Rushford firm specializes in nanoparticle coatings

By Jeff Kiger

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

RUSHFORD — Dan Fox has taken ideas and turned them into money-making realities for companies like TRW Automotive and Benchmark Electronics.

"I see something that’s good, and I make it happen," he says. I’ve done it for other companies. Now, this is my shot."

"His shot" is Rushford Hypersonic, a contract manufacturing company that he hopes will spray nanoparticle film coatings on metal parts such as drill bits, automotive parts, metal hip-replacement joints and possibly military applications.


Fox, the majority owner and founder of Hypersonic, has established the company in the Rushford industrial park in 5,400-square-feet of space in the Connaughty Industries building. He showed off the facility last week during a public open house.

While he has three employees on staff, his first Hypersonic Plasma Particle Deposition machine is being developed a piece at a time by the University of Minnesota. Hypersonic has licensed two University of Minnesota patents for the project.

Each machine will be designed for a specific contract project, depending on the heat and size of nanoparticles needed for the coating. The spray will move at a speed of Mach 8, which would send one particle the length of 24 football fields in one second.

Fox says there is a lot of interest in the project.

"I am working with some major companies right now. Once we prove what we can do we, will have contracts," he says. "They all agree the theory is correct."

Fox describes Hypersonic as a "value-added company" that improves products for companies by making them harder, more durable and more heat-resistant. He foresees having 40 to 70 employees within four or five years.

That sounds good to a community recently ravaged by $44 million in flood damage. The city of Rushford is pushing for a $500,000 repayable loan from the state for Hypersonic. Some have criticized the loan, because the company was not in Rushford during the flood. The city is moving forward with it.

Fox sees his company as bringing economic growth and a new manufacturing model to the area.


Engineering and hands-on manufacturing floor duties will be "basically split 50/50."

"We are a new type of manufacturer," he said.

For more information, go to

University of Minnesota Center for Nanostructure Applications

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