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Ron Gorton's new business is all about creating bonds.
In the pursuit of developing his "Fusion Plus" product, Gorton has formed a relationship with the business developers at the Crossroads Institute in Galax.
The other indispensable bond takes place at a molecular level, because Fusion Plus is meant to be a durable, year-round and affordable fix for cracked pavement.
Fusion Plus has all kinds of potential applications, but Gorton wants to work with localities and departments of transportation to develop a way to keep the roads in good shape.
"This country, our infrastructure is just falling apart," he said.
Once a road gets a crack, water gets down in there and further erodes the surface and the road bed.
If crews could quickly patch the crack, Gorton figures localities and highway departments could prevent the road from deteriorating even further.
His product, for which he's applied to get a patent, could save on maintenance costs that way.
Gorton — also a spray-on insulation contractor — has been testing his substance for about a year on parking lots and pools, and he'll soon have in hand a report from an independent lab about Fusion Plus' strength and durability.
Fly ash from coal burning power plants and ground up rubber makes up the compound.
He and David Goodrich demonstrated what it takes fill cracks recently in the Crossroads Institute parking lot. Gorton stressed that it involves adding the catalyst.
Basically, it's mix and pour for right now. (He is working on trading a cup for a caulking gun.)
People can drive over the crack within 10 minutes, Gorton said. It will cure in an hour.
It will also work in summer and winter because of the process involved, and it will remain in place, he said.
"It's gone through all four seasons, and it's the same as when I applied it," Gorton said about some of his test patches.
Some potholes may need repair as often as twice a year, especially if they are filled with the cold mix in winter.
It may be years until that road gets repaved. Gorton said with labor and materials that will add up.
"We have a product where you do it once," he said. "We have a product that's a permanent fix until they're able to pave that road."
He's able to tint the product and make it match the color of pools and other surfaces.
It only takes hours to seal up a leaking pool, where a pool company could take days, Gorton said.
A resident of Groundhog Mountain, working out of the old Spencer's plant near his home, Gorton wants to manufacture his product in Carroll County and create jobs.
After that, he sees the possibilities of supplying the product to application companies and training for its use at Crossroads.
Eventually, he'd like to get the product on the shelves of Lowe's and Home Depot.
Other uses might include using it as a coating, he said. It could be used to paint bridges and stop the metal from rusting.
Business developer Dallas Garrett also sees the possibility of Fusion Plus becoming a success.
He's worked with many start-up companies, many of which end up producing one to four jobs with some getting to 10 to 17 jobs.
"I see this one as one that could grow, and grow pretty significantly," Garrett said. "It's just one of those that has potential — that's one reason why I've been interested."
With the hard-hitting recession, people have to be innovative to come up with a successful product, Gorton said. He is currently seeking funding possibilities for Gorton.
He hopes Fusion Plus will catch on, and that it will benefit the community at the same time.
"We want to manufacture our product here," Gorton said. "This is a global product."
Keeping up with demand would result in jobs for Twin County residents, he expects.
"Hiring people is our goal, to work with us and help us build the company, but everything takes money," he said.
Gorton feels attached to the community after moving here from Florida.
"We love it here," he said. "We have two children in the schools here, the school system's great. We've met a lot of nice people here."
With his goal of franchising the product, people could easily go into the application business themselves, he said.
All a person needs to spread is a bucket, a drill mixer, a cup that measures grams and gloves. "And literally they can be in business."
• For more information about Fusion Plus, e-mail Gorton at firstname.lastname@example.org.