Pavement and Floor Striping Materials and Application Methods

How do you know which is the best choice of Pavement and floor Striping materials?

Several variables involved in the job will determine the best choice of pavement marking material you should choose. Today, advanced technologies have made many great options available, from parking lot and highway line paints to thermoplastic pavement markings.

Solvent-based Paints

Many solvent-based paints are banned because of environmental concerns.

The main advantage of this type of paint is that it won’t freeze and can be used in colder weather, unlike water-based paints, which break down in colder temperatures. Oil-based paints are widely used due to their versatility and low cost. However, due to environmental concerns, many people are choosing water-based paints, which offer a greener option with easier clean-up and disposal.

Acetone-Based Paint

Acetone paint is a good product for parking lots and parking garages, as long as it is accepted by the customer and can be used within the jurisdiction where the work is being done. Acetone paint also allows painting to be performed at lower temperatures than water-based traffic paints.

This is an ideal product for striping in the early spring and late fall, as well as temporary striping during winter months. A drawback of this paint is that it can only be cleaned up with acetone solvent, which is a hazardous waste. It must be disposed of properly.

Epoxy Paints

Epoxy paints are two-part component paints used to create a superior product compared to traditional paint, and they work well in high-traffic areas due to their durability. Epoxy paint is longer-lasting than standard traffic marking paint. It offers impact and abrasion resistance. This makes it ideal to use on concrete, although concrete surfaces must be prepped prior to applying epoxy. The epoxy bonds tightly to these surfaces due to a chemical reaction that occurs when the two components are mixed.

There are multiple epoxy products. Highway epoxy paints require specific and specialized equipment for application. This is due to the way that the catalyst and the resin are combined at specific ratios to form the final epoxy coating.

Interior epoxy paints can be utilized for warehouses, industrial and commercial buildings. These products are also two-component products, which can be mixed in pails and applied with walk-behind painting equipment — though the equipment must be large enough to pump the heavy material. Many of these products are only for interior use. The interior products also require an extended cure time of 24 to 72 hours or more.

Because of their effectiveness, epoxy paints are more expensive than traditional paints. Epoxy is typically less sensitive to application factors than thermoplastic options. It also offers the highest level of wet night reflectivity. Epoxy is highly durable and can eliminate the need to restripe roadways on a yearly basis.

Water Based Paint

Because of their water base, these paints are less damaging to the ecosystem than solvent-based paints. They are the most affordable type of paint on the market and are also the greenest option. They dry quickly in warm weather conditions, but dry times can be affected by humidity. They also offer easy clean-up, too.

These are typically the most commonly used paints for line stripers.

While the advantages include easy use, easy clean-up and few fumes, the main disadvantage of water-based paints is that they tend to not perform well in cooler temperatures. Water-based traffic paint also is one of the least durable pavement marking products in weather conditions 50°F and below .

Pavement Marking Tapes

Pavement marking tapes are used for temporary and permanent pavement markings. On certain roadways, temporary striping is performed using removable tapes. These temporary tapes can be applied for construction projects and then removed when the project is completed. There are also temporary cover-up tapes, that can be used to cover existing lines during construction.

Permanent tapes are also used on roadways and intersections.

Thermoplastic Paint

As the name implies, this substance contains plastic, and it is another type of pavement marking material normally found on highways.

All thermoplastics are applied utilizing heat. They are applied using a specialized torch that heats both the thermoplastic and the asphalt and causes the thermoplastic material to bond with the asphalt. Extruded, ribbon and spray thermoplastic are applied with specialized trucks or equipment. This equipment melts the thermoplastic to approximately 400 degrees, and the material is applied in a liquid form. As the material cools, it maintains its shape or line size. Glass beads are added for reflectivity.

Once dry, it’s more durable than many other types of pavement markings and can withstand much more abuse and abrasion than other types of striping. This means it lasts longer than other products.

Factors to consider for application methods:

What is the durability of the road-marking material?

Consider the location where you will be applying the pavement markings. Does the pavement marking need to be extremely durable?

What are the weather conditions in your area? Do you experience a lot of rain? What are the typical conditions during the winter? Will the roads be covered in snow or ice? Areas with mild climates and little precipitation require fewer durable types of pavement markings. You may be able to use traditional paint, even in highly traveled areas.

Is reflectivity a concern? In low-light or adverse weather conditions, reflectivity is essential for road markings that affect safety. Reflective pavement markings reflect the light from car headlights to alert drivers and make the pavement markings visible for drivers. Traffic paint and signage must also adhere to legal standards for reflectivity. Municipalities and state agencies are required to develop and implement a management and assessment program that maintains reflectivity at or above the established minimum levels.

What is your budget for pavement markings? As with any product, pricing varies greatly among types of pavement markings. The materials and application method used affect the overall cost. Consider your project budget as you select pavement markings to use.

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