Road markings essential for road safety

Road markings, along with laying and testing equipment, are all essential to make sure drivers get clear instructions. Patrick Smith reports Road markings are as important as signs, with longitudinal markings informing and warning road users of approaching situations that will require them to take some form of action.
ViziSpot
ViziSpot structured road marking from LKF

Road markings, along with laying and testing equipment, are all essential to make sure drivers get clear instructions. Patrick Smith reports

Road markings are as important as signs, with longitudinal markings informing and warning road users of approaching situations that will require them to take some form of action.

For example, solid lines often mean do not cross; lane lines can indicate turn right or left, and transverse lines also give instruction (stop or give way).  As such, and worldwide, they are essential to ensure the safe and smooth flow of traffic, and are particularly important in the dark and when it is raining.

Markings are made from various materials including thermoplastic, paint, cold plastic, permanent and temporary tapes, and permanent and temporary preformed road markings, and either incorporate or have added special beads for retro-reflectivity.

For example, Ennis Paint Prismo has been offering its new Nighbright marking, which follows the success of its Colourbright accident reduction system, which also uses the company's Clusterbead technology, a patented process of fusing high index glass beads in a coloured binder system, which is highly visible to drivers at night because it reflects back coloured light from the white light of vehicle headlights.
Prismo Road Markings is claiming that trials of its Zebra Bright road marking system show major gains in retro-reflectivity. The system combines methyl methacrylate reactive paint (MMA) with embedded white Clusterbeads. The investigations used an LTL 2000 hand held retro-reflectometer (from 199 Delta of Denmark) and were carried out on an experimental trial area applied a month earlier. These found that "the new system increases retro-reflectivity by five-fold over conventional marking methods."

ViziSpot, the road marking system from Danish company 270 LKF Vejmarkering, has been tested at a number of sites with "positive" test results.

ViziSpot is a new type of structured thermoplastic road marking system that has been developed to produce a constantly 'broken' line, which has a rumble effect that can wake up sleepy drivers.

Highway beads producer 1279 Sovitec says horizontal signalisation remains the easiest and most economical means to direct, manage and inform road users in a continuous form all along their trip, while pointing out that road markings amount to less than 1% of the global cost of roads maintenance.

It offers glass beads for road markings that guide drivers during the night under wet and rainy conditions, including its high level of reflectivity ECHOSTAR wide granulometric repartition glass beads, which are available in different granulometries in order to meet requested performance levels and match with all kind of marking products.

ECHOSTAR glass beads are made from type A sodo-lime glass and respect the environment since they contain neither hazardous waste nor free silica: they also "have an excellent retroreflection potential" with the refraction index exceeding 1.54.

Among 337 Swarco's "complete portfolio of road marking materials" are its high index plus9beads, which are manufactured in a revolutionary manufacturing process using the purest raw materials, melted into highly reflective material and shaped to finest microspheres of nearly 100% roundness.

Last year, the company said that with AgglothermTS, it had succeeded in designing a "completely new type of thermoplastic for structured road markings."
Thanks to new raw material components, all of them developed in SWARCO's Amstetten Competence Center for Glass Technology in Austria, this type of thermoplastic features "unprecedented properties" for use in a traffic related environment.

AgglothermTS with structures such as multi-dot are said to deliver excellent wet night reflectivity and durability.
Dau Long Road Mark Materials of Taiwan also produces road marking materials including thermoplastic raised-type road marking materials. These are sold worldwide and among sales are to the Philippines, China, India, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Tanzania.

May Tzeng of Dau Long said that the raised-type materials mean when wheels run over the raised blocks a sound is made, reminding the driver to take action after crossing lanes, while flat-type thermoplastic striping materials does not have this function. "Raised blocks will not fall off the stripe," she said.

Apart from producing thermoplastic road marking materials and building some machines, Dau Long also buys machines from other suppliers, although its glass beads are all bought from suppliers.
For more information on companies in this article
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