From pedestrian crossings to the double yellow lines we all dread to see, to the dotted lines that make up the lanes of the motorways we all use to commute, road markings are simply everywhere and are the bedrock of our road systems.
MMA markings are just one type of road marking that we see on a daily basis and are used by road marking contractors for very specific types of jobs where thermoplastic markings may not be suitable. But what exactly is so special about MMA markings and what might the benefits be?
What are methyl methacrylate (MMA) road markings?
MMA road markings are some of the hardest wearing road markings available for road marking contractors to use. Their unique and specific qualities are achieved using a combination of resin and powder peroxide. They have been used to great success within not only the UK but throughout Europe too.
Where are MMA road markings used?
MMA markings are usually used in high traffic areas and high stress locations thanks to their hard wearing qualities. By using this material in places that are prone to wear and tear, the lifespan of the markings is lengthened, ensuring that fewer reapplications or touch ups will be needed.
Motorways are obviously a high traffic and high friction area, but are also areas where informative marking is plentiful and should be as durable as possible. Places such as slip roads and junctions are likely to receive MMA markings.
Cyclist safety is extremely important, especially in areas where they partially share the road with motorists. It is paramount that the level of slip resistance remains consistently high and that all markings are clear and readable. MMA markings help to preserve this crisp and fresh look in cycling areas.
While many areas inside a car park do not use MMA markings, areas such as transverse lines, junctions or areas that experience heavy use.
How are MMA road markings applied?
There are several different ways in which MMA road markings can be applied, but the most common way is usually hand-applying through a process called screeding. As a result of this manual application, MMA road markings are usually applied in specific locations where they are deemed necessary, rather than across long distances.
However, MMA markings are also available in a range of formats for different needs and effects. These will have different application processes which will yield different performance results.
Some of these methods include:
This is another straightforward application, just like manual application or screeding. However, roller application is far better suited for area coatings, rather than creating specific details.
Spraying can considerably speed up the MMA application process, whilst still maintaining the high durability finish that it is known for.
98:2 is another type of spray application that is most commonly used on highway and motorway projects.
What are the benefits of using MMA road markings?
Lifespan and durability
One of the greatest benefits to working with MMA markings is their incredible hard wearing properties that stand the test of time. Traditional line marking materials are prone to a much shorter lifespan and as such, they are often in need of regular maintenance. This is not only costly, but faded road markings can also be a safety hazard, especially in conditions with low visibility.
MMA markings offer much higher retroreflectivity than thermoplastic markings, which gives them far greater visibility. These markings can even be augmented with a glass bead coating which only serves to help it stand out even further under headlights.
MMA road markings require almost no machinery and can be applied very quickly and efficiently. This minimises disruption for road users and ensures that projects can be completed in a timely manner.
MMA can be used in smaller quantities than traditional road marking materials, which requires less shipping and less thermoplastic trucks which create more emissions. For urban environments, this is a fantastic solution, as these are the areas that are usually most concerned with lowering harmful emissions. And because MMA has such better wear than other materials, the need for shipping is already reduced due to the less frequent need in reapplying these materials.