High Tech Street Paint Actually Plastic!
Long lasting, highly reflective crosswalks in Hoboken!
Most people were annoyed by the month-long street resurfacing that Hudson County provided to the City of Hoboken – the traffic, congestion, parking, tickets and towing contributing to the headaches. Now that the problems have dissipated, you might want to know a bit about the technology that goes into some of these things we take for granted…
Street paint isn’t paint, but rather “Thermoplastic”
The workers at English Paving said the material they used to paint the crosswalks is a compound called “Thermoplastic” – and actually dries in just one minute!
“One of the most common types of road marking based on its balance between cost and performance longevity, thermoplastic binder systems are generally based on one of three core chemistries: hydrocarbons, rosin esters or maleic modified rosin esters (MMRE). Thermoplastic coatings are generally homogeneous dry mixes of binder resins, plasticizers, glass beads (or other optics), pigments and fillers. Their usage has increased over paints mainly due to the performance benefits of increased durability, retro-reflectivity and a lack of VOC solvents.
The thermoplastic mix is heated to about 200°C before being fed to the application apparatus. This is often a screed box or ribbon gun. Immediately after the thermoplastic has been applied, glass beads are laid onto the hot material so that they embed before the plastic hardens. These beads provide initial retro-reflection. As the marking wears during use and the initial beads are lost, the beads mixed with the binder are uncovered, providing long term reflectivity.”
Despite the benefits of such markings – there is still one drawback: Slippery when wet! On more than one occasion I lost my footing temporarily as I slipped on the slick surface. Word to the wise: when raining or cold & snowy – try to avoid the lines!