About Thermoplastic Markings
Road and parking lot markings help keep traffic flowing safely, but over time the lines fade and wear down making it difficult for drivers to see them. Thermoplastic markings are thicker and more durable than regular paint and can last for years requiring less maintenance.
Unlike paint which is typically sprayed on, Thermoplastic Markings material is a powder that liquefies when heated to approximately 400 degrees. It contains pigments, binders and glass beads which enhance the antiskid characteristics. When heated, it forms lines and symbols that are more visible at night and in bad weather.
Road Safety Redefined: Exploring Thermoplastic Markings
Manufacturers say that one of the biggest benefits of thermoplastic is durability. It is applied much thicker than paint (between 30 and 120 mils) which helps it resist chipping, peeling and cracking. Thermoplastic is also designed to withstand the effects of heavy traffic and harsh weather.
Adding preformed thermoplastic to an application is as simple as sweeping the surface and heating with a basic roofing or weed burning type torch. The contractor simply lays down the preformed marking and applies heat over it to melt it into the roadway surface, McSwain says. It is a faster application method than bagged or block thermoplastic and can be used in colder environments since the contractor only has to apply the pre-cut marking, not the material it is made from.
In addition to being more durable, preformed thermoplastic is economical, as it can be purchased in larger volumes and costs a fraction of traffic paint. Plus, the installation process can be completed without removing or interrupting traffic.