Tesla NanoCoatings


Engineered to Protect Steel.

Designed to Save Time.

Manufactured by Tesla NanoCoatings Inc., Teslan Carbon NanoCoating is a two-coat system featuring low VOC epoxy primer and topcoat with significant advantages not only in corrosion protection, but also in application time and effort. Teslan can be applied to replace conventional three-coat systems traditionally used to protect steel surfaces in any environment in all corners of the globe.
Teslan’s difference is that it is formulated with carbon nanotubes that assemble into ropelike structures that make them tough and flexible. “Tough” translates into durability advantages over foes like weather, UV light, abrasion and other wear and tear. “Flexible” means Teslan-coated surfaces can be formed after coating and still remain intact because the carbon nanotubes can be stretched without breaking.

Tesla NanoCoatings has conducted exhaustive testing which revealed the following benefits:

  • Cathodic Protection — The addition of conductive carbon nanotubes (CNT) allows for the more efficient use of the metal content in a galvanic primer. This leads to improved cathodic protection as electrons from the zinc are donated along the CNT quantum network that has 1000 times the conductivity of copper.
  • Barrier — Teslan applies like paint but acts like plating. As the strongest material known to man, CNT’s mechanical properties can be engineered into epoxy and impart those properties into the film.  These benefits include tremendous tensile strength, up to 200 times of steel providing outstanding barrier properties, the ability to eliminate microcracking and prevent film breakdown from weathering.
  • Adhesion — With an affinity for steel and the strength provided by the CNT reinforced film, Tesla’s demonstrate far superior adhesion to any other coating. Pull test results routinely exceed 5,500 lbs./sq.in.
  • Elimination of the Stripe Coat — A study was conducted to evaluate the effect CNT’s have in edge retention properties. The incorporation of CNT’s into epoxy composite coatings can significantly improve edge retention. Tesla Coatings superior edge retention means that stripe coatings is not required on any project.  Since the coatings do not drip or sag, the complete job can be done by spraying only.
  • 2×1 Wet Edge™ — Tesla NanoCoatings’ wet-on-wet process enables applicators to apply the topcoat 30 to 45 minutes after the primer has been applied. Wet-on-wet process delivers major time and cost savings along with technologically advanced corrosion protection advantages because the primer and topcoat monolithically bond.
    Teslan’s difference is that it is formulated with carbon nanotubes that assemble into ropelike structures that make them tough and flexible. “Tough” translates into durability advantages over foes like weather, UV light, abrasion and other wear and tear. “Flexible” means Teslan-coated surfaces can be formed after coating and still remain intact because the carbon nanotubes can be stretched without breaking.


Tesla NanoCoatings guides global rust-busting dream to reality.

Tesla NanoCoatings Inc. was founded as the brainchild of an entrepreneur trained in petroleum engineering and geology who dreamed of winning the ages-old war against metal corrosion. A never say never man, today Tesla NanoCoatings Founder, President and CEO Todd Hawkins is driving the effort to bring Teslan to the rescue for all who fight the costly battles against steel corrosion in the oil and gas, military, transportation, bridges and highways, construction and other critical applications.

The discovery of carbon nanotubes in 1985 helped inspire Hawkins’ interest in their potential for corrosion protection. He and Tesla NanoCoatings Chief Scientist Jorma Virtanen worked tirelessly to develop the formulation that today serves as the world’s best corrosion-resistant coatings system. Featuring carbon nanotubes and their unique mechanical, thermal and electrical properties, Teslan forms a protective barrier that is stronger than conventional rust-resistant paints, exhibits self-healing characteristics to withstand abrasions, and applies as easily as conventional coatings.

The Tesla NanoCoatings team brings real-world field-tested experience and university-based research and development talent. World headquarters are in Massillon, Ohio and the company has access to brilliant scientific minds from nearby University of Akron and other institutions where breakthroughs continue to be made in corrosion and technology.

In addition to the extensive R&D capabilities, Hawkins and his team have developed manufacturing capacity that ensures Teslan is ready and able to meet the global customer base’s demand for corrosion protection.

Tesla NanoCoatings has earned numerous technical and professional awards along with customer testimonials covering a wide range of applications. Teslan’s corrosion-fighting technology has been recognized by the U.S. Army as a “Technical Solution.” R&D Magazine editors praised Teslan as one of the most technically significant products in 2011” as they presented Tesla NanoCoatings with the R&D 100 Award. And in 2012, Tesla NanoCoatings was named winner of the 2012 NorTech Innovation Award. 

CNBC recognized Tesla NanoCoatings as #15 in its Upstart 25 in 2017.  The CNBC Upstart 25 entrepreneurial success stories are companies that are scaling quickly, growing their user bases and sales. No exclusively Silicon Valley club, the CNBC Upstart 25 list includes companies from five countries and eight U.S. states. Ten have female founders.

In 2018, The Silicon Review magazine has named it among the 50 Smartest Companies of the Year 2018.

The Silicon Review 50 Smartest Companies of the Year 2018 program identifies companies that mastered the discipline of smartness and stood high among the crowd.  The publication has selected Tesla NanoCoatings based on its innovation, revenue growth and domain influence.”

Leadership Team

Todd Hawkins


As a petroleum engineer and geologist, Todd Hawkins was determined to find a solution. With an innovative vision and entrepreneurial spirit, he founded Tesla NanoCoatings. Along with the best scientific minds in nanotechnology, Hawkins has perfected the Teslan® Carbon NanoCoating formula. Under his leadership, the company has commercialized its technology and has cultivated a strong partnership with the University of Akron. Prior to founding Tesla NanoCoatings, Hawkins served as president and owner of GeoTech Chemical Co. in Tallmadge, Ohio. Previously, he was chief development officer at Midwest Industrial Supply and held senior-level positions at Lockheed Martin Tactical Defense Systems. Hawkins earned an M.B.A. from the Krannert Graduate School of Management at Purdue University and a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering and Geology from Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio. A resident of Massillon, Ohio he is an active member of the Society of American Military Engineers, NACE International and SSPC.

Velecia Valentine


As Chief Operating Officer, Velecia Valentine, CSCP, is the driving force behind Tesla NanoCoating’s domestic and global growth. As a Certified Supply Chain Professional, she brings a deep knowledge of supply chain and production planning along with more than 25 years of experience. Previously, Valentine worked for Newell Rubbermaid-Home Solutions Segment, where she led the Global Supply Chain and Sales and Operations Planning for Rubbermaid, Goody, and Levelor and Calphalon brands.

Malcolm Kerr


As Vice President of Global Sales, Malcolm Kerr brings a strong customer focus to Tesla NanoCoatings.  Kerr's approach is to make sure the company understands its customers and help those customers reach their objectives.  This truly collaborative approach ensures Tesla NanoCoatings brings real value to its customers in all phases of project planning and execution. Prior to joining Tesla NanoCoatings, Kerr's previous roles included running the sales groups of a domestic coatings manufacturer as well as running the North American business for a Global coatings supplier.  He has over 20 years of industry experience, understanding and bringing value to customers.

Mark Butterworth


Extensive experience in financial management of high growth companies including: raising equity and debt funding; implementing budgeting, reporting and financial analysis processes; designing and installing accounting systems; and providing board and senior level management with timely and relevant information. Solid financial transaction background that includes conducting $2.5 billion IPO led by Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch, $1 billion of M&A deals and $100 million of venture capital investment.

Joe Davis


Recognized throughout the industry as an authority on corrosion prevention and protection, Joe Davis maintains certifications as a NACE Level III certified inspector as well as SSPC C1 and C2, and a Protective Coatings Specialist. He serves as chairman of the AWWA D102 Coating of Steel Water Tank Committee and as chairman of the NACE International Institute’s NIICAP Oversight Board. He most recently served as vice president of the technical service group for TNEMEC Company Inc., in Kansas City, Mo., where he helped establish the company’s strategic vision, and coordinated the efforts of the technical service department, analytical lab, and panel sample lab, with the marketing and research and development groups.

Ted Hammer


Ted Hammer recently received his Ph.D. in Polymer Science from The University of Akron. As a graduate student, Hammer investigated structure-property relationships for UV-curable polyester powder coatings and developed novel UV-curable polyester resins. During that time, he also had the opportunity to work with one of the leading carbon nanotechnology scientists, Dr. Jorma Virtanen. His work with Dr. Virtanen has resulted in a patent for “self-stratifying coatings,” which was awarded to Tesla NanoCoatings in 2021. Hammer has also published articles in peer reviewed journals such as Microbial Biotechnology, the Journal of Coatings Technology and Research, and the Journal of Applied Polymer Science. As an intern at Tesla NanoCoatings over the last three years, Hammer has been involved with various new product development projects, laboratory testing, and technical service work.

Jorma Virtanen


Jorma Virtanen, Tesla’s chief nanoscientist, is one of the leading scientific minds in the fields of carbon nanotechnology and biophysics. A world-renowned researcher and chemist, Dr. Virtanen played an integral part in the development of the patented corrosion-resistant Teslan coating formula. He holds a B.S. in Chemistry, an M.S. in Chemistry and Mathematics and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Helsinki.

James McDonald


James McDonald, a Senior Certified Coatings Inspector, has been in the protective coatings industry for over 20 years with a primary focus on oil and gas asset protection. In 2013 he was awarded The NACE Innovation of the Year Award for CoatingsCalculator.com. James has authored and co-authored a number of white papers on tank linings, zinc-rich and protective coatings for well casings. Having worked for contractors, asset owners and coating manufacturers, James brings a three-dimensional perspective to his current role.

Joseph Barone


Joseph Barone knows that even the best product requires keen marketing to drive sales. As a seasoned marketing consultant, Barone has worked for several high-profile advertising agencies, including starting his own firm. Throughout his advertising career, he has spearheaded marketing campaigns for numerous blue chip companies, such as Sunoco Logistics, FMC Corporation, PECO Energy, Deloitte & Touché, and Yale Materials Handling Corporation. Previously, Barone served as an adjunct professor at New York University and the M.B.A. programs at Drexel University and St. Joseph’s University. As president of ShaleDirectories.com, the leading online directory servicing the oil and gas industry in the Marcellus and Utica Shale regions, he recognizes the need for anti-corrosion technology within the oil and gas industry.

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