Thermoplastic Markings are a type of pavement marking that liquefies when heated. This material is used to clearly mark symbols, lines, legends and road boundaries on roads, highways and parking lots. It is a cost effective alternative to traditional paint markings that are prone to fading, chipping and cracking over time.
Preformed thermoplastic allows pavement contractors to apply lines, symbols and letters without needing expensive melters onsite. Instead the granulated block or bagged thermoplastic is already preformed into the marking it is being applied as. The contractor only needs to heat the application surface and use a hand torch to apply the line, symbol or letter.
The Science and Art of Thermoplastic Road Markings
These preformed thermoplastics come in a variety of glass bead packages and colors. They can also be supplied in profile configurations that provide enhanced wet night visibility and audible safety measures. Thermoplastic Primer is available for use on asphalt or concrete surfaces to ensure superior adhesion of the thermoplastic to the underlying surface.
Whether using preformed thermoplastic or a granular block of pavement marking, the surface must be clean and dry before applying the material. Moisture on the surface will prevent a strong bond with the thermoplastic, as will cold temperatures. If the temperature is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the material will not be melted and will revert to its solid form upon cooling.
Before getting into thermoplastic applications, contractors should do their homework to learn how to work the equipment and be aware of the acceptable application methods in their area. They should also understand the type of pavement they will be working on, as well as its condition and how it will affect the longevity of a marking. For example, snow plows may scrape the pavement marking off of the surface, decreasing its longevity.