Monday, July 29, 2013

The Future of Transportation - Bedliners

USA today is reporting that some truck owners are taking the spray-on bedliner to its last logical limit and having the whole vehicle done in the stuff. It's not cheap, but the thinking goes that the rough, tough surface should last the life of the vehicle with no maintenance at all.

The flat finish is very tactical, no?

A couple of flags come to mind here. Flag one is aerodynamics. The rough finish of the bedliner may well act like the dimples on a golf ball at the modest speeds most vehicles travel at. It might be interesting to compare a bedliner finish to the standard paint and wax in a wind tunnel.

Flag 2 is radar. Stealthy aircraft have been coated with stuff that partially reflects incoming radar causing the reflected energy to at least partially cancel itself out.  The test for this would be to drive 2 otherwise identical vehicles towards a radar gun and mark the spot at which the gun registers the vehicle. If this trick works, the driver of a coated vehicle would get a few extra feet to react to the sight of a radar trap. The reason it might not work is that the biggest reflector on a pickup is the radiator which sits like a billboard at the front of the vehicle and does not benefit from the coating.

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