When looking at a road, highway, or parking lot, you have probably noticed the markings on the pavement. These painted markings come in a variety of shapes and sizes as well as a couple of colors, but the question that you have never asked is, “how are they made?”
The pavement marking paint is used to mark traffic lanes and outline parking lots. The pavement paint is usually manufactured from a few ingredients, pigments, water or solvent, and then some form of binder. The pigments in the pavement marking paint are materials that have been ground into the mix that will determine the final color of the paint. The binder is the glue that holds everything together; it is usually a polyvinyl acetate latex, methyl methacrylate, or acrylic resin. Taking the pigment and the binder, they are mixed with water to make a water based paint and mixed with a solvent to create a solvent based paint. It should be noted that some districts have levied down rulings against the use of solvent based marking paints because of the environmental concerns. The paint may be mixed with other additives to improve the usefulness of the marking paint. In some cases, the paint is mixed with reflective beads made of glass. These beads significantly enhance the visibility of the paint and increase the level of traffic safety.
Application of Pavement Marking Paint
The marking paint is almost always applied right after the pavement has been laid. The device used to apply the pavement marking paint is known widely as a Striper. The Striper comes in the form of a truck which can hold over 100 gallons of marking paint stored in a large storage drum. By utilizing a Striper, the marking paint can be applied either manually or automatically depending on the needs and the skill of the user.
The Striper, however, is only useful and built for creating even strips along long stretches of highway, or on large parking lots. Regarding applying other forms of pavement marking paint, such as HOV lane markers and turn lane arrows, you will have to apply these manually with a particular stencil that will allow you to implement the shape to the pavement.
Problems with Pavement Marking Paint
Unfortunately, for all of the good that pavement marking paint does, it also can do harm as well. The marking paint has been shown to contribute to the deterioration of asphalt pavement. The paint can cause the pavement to crack and create potholes. One theory as to what causes this deterioration is that the marking paint traps water vapor in the asphalt where is slowly causes the wear and tear on the pavement.
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