaned, sandblasted, buffed or polished. Then the part is sprayed or painted with the product and airdried. Kelly prefers electrostatic spraying, as it gives a better-looking finish and uses less of the clear coat. This product is dry to the touch within half an hour, and slowly cures to its finished surface within 3 to 4 days. It needs only the natural atmosphere, at room temperature to dissipate the solvents within the product. It is so easy that Kelly, Keith, Roger and I began to discuss just how many things we could clear coat. Aluminum window frames and awning covers, to keep out the corrosion of beach air. The undersides of Bonneville landspeed racing cars, to keep the salt from Lake Bonneville from eating away the uncoated metal in the frame. Boats and airplanes can be coated to keep corrosion away from sensitive parts. Signs and walls can be coated to make graffiti easier to get rid of. Aquarium glass surfaces can be coated to make it easier to remove fingerprints. They have a product that just invites the hobbyist, who values his prize possessions, to think of new and interesting applications of this clear coating product, and which can be done at home, or brought to the plant.

Specialized Coatings has invested in the research and development of these clear coatings and assists in constant ongoing testing. Specialized Coatings is working to develop a warrantee for the product that will assure the consumer that what they buy from them will be a product that will satisfy the public. Kelly will look at the application and advise you as to the guarantee. So far they have tested the product for years without failure. In October, Keith, Kelly and the staff at Specialized Coatings will hold a Grand Opening BBQ/show at their facility in Huntington Beach to thank their valued customers. Information about this event can soon be accessed at their new website: or by calling them at 714-901-2628.

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