The application of thermoplastic paint requires special care, and that can be the difference between a successful application or problems such as:
- Undefined strokes
- Low retro reflectivity
- Reduced adherence
- Shorter useful life
And today, we will discuss the best practices and factors to avoid during application.
1.- Surface and Texture
- A stable and well-founded surface without cracks or potholes is necessary.
- Remove all damaged and old paint.
- Remove additives or curing agents that may react with the paint, affecting its end appearance.
- Roughing with special tools is necessary to create anchoring spots where the sealant and the paint will be applied.
- Thoroughly clean the surface, since oil byproducts, such as asphalt, can leave behind a considerable amount of black residues that may affect the paint color.
- Wait at least 30 days after asphalt installation to prevent bleeding or oozing of the asphalt mixture, which can lead to spots or undefined strokes.
- Aside from cleaning, it is necessary to wait a minimum of 30 days after pouring the hydraulic concrete before application. This will help avoid possible reactions against the moisture in the concrete, which can affect application or appearance.
- Use a primer or sealant to promote better adhesion of the thermoplastic paint to the concrete.
2.- Application Process
- Use a clean die that is in good conditions, and of the right size to attain the proper thickness for the application.
- Make sure the die has its own heating source, to prevent material from cooling down.
- We recommend to run a test using a piece of mesh, to make sure there are no paint lumps or contamination in the melting kettle that may affect the end results.
- Use a thickness between 60 and 120 thousandths (1.5 to 3mm).
- This is typically applied to thicknesses of 30 to 90 thousandths (0.7 to 2.28mm).
- Compressed air must be as dry as possible for use.
- Ideal pressure must be used during application to prevent edge marks.
- Temperature and pressure must vary, to define the stroke as per the desired end result.
- Apply the paint at a temperature range of between 374ºF (190ºC) and 410ºF (210ºC).
3.- Microsphere Retro Reflectivity
- Wind: Avoid installations on windy days, since wind may deviate spheres when dropping them in the paint.
- Pain Application Temperature: Use the recommended application temperature to ensure the paint is not too liquid, so they will sink, or too thick, so they will not stick. Ideally, microspheres must sink to about 50% of their volume.
- Moisture: Microspheres must be completely dry, any moisture, and they will not come apart properly, and clump.
- Microspheres must fall on the stripe: They must completely cover the stripe to attain the desired retro reflectivity.
- Microsphere Drop On: We advise to use spraying tools, rather than gravity seeding. Double seeding is another excellent choice for a more uniform microsphere application on the paint.
- Ensure that, before and during application, there is no moisture, water leaks, or rainy weather.
- In hot climates, the paint make need longer to dry.
- In cold climates, the paint may solidify before adhering to the pavement or concrete, thus, we advise you to work when the weather is temperate.
- Minimum environmental temperature for application is 10ºC.
At Dynakrom, we are experts in the best practices, manufacturing, and application of thermoplastic paint. Contact our consultants to analyze your project, and help you attain the best results.