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Pavement Markings

3M offers a full line of durable, high-performance pavement marking solutions for all types of roadway applications designed to guide drivers during the day or night in dry or rainy conditions.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the lowest temperature that pavement markings can be applied?

  • 3M™ Stamark™ Durable Tapes: Air and surface temperature: minimum 40ºF (4ºC) and rising. Overnight air temperature: recommended minimum 40ºF (4ºC) the night before tape application. If overnight temperature falls below 40ºF, inspect pavement surface for visible signs of moisture (dew, frost, etc).

  • 3M™ All Weather Paint: All-weather paint and glass beads should be applied only when road and air temperatures are above 50ºF and rising, and expected to be this way for 4-6 hours after application. Overnight temperature should not fall below 32ºF.

  • 3M™ All Weather Thermoplastic: Screed or extrusion application: air and pavement temperature 50ºF and rising. Spray application: air and pavement temperature 55ºF and rising.

Can pavement markings be applied when roads are wet?

No, pavement surface must be clean and dry—no rainfall within 24 hours prior to application. Other visible signs of moisture (dew, frost, etc) also cannot be present.

Do I need any special equipment to apply 3M markings?

3M’s tape products can be applied by hand, although application equipment is available to increase speed and efficiency for medium to large projects. The Manual Highway Tape Applicator and Motorized Manual Highway Tape Applicator are specifically designed to apply 3M™ Stamark™ Tapes.

For large long-line applications, 3M also has automated tape applicators, including the 3M™ Stamark™ Automated Tape Applicator 2000W. The 2000W is a walk-behind, self-propelled machine that uses an 8-hp 4-stroke gasoline engine and a hydrostatic drive. Pneumatics, supplied by an onboard, dual-cylinder compressor, are used for controlling tape path and cutting. A 12-volt electrical system powers a programmable controller to create a custom skip applicator. The 3M™ Stamark™ Automated Tape Applicator 3000R is designed to mount on any Bobcat® Toolcat that has a universal quick mounting system, the necessary weight lifting capability and the required hydraulic capacity (15 gpm). For more information, including availability for the 2000W or 3000R, contact your 3M representative.

For 3M™ All Weather Paint and 3M™ All Weather Thermoplastic, you can use existing application equipment, provided it can be modified to a double-drop system. Contact 3M Technical Service for information on modifying equipment.

What’s the best product to use for intersection markings?

3M™ Stamark™ Pavement Marking Tape Series 270 ES is designed for intersection markings, including crosswalks, stop bars, symbols and legends. A reinforcing net within the adhesive layer minimizes shear and tearing.

What’s the best product to use for longitudinal markings?

What’s the best product to use for temporary markings?

3M™ Stamark™ Wet Reflective Removable Tape Series 710 installs and removes easily, leaving no “ghost” markings or scarring behind. 3M™ Stamark™ Removable Black Line Mask Tape Series 715 can be installed easily over existing markings and removes intact or in large pieces.

What 3M products are best for light-colored road surfaces?

3M™ Stamark™ Contrast Tape provides high-contrast markings that can be seen clearly on light-colored roadways and bridges.

What products can perform under wet or rainy conditions?

3M’s All Weather Pavement Markings are designed to provide visibility in both dry and wet or rainy conditions. These products include 3M™ Stamark™ High Performance All Weather Tape Series 380AW, 3M™ All Weather Paint and 3M™ All Weather Thermoplastic.

Can I get pre-cut symbols and legends?

Yes, 3M pavement markings are available in all MUTCD-approved symbols and legends. Customized symbols and legends are also available upon request.

Where could I use RPMs?

3M™ Raised Pavement Markings can be used any place road markings need to be enhanced, but are typically not used in intersections. Colored markings help identify fire hydrants, airport taxiways and other special applications.

What kind of durability can I expect from 3M markings?

In general, durability depends on three factors: the roadway environment (for example, highway vs. intersection, average daily traffic, type of road surface, etc.), the product selected and conformance to recommended application procedures. For highway applications, 3M™ 380 Tapes are typically warranted for four years with some exceptions, providing standard application procedures are followed. In snow plow regions, tapes should be inlayed or grooved into the pavement surface for maximum durability. And because 3M™ All Weather Paint is applied more thickly than typical traffic paint, users can expect approximately twice the road presence of regular traffic paint.

What makes 3M products have high retroreflectivity?

3M products feature high (1.9) refractive index optics, which return more light to drivers than typical 1.5 index glass beads. 3M’s all weather products also include 2.4-index optics for wet reflectivity in rainy conditions.

What is the difference between microcrystalline ceramic beads and standard glass beads?

Microcrystalline ceramic beads have a number of unique properties that result in outstanding performance, including high refractive index and high overall quality. Microcrystalline beads are also tougher, giving them better resistance to chipping and scarring. The result is a more durable optics system that returns more light to drivers than typical glass beads.

What makes 3M All Weather products visible in the rain?

3M’s 2.4 index optics actually work with water for true wet reflectivity.