features The Amaris Process

Amaris Premium Aviation has brought the ceramic coating process from the car world to aviation, but with an innovative twist. Its nano ceramic coating technology creates “super surfaces” to improve overall aircraft longevity, performance, safety, and appearance.
Avatar for Dayna Fedy By Dayna Fedy | May 28, 2021

Estimated reading time 12 minutes, 34 seconds.

Those who own and operate aircraft know that along with regular scheduled maintenance, it’s important to maintain the exterior of the aircraft. What they may not know, however, is they can refresh the look of their aircraft while also helping it to perform better, defy the elements, and make operations safer, too. 

One of Amaris’s more high-profile customers was the Canadian Coast Guard. Amaris provided its custom finish on the Coast Guard’s fleet of Bell 429s. Amaris Photo

Family-owned business Amaris Premium Aviation specializes in maximizing aircraft functional surfaces with nano ceramic technology to improve longevity, performance, safety, and appearance — and has been doing so for the past three years. Located roughly one hour southwest of Toronto, Ontario, at Chartright Air Group’s Region of Waterloo International Airport facility, Amaris is a small business with ample hangar space — 55,000 square feet (5,110 square meters), in fact. 

The start-up company, led by co-founders Edrick and Joshua Dunand, has developed a unique nano ceramic coating technology for the aviation industry — known as Functional-Ceramic-Nanotechnology — that provides a lengthy list of operational benefits beyond aesthetics. 

Traditionally, ceramic coating has been used for car detailing purposes. “We quickly validated, with resounding success, the use of such coatings in aviation — as a derivative of my son’s work with luxury car dealerships,” said Edrick Dunand, Amaris CEO. “We came to realize that we had to develop far more advanced solutions for aviation to provide what is now an aerospace disruptive technology.” 

Amaris’s Transparency Functional Ceramic creates a water-repellant surface that improves visibility and is easier to clean. Rob Reyno Photo

Dunand, who has worked extensively in the charter and business aviation industry, noted that, in the car world, the objective of detailing is “to make something pretty, to make it glossy.” But when it comes to the complexity of turbine aircraft operations, “detailing is only going to take you so far, and is never permanent,” he said. “So, we approached things from an engineering standpoint, to design an innovative ceramic process focused on the struggles that aircraft operators are dealing with. 

“Everything for us is focused on creating a return on investment, so we used an engineering approach to create new, permanent aircraft ‘super-surfaces’ at nano scale that do not interfere with the aircraft certification.” 

Engineering Over Aesthetics  

Amaris has crafted its aviation nano ceramic coating technology to impact four key areas: flight safety maximization; flight performance maximization; ease and speed of cleaning maintenance; and surface protection and longevity. 

The company’s nanotechnology is not your average polish or sealant. Amaris equips aircraft with a molecularly-bonded functional surface, which provides extensive benefits for painted surfaces, transparent/window surfaces, and metal components. The company offers multiple ceramic grades to meet particular operational profile requirements, as well as a variety of custom nano ceramic packages.

It should be noted that, prior to installing the nano surfaces, Amaris completes a multi-stage polishing process, which Dunand said is “essential for perfect bonding.” 

Among Amaris’s specialties are its jeweling and optical correction processes. These are applied to create a Transparency Functional Ceramic, and can provide numerous benefits from a safety perspective, including improved visibility for pilots. With the Transparency Functional Ceramic, “a pilot has a point of view that is ‘non-swirl’ and non-disrupted; they can fly toward the sun with perfect optical clarity, with a swirl- and scratch-free windshield,” said Dunand. “Blinding swirls can be a nightmare for helicopter pilots, for whom spatial orientation is everything.

“I think when you have a crisis, people go into contraction mode. And we did the exact opposite. We actually launched a new R&D program right in the midst of Covid.”

“When you have a sudden encounter with water or drizzle, that is blinding and can be disorientating, and could have a negative impact on flight safety.” 

Dunand said after receiving the Transparency Functional Ceramic, pilots have likened their view to a high-definition TV screen that breaks rain drops; this ultimately protects forward visibility, even in the worst downpours, whether at speed or during the taxi. 

This particular nanotechnology creates a water-repellent aircraft surface which makes the cleaning process much easier, too; in the long run, this helps to preserve the aircraft’s exterior. A jet, for example, becomes nearly “self-cleaning” while flying because “it’s so slick,” said Dunand. “This is a tremendous operational advantage.” 

He added, “From a cleaning and protection standpoint, our [nanotechnology] really reduces your cost of ownership.”

To protect aircraft from the elements, Amaris engineered a Functional Ceramic Sheltering treatment. “It’s harder than a clear coat,” explained Dunand. It provides aircraft with extreme heat protection (over 1,400 F/760 C); UV protection (above 90 percent); and a shield from contaminants such as turbine exhaust soot, acid rain, hydrocarbons, bugs, and deicing fluids and salts. The ceramic layering can even protect paintwork from physical impact. 

Dunand stressed that such protection is critical to preserve the aircraft and shelter it from exterior/paint degradation, as well as corrosion — the arch-enemy of aviation. 

Aside from its nanotechnology capabilities, Amaris can also rescue or restore aircraft with scratched windshield surfaces or fatigued paintwork caused by contaminants. While replacing a windshield or repainting an aircraft can resolve these problems, they are costly fixes. Amaris offers a Surface Refinement treatment that it says can remove over 90 percent of exterior damage. The aircraft is then returned with a high-gloss finish, as if it were freshly painted. 

Surface Refinement is available for all aircraft, but is especially key for helicopter tail booms that are easily “contaminated from exhaust heat and soot, and scratched from normal cleaning — creating a rapid downward spiral, even on a new machine,” said Dunand. 

Finally, from a functionality perspective, Amaris’s Functional Surface Development helps to maximize aircraft performance in a unique way. The company specializes in equipping aircraft with a functional ceramic layering that is designed to enhance laminar airflow — ultimately improving aerodynamics, fuel burn, and overall performance efficiency. 

Well Rounded

Although fully organized as a mobile operational unit, Amaris can host all types of aircraft at its Waterloo Airport facility, ranging from an Airbus H125 to a Bombardier Global 7000 or Boeing 737. The company’s airport location makes it straightforward for operators to fly their aircraft directly to its facility. 

Amaris’s nano ceramic coating was crafted to improve safety, flight performance, cleaning maintenance, and surface longevity. Rob Reyno Photo

Since its inception, Amaris has completed work on more than 60 aircraft, comprised of biz jets, helicopters, turboprops, and even some piston aircraft. The company strives for a quick average turnaround time of one week for its nanotechnology services, but this varies based on the condition of the aircraft, size, and the operator’s needs. 

Dunand said Amaris’s “launch pad” was with private/VIP customers, but as the company gains traction, it is starting to service more large-scale fleets. Recently, Amaris welcomed a new, high-profile customer with a large fleet of Bell 429s: the Canadian Coast Guard. Under a supplemental type certificate, Amaris runs the retrofitting of windshield transparencies on the Coast Guard’s 429s, with a combination of surface finishing and Functional Ceramic Layering services — which drastically improve pilot visibility and help to repel water from windshield surfaces.

“The Canadian Coast Guard, with their Bell 429s, fly all around Canada and in nighttime environments,” said Dunand. “When you hear these veteran pilots coming out of a storm, chased by a warm front in B.C., drenched coming out of their helicopter… and the first thing they say is, ‘Edrick, this is lifechanging. Situations like today are so dangerous, and because of [Amaris’s] transparency we could see right through the rain throughout.’ 

“They said their stress level goes down and focus goes up; they’re not as fatigued; their machines are in prime condition at all times; and they feel so much safer,” added Dunand. 

Before installing the nano surfaces, Amaris completes a multi-stage polishing process, which is “essential for perfect bonding.” Rob Reyno Photo

Another frequent customer of Amaris is EuroTec Canada, a subsidiary of EuroTec Vertical Flight Solutions of Kansas, a well-known helicopter and turbine engine sales and support company. 

In 2021, Dunand has aggressive expansion plans to introduce Amaris’s nanotechnology to more owners and operators in the U.S., because “it’s such a breakthrough in terms of aviation impact.” The company is currently in the process of planning its expansion throughout North America.  

The technology eliminates “micro-swirls” in the windshield. Dunard said pilots have likened their view to that of a high-definition TV screen. Rob Reyno Photo

Although the Covid-19 pandemic has brought unparalleled hardship to many in aviation, Amaris has remained focused on serving its customers safely, and also finding ways to remain innovative. As a result — and to Dunand’s delight — the company experienced strong business growth over the last year.

“I think when you have a crisis, people go into contraction mode,” said Dunand. “And we did the exact opposite. We actually launched a new R&D program right in the midst of Covid. We intend to keep using nanotechnology — the way we do now — but we have learned so much on where we are, how we do things, and what we want to do more of, that we are putting our dollars to work to develop a new generation of nanotechnology to go even further.

The functional ceramic layering is designed to enhance laminar airflow— improving aerodynamics, fuel burn, and overall performance efficiency. Rob Reyno Photo

“We are charging right through [the pandemic],” he continued, “because we know we provide value. . . . The more our services become known, the more people realize what they can solve and do with their aircraft. This is cutting-edge with a lot of uniqueness involved; it speaks for itself.” 

Notice a spelling mistake or typo?

Click on the button below to send an email to our team and we will get to it as soon as possible.

Report an error or typo

Have a story idea you would like to suggest?

Click on the button below to send an email to our team and we will get to it as soon as possible.

Suggest a story

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *