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Thermoplastic Road Striping has dominated the traffic marking industry for decades. It is very durable, long wearing and reflective. It is the product of choice for almost every municipality in the United States. Thermoplastic striping will outlast paint by many times making it a very cost effective traffic delineation solution.
In the beginning, thermoplastic was available only in a granular or pelletized form. This type of material is melted first and then poured onto the pavement to form lines and symbols. The equipment needed to put down this type of thermoplastic is expensive. A thermoplastic handliner and premelt tank will run in excess of $20,000 and a truck based striper will run well over $100,000. Expensive stencils are also needed for lettering. The cost of this equipment has historically kept thermoplastic out of reach for the average person. In the 1970’s “Preformed” thermoplastic changed all of this.
Preformed Thermoplastic was created as a way to apply thermoplastic without the need for expensive melters onsite. Lines, symbols and letters are preformed and packaged in the factory using state of the art machinery and quality control. The result is an easy to apply product that is superior in quality and performance to machine applied thermoplastic.
A hand torch is all that is needed to apply preformed thermoplastic. For example, to apply a letter you would first sweep the application area. Then you would heat the surface using a basic roofing or weed burning type torch. When the surface reached 300 degrees you would lay down the letter and continue heating from the top until the material was fully melted. Then you would simply let the thermoplastic cool and it is ready for traffic. There is even a type of preformed thermoplastic that is a top heat only product making the process even simpler.
The two types of preformed thermoplastic available today are “Hot Tape” and PreMark”. The advantages of each are discussed in articles to the right. Both are manufactured by the same company. With basic training, almost anyone can apply this amazing product. We have more information on this product in the categories to the right.