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The History and Uses of Thermoplastic Road Paint

This entry was posted on Friday, February 11th, 2022.

The History and Uses of Thermoplastic Road Paint

Road lines are a part of everyday life on the road, helping to direct traffic safely. However, it wasn’t until the early 1900s that road paint even existed. In the United States, road lines have come a long way since the beginning, and one of the most notable products of our time is thermoplastic road paint. Below are the history and uses of thermoplastic road paint.

The History of Thermoplastic Road Paint

The first instances of documented centerlines on roads appeared in Wayne County, Michigan, in 1911, providing a distinction between lanes for two-way traffic. Both California and Michigan created laws to establish centerlines on all main roads in 1917. As automobiles grew in popularity, so traffic markings developed as well.

Various types of road paint came about over the decades, including water-based, solvent-based, two-component, and biorenewable paints. Another type of road paint is thermoplastic, a type of resin with a wood or petroleum base. This type was developed during World War II to combat solvent shortages. Today, it is one of the most popular road paint types in the country.

The Characteristics of Thermoplastic Road Paint

Thermoplastic road paint is technically not a paint, but a plastic powder or block that requires high heat to melt and apply to the asphalt. A professional can extrude or spray the melted thermoplastic through specialized equipment, and drying takes little time. The weather must be clear and the temperature a minimum of 50 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Its two varieties, alkyd and hydrocarbon, have a wood or petroleum base, respectively. Due to its wood base, alkyd thermoplastic paint is highly durable against petroleum and other vehicle fluids. It is an excellent and popular choice for inner-city and high traffic areas such as bus stops. Meanwhile, hydrocarbon thermoplastic is a fine choice for long, skip, and edge lines. Both can last upwards of five years.

What’s more, drivers can also enjoy long-lasting retroreflective road lines at night or in inclement weather with thermoplastic road striping. Just after application, one dispenses glass beads into the road paint that point light directly back to its source. Headlights make the road lines jump back into the driver’s view, keeping traffic lanes visible no matter the environmental conditions.

Is Thermoplastic Road Paint Right for Your Project?

Thermoplastic road paint is best for high-traffic areas that do not need pavement resurfacing for at least the next few years. If the asphalt is broken and needs repaving, it is best to repaint with a durable, long-lasting material once it is fixed. For more information, contact Teniseal/Parking Striping Corporation!

Contact Teniseal/Parking Striping Corporation for Asphalt Road and Parking Lot Services!

Teniseal Corporation specializes in the application, restoration, and maintenance of all types of asphalt surfaces. It makes sense to trust your asphalt job to experts with the experience and technical know-how to do your project right from the start to provide a long-lasting result. Teniseal offers services for Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Howard, Prince George’s, Harford, Carroll, and Montgomery counties in Maryland. For more information, email them at [email protected], or call them at 410-485-5660 or 410-485-0717. Keep in touch on social media through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn!