Road Markings 101
To help clarify some of the terminology you may run across in the road marking industry, we have compiled a list of some common terms and their definitions.
Cold Plastic: Cold plastic is a methyl methacrylate durable road marking material that uses a chemical catalyst to create a bond with the aggregate in the road surface. This means it can be applied at lower temperatures than thermoplastic (up to 0 Celsius). Cold plastic is mostly used for surface road markings and as the base for Pathfinder profiled markings. Lafrentz’s brand of cold plastic is System 400.
Durable Road Markings: Unlike paint, durable road markings are made of plastic (either thermoplastic or cold plastic). These markings have a much longer life than paint markings.
Glass Bead: Glass beads are tiny spheres of glass that are used in paint and durable road markings to reflect light back to the driver in dark or poor weather conditions – improving safety and visibility.
Inlaid Markings: When a marking is applied to a ground out section of roadway, it’s considered inlaid. Inlaid markings are extra durable, and as they can be made flush with the road surface, are resistant to damage from snow plow blades. Inlaid markings are created using Lafrentz System 300 Thermoplastic.
Longitudinal Markings: Longitudinal road markings are those that follow the length of the road (i.e.: centre lines and edge lines).
Profiled Markings: Also called structured markings, profiled markings are made of thermoplastic or cold plastic, and have a special texture or stamp to increase retro-reflectivity and sometimes create a noise when driven over. Lafrentz installs SNO-PRO and Pathfinder profiled markings.
Retro-reflectivity: Retro-reflectivity is the term used to describe the amount light reflected back to the driver (i.e.: high retro-reflectivity). In road markings, retro-reflectivity is created through the use of glass bead.
Surface Markings: Surface markings are durable road markings that are laid on top of the road surface.
Transverse Markings: Transverse markings are those that go opposite of the direction of the road (i.e.: crosswalks). A different application process is required for transverse markings than longitudinal markaings, as they often have wider surface areas.
Thermoplastic: A type of durable road marking material, Thermoplastic uses a heat process to create a hydrocarbon bond with the oil in the road surface. It’s primarily used for inlaid road markings and as the base for SNO-PRO profiled markings. Lafrentz’s brand of thermoplastic is System 300.
VOC: Volatile Organic Compounds – harmful chemicals sometimes emitted from road markings. Lafrentz durable road marking products are VOC-free.