Not all lines on the road are created equal. They are made with various goals, a variety of colors, and even different materials. Here are some of the most common materials used for line striping.
The most common and least expensive line striping material is good old fashioned paint.
There are two basic types of paint: latex (waterborne) and oil-based.
Waterborne is most common now but it used be oil-based until very recently. The EPA has regulations about “volatile organic compound” solvents which caused oil-based paint to become less popular in recent years. Oil-based paints are still ideal for cold temperate striping despite their declining popularity.
Paints are most common for parking lots, garages, and local roadways. Their typical lifetime is between 1-4 years depending on traffic volumes. Heavily used parking lots require re-striping once per year while others can go much longer.
Paint in roadways and intersections is made reflective by adding reflective glass beads onto the wet paint.
Another common option for line striping is thermoplastic. Thermoplastic is more expensive than paint but offers much longer service life. It is unique because it reflects light. It’s rare to see thermoplastic used to paint a whole parking lot, but it’s cost effective for use in the traffic lanes of parking lots that see a lot of traffic. It’s most commonly used in county and state roadways and highways.
The reason that thermoplastic paint reflects light is because it contains additives and packing materials. It also has glass beads in it. Those beads improve the “grip” of the paint and prevent your car from skidding on the paint during rainy and snowy weather.
Heating equipment is required to use thermoplastic striping paint. There are two ways to apply it: on-site melting and preformed. Preformed requires torch or infrared heat to apply.
One thing we really like about thermoplastic is that it has a very quick dry-time of about 60 seconds at which point it can be driven over.
Striping tape is rolled into the asphalt surface while it is being paved and before it cools completely.
When installed correctly, it lasts a very long time but has a high initial cost. It also offers great reflectivity characteristics.
Epoxy or Resin
Similar to thermoplastic paint, epoxy paint typically requires heat to apply but much less than thermoplastic.
It has great durability relative to paint and is commonly used on highways.
Want to know more about which striping material is best-suited for you? Give us a call at 215-801-6273 to schedule a consultation today!