Urban Road Markings Guide: Types, Materials, and Benefits

urban marking guide

01 Introduction

Urban road markings play a crucial role in ensuring traffic safety, directing drivers, and improving overall road visibility.  This comprehensive guide explores the various types of urban road markings, the best materials for their application, and the advantages they offer. We will also delve into professional solutions, equipment, and maintenance intervals for effective urban road markings. Whether you’re a road authority, contractor, or simply interested in road safety, this guide will provide valuable insights into optimizing urban road markings.

02. What is special about Urban Road Markings?

Urban road markings encompass a wide range of elements, including surface text, graphic symbols, directional arrows, turn waiting area lines, tidal lanes, intersection guidance lines, pedestrian crossings, and grid lines for no parking zones. To ensure effective communication with drivers and pedestrians, it’s important to choose the appropriate types of road markings.

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03. Urban Road Marking Systems

Thermoplastic lines are a popular choice for urban roads due to their durability, cost-effectiveness, and versatility. They offer customizable reflectivity indices, making them highly visible even in low-light conditions. However, it’s important to consider both the advantages and disadvantages associated with thermoplastic lines.

Raised thermoplastic road markings are primarily used as edge lines and lane dividers in urban areas. They offer distinct advantages over regular markings, particularly for traffic calming purposes.

Solvent-based markings are commonly used for temporary lane changes, emergency road repairs, parking lot markings, office building entrances, and landscaping in tourist areas and scenic spots. It’s important to consider the pros and cons of using solvent-based road markings.

Water-based markings offer an eco-friendly alternative to urban road markings. They are non-toxic, non-flammable, and do not require heating during construction. However, it’s essential to understand their advantages and limitations.

04. Four Urban Road Marking Types Pros & Cons

Advantages of Thermoplastic Road Markings:

  • Customizable reflectivity indices, enhancing visibility and safety
  • Cost-effective and proven production processes
  • Quick drying time, allowing for minimal traffic disruption (approximately 3 minutes under normal conditions)
  • High cost-effectiveness and low overall maintenance requirements

Disadvantages of Thermoplastic Road Markings:

  • Vulnerable to low-temperature brittleness and softening in high temperatures
  • Reflective bead degradation over time
  • High resource consumption and environmental pollution during construction due to the use of liquefied gas heating
  • Closure of traffic lanes during maintenance, impacting traffic flow
  • Low construction efficiency and safety hazards
  • Costly removal of old thermoplastic lines and difficulty in degrading glass beads and ground-off waste

Advantages of Raised Thermoplastic Road Markings:

  • Quick drying and good abrasion resistance
  • Resistance to peeling caused by vehicle pressure, sliding, and braking
  • Effective warning and reminder effects for noise lines
  • Good visibility, especially on rainy nights
  • Gentle vibration caused by vehicle tire contact, serving as an attention signal for drivers’ safety awareness

Disadvantages of Raised Thermoplastic Road Markings:

  • Higher cost compared to regular markings
  • Difficulty in applying the same formula to different raised shapes, causing collapse when applying shapes outside the specific formulation
  • Limited applicability in certain road conditions
  • Poor adhesion between paint and high reflective material
  • Poor low-temperature resistance leading to cracking in winter
  • Poor high-temperature resistance causing collapse and flattening of raised portions under high temperatures
  • Potential blockage of water drainage due to the design of the lines

Advantages of Solvent-Based Urban Road Markings:

  • Low cost and production cost
  • Liquid form that does not require heating during one-step application
  • Low energy consumption
  • Simple and efficient operation
  • Quick drying time (generally 3 minutes)
  • Initial visibility and good visuality
  • Direct recoating over old lines

Disadvantages of Solvent-Based Urban Road Markings:

  • Thin thickness, leading to poor adhesion and abrasion resistance
  • Lack of reflectivity, requiring additional measures for visibility in low-light conditions
  • Strong odor and solvent volatility, posing environmental concerns
  • Flammability if stored or used improperly
  • Suitable only for temporary lane changes

Advantages of Water-Based Urban Road Markings:

  • Environmentally friendly and non-toxic
  • Low energy consumption during application
  • Easy application with equipment that can be cleaned with water
  • Good adhesion of glass beads, providing long-lasting reflectivity during nighttime
  • Self-cleaning properties, restored by rainwater
  • Direct recoating over old lines, including thermoplastic and solvent-based markings

Disadvantages of Water-Based Urban Road Markings:

  • Lower durability compared to other types of road markings
  • Reduced skid resistance on rainy or wet road surfaces compared to oil-based markings
  • Higher price compared to solvent-based markings
  • Limited suitability in specific conditions, such as high humidity or low temperatures, which may affect construction control
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05. Different Urban Road Markings Best Practices

Approximately 1 ton (40 packs) of thermoplastic paint covers an area of around 200m² with a standard thickness of 1.8mm and a line width of 0.15m. The usage of primer oil is 36kg (2 barrels), while glass beads require 100kg (4 packs). Adjustments should be made based on road conditions and specific requirements.

Approximately 1 ton of paint (40 packs) covers an area of 140m² with a standard thickness of 2-4mm. It requires 27kg of primer oil (1.5 barrels) and 88kg of microbeads (3.5 packs). Adjustments should be made based on the actual construction situation.

One barrel of paint (25kg) can cover approximately 40 square meters when applied with a roller or around 60 square meters when applied with a cold spray marking machine. The general thickness of construction is around 0.4-0.5mm, with a film thickness ranging from 0.3mm to 0.9mm. Therefore, one ton of paint can cover approximately 2400 square meters. The actual usage should be adjusted based on the actual construction situation.

Approximately one barrel of water-based marking paint (25kg) can cover around 21 square meters when applied with a cold spray machine. The general thickness of construction is around 0.7mm. Adjustments should be made based on the actual construction situation.

06. Repainting Intervals for Urban Road Markings

Repainting intervals for urban road markings depend on various factors, including traffic volume, weather conditions, and road surface wear. As a general guideline, thermoplastic lines typically require repainting every 1-2 years, while raised thermoplastic road markings have longer intervals, often exceeding 5 years. Solvent-based road markings may need repainting every 3-6 months due to their thinner film thickness. Water-based road markings generally require repainting every 6-12 months.

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Urban Road Marking Equipment Buying List

To ensure precise and efficient application of urban road markings, specialized equipment is necessary. Some common types of equipment used for road marking include hydraulic thermoplastic melters, electrically driven thermoplastic road marking machines, manually operated thermoplastic road marking machines, self-propelled oscillating line marking machines, and manually operated oscillating line marking machines. Additionally, auxiliary equipment such as road blowers, road sweepers, grinders, high-pressure water line removers, layout waterline machines, primer machines, rollers, and line marking buckets (in various widths) are essential for a complete road marking operation.

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Choose Best Urban Road Marking System & Supplies from Lighten Traffic

Urban road markings serve as critical tools for enhancing road safety, directing traffic, and improving overall visibility. Lighten Traffic will help understand the various types of road markings, their advantages, disadvantages, and appropriate equipment which is essential for effective implementation. By choosing the best urban road marking system and materials from Lighten Traffic and adhering to appropriate maintenance intervals, urban road authorities and contractors can create safer and more efficient road networks. Incorporating our reflective and eco-friendly road markings helps to ensure great visibility and sustainability in urban environments.

Let Lighten Traffic Road Marking Supplies Be Your Guide!

Whether you're looking for regular line marking machines or paints supplier or manufacturer for road marking projects or start up a pavement marking company, we will be your best line striping expert to consult.

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