An Introduction to Hot Applied Thermoplastic

Whether you’re a new contractor or have years of experience in the field, you’re sure to work with a variety of thermoplastics in your career. This article will introduce different types of hot applied thermoplastics you may encounter and discuss the uses of each variety. Each type of thermoplastic can be used to make different types of pavement markings or denote different types of roadways. Knowing the different uses for each hot applied thermoplastic can help you to succeed in creating the right pavement markings on the first try and reduce the need for touch ups and reapplications.

1. Definition of thermoplastics

Thermoplastics (not to be confused with thermoset plastics) are plastic substances that can be worked or molded at high temperatures. They harden once they’ve cooled to a certain temperature but, like the cheese on a leftover pizza, they can be re-melted when necessary. This leads to benefits such as:

  • Possibility of recycling
  • Possibility of re-use and re-shaping

Additional benefits include:

  • Variety of finishes and textures available
  • Variety of uses
  • Strength to bear up under impact
  • “Green” manufacturing processes

These characteristics have made thermoplastics widely useful for hundreds of applications. They’re regularly used in many industries, from the fashion industry to the construction industry.

2. Types of Hot Applied Thermoplastic

While thermoplastics all share the basic property of being workable while hot and solid when cooler, they diverge widely in other features such as weight, hardness, and derivation. Here are the main types of hot applied thermoplastic you may encounter:

AASHTO Alkyd Hot-Applied Thermoplastic

AASHTO Alkyd Formulated to meet AASHTO Alkyd as well as many state specifications AASHTO Alkyd is the workhorse line of hot-applied thermoplastic. User-friendly AASHTO Alkyd is formulated for fast melting and easy application allowing for maximum production while in the field.

Product Benefits:

  • Formulated to meet AASHTO and many state specs
  • Typically applied in 60 to 120 mils with single- or double-drop glass bead application
  • User-friendly formulation for fast melting
  • Excellent performance in wide range of application conditions
  • Applied by conventional extrusion, ribbon extrusion, or spray

Spray Hot-Applied Thermoplastic

Spray thermoplastic is formulated for spray application at thicknesses of 30 – 40 mils. Spray thermoplastic makes an excellent maintenance coating for touching up worn traffic lines or as a paint alternative for skip lines, edge lines, or centerlines. When matched with the proper glass bead, Spray thermoplastic adds additional years of retro-reflectivity to an otherwise faded pavement marking.

Product Benefits:

  • Formulated for spray application at 30-40 mils
  • Cost-effective alternative for use on low ADT roads
  • Economical refurbishment for touching up worn, linear thermoplastic markings
  • Durable alternative to paint for skip lines, edge lines, or center lines
  • Applied with the proper glass beads, adds additional cycles of retroreflectivity to otherwise faded pavement markings

No-Primer Hot-Applied Thermoplastic

No-Primer is an outstanding thermoplastic traffic marking formulated for use on asphalt and concrete without the need of a primer. No-Primer’s excellent bond strength and flexible film make it an ideal choice for high ADT concrete roadways. No Primer is compatible with other Ennis-Flint’s thermoplastics, thereby minimizing the need for complete melter clean outs when switching from one formulation to another.

Product Benefits:

  • Formulated for use on asphalt and newer concrete without primer
  • Specialized formulation provides improved durability, crack resistance, abrasion resistance, and adhesion in adverse conditions including snow plow areas
  • Flexible film makes it an ideal choice for high ADT concrete roadways
  • Compatible with other EF thermoplastics, eliminating the need for melter clean outs switching from one formulation to another

Profile Hot-Applied Thermoplastic

Profile is a specialized thermoplastic road marking material, which can be used as a profiled edge line marking to enhance wet night visibility and provide a “rumble strip” sensory and auditory impulse to the motorist. Profile offers safety benefits in poor weather and additional sensory perception at all times that aid in the prevention of “run off” and lane departure accidents.

Product Benefits:

  • Profile I
    • Specialized formulation for profiled markings to enhance wet-reflective visibility
    • Delivers an audible delineation and “rumble” to alert motorists of lane departure
  • Profile II
    • Specialized formula for raised profile to be added to an existing thermoplastic flat line
    • Retrofit to enhance wet-reflective visibility and audible delineation

For more information on thermoplastic, please contact Transline today.