Aero Thermic Shields was established on May 1, 1975 by Steve Braun and a former partner. At their factory in Buena Park, California (the very same building we produce in today), they specialized in creating de-icing systems and composite structures for aircrafts. The two of them were well-respected in the aerospace industry as subcontractors for Boeing, Sierracin, Lockheed Martin, McDonnell Douglas, and Northrop Grumman. They were highly regarded for their meticulous attention to detail and custom fabrications - back in a time where aerospace was THE industry in Southern California. Eventually, though, that time came to an end when the economy forced most of these companies out of California around 1996.
Aero Thermic Shields stayed in Buena Park and explored other avenues where there was evident need. California was in the midst of a heavy drought at the time, so they explored the market of environmental products only to find that the need did not match the demand. Eventually the societal spotlight on the problem diminished.
In 1998, a new problem emerged in Southern California that began to gain media attention and public scrutiny. As a result of growing gang activity, the streetlights throughout Los Angeles were being shot out and vandalized. Police officers were concerned for the safety of residents; the public-owned electric utility was faced with spending thousands of dollars to repair and replace their necessary assets; the liability risks to the city of Los Angeles were immense.
Some members of the Los Angeles Police Department approached the directors at one of the leading aerospace engineers, Sierracin, asking for help to find a solution. They had heard of this new "space-age" plastic material that was tough enough to stop a bullet and wanted to know if Sierracin could design something to protect their light fixtures from vandalism. Knowing the limitations involved with time, resources, and the city's budget, Sierracin quickly referred the officers to Steve Braun at Aero Thermic Shields.
As a small company with excellent technological capabilities and expertise, Aero Thermic Shields was able to customize a polycarbonate accessory shield that was able to withstand the impacts of 9mm bullets without causing a dangerous ricochet that might harm bystanders. It was a remarkable design that was both easy to install and non-corrosive in various climate conditions.
The City of Los Angeles noticed an immediate resolution of their vandalism problems and began ordering Vandal Shields® in bulk quantities. Soon, other cities and utilities throughout the country started inquiring with similar issues. Steve eventually patented the "Torsion Flex" design of the shields and the use of polycarbonate as a protection device for lighting fixtures. For the next 10 years, he built the company back up in the lighting industry on word-of-mouth alone. Again, he was regarded for his dedication to innovation and quality. Even the leading lighting fixture manufacturers like GE, American Electric, and Cooper Lighting contracted him to manufacture Vandal Shields® under their various brand names.
By 2008, with a full staff, Vandal Shields® formed in an effort to properly market the product line to new markets and build brand recognition and equity among our many loyal customers. We hope to demonstrate that we ARE our product line - dependable, remarkable, and long-lasting - just like our company and the history we have made!