Thermoplastic road marking is a popular option for most individuals and companies. This is due to its versatility, durability, quick installation time and easy repairs. However, in order to get all these benefits from thermoplastic road line marking, there are certain things that must be taken into consideration.

Secrets for successful thermoplastic road line marking

There are three main things you need to look out for:

1.The road surface

There are two essential conditions for the road surface:

  • Clean – Any worn line markings that are not made of thermoplastic must be removed to ensure proper bonding between the thermoplastic marking and the road. In addition, any grease, oil, mud, dust, grass and loose gravel must be cleared off the road surface to ensure proper bonding.
  • Dry – Even the slightest moisture can affect proper bonding by causing blistering in the marking. To ensure that the surface is truly dry, you can either place a thin sheet of plastic or tar paper on the road surface. After 15 minutes or 2 minutes respectively, check the underside for moisture. If it is still wet, do not apply the thermoplastic.

2. Temperature considerations

Application of thermoplastic marking should only take place at road surface temperatures of 10°C and above. This can be verified using a surface thermometer or a non-contact infrared thermometer. In addition, the air temperature should not drop below 10°C, inclusive of the wind chill factor.

These temperatures must be monitored regularly, and should they drop, work must stop since low temperatures adversely affect the bonding strength of the thermoplastic application.

Thermoplastic application temperature is another critical temperature consideration. The proper application temperature ranges between 204.4°C and 226.7°C measured at the point of contact with the road surface. For a road surface temperature of 10°C, the application temperature recommended is 226.7°C, which can be lower for a road surface temperature of 25°C.

3. Materials and equipment

All the materials used in the road line marking, i.e., the thermoplastic, glass beads, primer and sealer, must be certified. You should have them taken to the relevant government testing laboratory to verify that they meet the required specification for your job. It is also important for the project engineer to retain field samples of the materials for future quality verification.

The application equipment, i.e., the melting kettle, mixing and agitation equipment, priming equipment and glass bead dispenser, must all be in excellent working condition. Inspections and checks should be performed by the project engineer run to ensure optimum operational capabilities.