New and innovative road marking technologies are bringing road markings into the 21st century – improving the safety of our roads and the manageability of traffic flow.
These innovative technologies are either in the testing stage or set to be gradually rolled out over the next few years.
Here is a brief overview of some of these new ideas that motorists are set to see on the roads in the near future.
Glow in the dark markings.
Glowing lines is the first of these new technologies to be used on the roads and involves the use of paint with mixed with photo-luminising powder.
The paint is “charged” by exposure to solar energy during the day and then glows from eight to ten hours at night. This not only greatly improves the visibility of the markings compared with the use of conventional materials while not requiring the use of electricity.
It is also seen to create cost savings over the long run even though there is an initial cost to implementing the concept, as road markings which require expensive electrical lighting to be visible can be removed.
The Glow in the Dark road is being tested at present on the N329 in Oss in the Netherlands and if seen to be successful, the road markings product could be offered for export in 2015.
It was created and developed by design firm Studio Roosegaarde in collaboration with the construction company Heljmans as part of the Smart Highways project. The aim of the project is to create roads that are not only interactive but also sustainable using the appropriate technologies.
Another concept under the Smart Highways umbrella, this technology uses temperature-sensitive paint to warn motorists when roads could become slippery.
The paint is used to create snowflake-shaped markings which are designed to serve as warnings and are initially transparent. For example, the markings could become visible when the temperature falls to – 5-degrees F.
As parts of the road become cold, the patterns emerge in color. This concept is intended to be used on smaller stretches of roads where the potential hazards are greater.
A related concept is Dynamic Lines, which allows road deck markings to be adjusted for traffic management purposes to display either continuous lines or broken lines. This tells motorists when they can overtake and when they are required to remain in their lane.
Apart from these innovative concepts, paint manufacturers are also introducing new products that make applying road markings easier while producing markings that are more wear-resistant.
3M’s Liquid Pavement Marking Series 5000 claims to provide maximum visibility and increased durability as well as quick application with a very short curing time that allows the roads to be used again with minimal delay.
The claimed qualities of the Liquid Pavement Marking Series 5000 include outstanding dimensional and color stability as well as low viscosity to make it easier to pump and apply. It can be track-free in under two minutes over the entire range of application temperatures and is also applicable at 30°F.
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Article courtesy of Ennis-Flint, the world leaders in road safety solutions.