The Benefits of Thermoplastic Paint | Michigan Commercial Striping 2021
This is probably not a topic one often thinks about—but pavement markings are a pretty important part of our lives. They define spaces of safe passage for drivers and pedestrians. Worn-out, unreadable, pavement markings could be a safety hazard. It’s important that businesses and communities maintain these safety markers, but in the State of Michigan that proves difficult. Harsh winters bring about snowplows and salt which greatly reduce the lifespan of standard traffic paint. Standard traffic paint has a lifespan of 1-2 years at most, lower in high-traffic areas. But Thermoplastic paint is more durable under high traffic and can last anywhere from 2-8 years – even longer if it’s inlaid by putting the material down into a precut groove. There are 4 types of Thermoplastics, and each type has its own benefits and lifespan.
4 Types of Thermoplastics
Thermoplastic Extrude has a typical life span of 4-8 years and is applicable for all types of pavement markings. It has a very quick dry time and high reflectivity. Over time, as the product wears out, the glass beads will be exposed to more light, extending the longevity of reflectivity.
Performed Thermoplastic is estimated to last 6-8 times longer than standard traffic paint and can be applied in temperatures as low as thirty-two degrees. Its typically used for transverse pavement markings like symbols, crosswalks, and stop bars, adding an extra layer of safety due to its slip resistance and high reflectivity. Since this product is made and precut in a factory, shapes and graphics are limitless.
Sprayable Thermoplastic is essentially a high solids latex paint made with materials from natural, renewable sources. It’s not naturally reflective but can be applied with glass beads to add reflectivity. It dries thick, and with two coats you can maximize its benefits. It has a lifespan of 2-4 years.
Cold Thermoplastic is like preformed thermoplastic in that it is highly reflective, precut and primarily used for transverse markings and custom symbols. Cold thermoplastic takes very little time to install, providing temps are above the required 60-degree application temperature, and it will last 4-8 years.
The Bottom Line
Given the durability of thermoplastics, why would one ever choose paint? Because paint is cheap—much cheaper than Thermoplastic upon initial application. But thinking in the long run, paint really isn’t cheaper at all. A study by the North Carolina DOT discovered that after five years, Thermoplastic accrued a total cost savings compared to paint. When deciding between thermoplastic and paint, any high-traffic area will do well to be reserved for thermoplastic.
At Industrial Commercial Striping, our project managers have 30 years of expertise in Michigan striping, covering layout, design, and code compliance. We invest in only the best and newest equipment and coating materials. We take pride in our core values of honesty, integrity, and professionalism. Contact us today at 1-877-361-4400 or use the form on our website for a free quote.