MIDLAND, MI – Dow Coating Solutions, a market facing business of The Dow Chemical Co. (Dow), has introduced a new test method for measuring the dry time of traffic markings in both high- and low-temperature environments. The new test method will help coating formulators develop traffic marking systems that enable longer work seasons in warmer and colder climates. 

 “The industry needs new solutions that extend the application season of traffic markings to help contractors and departments of transportation (DOT) striping crews work longer,” Despina Anastasiou, Vice-President, Industrial Coatings, explained. “In addition to improving costs, this new test will help officials keep roadways safer as old markings deteriorate.”  

The new test is conducted by using a minimum film forming temperature (MFFT) bar for dry time determinations. The aluminum MFFT bar, which is enclosed in an air flow and humidity controlled Plexiglass enclosure, has a linear temperature gradient from 50 Degrees Celsius on one end down to 0 Degrees Celsius on the other. A paint film is applied over the bar, and the lowest temperature where the film is dry is periodically determined.  The test typically requires less than 30 minutes to complete and provides information on paint film dry time over the temperature range and also on low-temperature coalescence by recording the highest temperature where paint film cracking, if any, is first observed.  

“New testing methods are needed to help the industry develop new ‘all season’ paint systems that can be applied throughout the year,” Greg Shay, Global Traffic Applications and Formulation Development Engineer with Dow Coating Solutions, said. “A secondary goal is to provide formulators with a standard metric to test and compare different traffic markings to determine the solution that best meets individual environments.”