Application Instructions: Preformed Thermoplastic

Machine with push handle used to clean pavement.
1) Clean Surface: Clean intended application area thoroughly. All loose particles, sand, dust, etc. should be removed. If possible, utilize a power blower or compressed air, otherwise sweep loose debris completely.
Man aligning part of a handicap icon in a chalk grid in a parking lot
2) Layout/ Pre-mark Markings: Know how you will position all connecting parts (lines, legends, or symbols) onto the pavement surface prior to pre-heating. There should be no gaps between the adjoining segments. Outline or premark the area where the marking will be placed using chalk or lumbar crayon. Check to ensure that proper layout and alignment is obtained before moving to step three. Once the marking has been traced, or the area delineated, remove the marking from the pavement.
Man waving heat want over chalk grid in parking spot
3) Surface Pre-Heat Instructions: Using a magnum-type Heat Torch or similar heat source, utilize the pre-set pilot valve setting to get a blue flame with an orange or yellowish tip. Then squeeze the torch handle to achieve maximum output. Hold the torch nozzle 8-10 inches above the pavement. Using the torch in a circular motion, preheat the surface to a minimum temperature of 275°F. Extend the heating 3-6 inches outside of the premarked area. Do not attempt to preheat an area larger than 4' x 4' at any time. Properly heated asphalt should turn a deep solid black color. Note: concrete surfaces may spall when heated with the torch; therefore safety glasses must always be worn when applying onto Portland cement surfaces. Use an infrared thermometer to check the surface temperature for a minimal reading of 275°F across the entire target area.
A man placing the 4th and final piece of a handicap symbol on a grid in a parking spot.
4) Place Marking: Once the surface temperature of the targeted area reaches 275°F, immediately position the first segment with exposed glass beads up. Try not apply in pieces larger than 4' x 4' at any time. If using a torch similar to the Magnum, the applicator should utilize the preset pilot valve setting (do not squeeze handle) to get orange tipped flame to heat the material. Do not operate the Magnum torch at maximum output. Hold the torch so that the torch nozzle is 6-8 inches over the Preformed Thermoplastic material. If material is splattering with the introduction of the torch, the flame is too close to the material or the pilot valve needs to lower the intensity and eliminate the splattering.
Man using heat wand over a white handicap symbol on a blue square in a parking spot.
5) Heat / Torch the Marking: Begin heating the placed marking by moving the flame from your torch slowly but steadily over the material. The material must be heated to its temperature to achieve a bond with the pavement. Insufficient heat will result in inadequate bonding and failure. Overheating the material will sink the top coating of beads into the material and result in pavement markings with low retroreflective values. To ensure that heat is evenly applied to the entire marking, move the torch in a sweeping motion, approximately 2' wide, keeping the nozzle of the torch about 6 to 8 inches above the material. Caution: Maintain a minimum distance of 6 inches between the torch nozzle and the material. Any closer will cause superficial scorching of the material without adequate melting throughout.
IMPORTANT: During heating, Preformed Thermoplastic will soften and begin to conform to the pavement surface to which it is applied. Additionally, the material may bubble and change color, turning slightly darker or paler. If the material does change color, move the torch to another section to avoid scorching that material.
Man touching the handicap parking symbol in a parking stall.
6) Check Bond: Inspect the recently applied marking to ensure that complete bonding has occurred over the entire area. After the product has cooled to near ambient temperature, cut an area in the interior of the material with a chisel where it appears the material received the least amount of heat. For white product this will appear the whitest in color.
Applied on asphalt: If the material can be lifted without evidence of asphalt on the underside, insufficient heat has been applied.
Applied on Portland cement concrete: When trying to lift the product, adequate bonding has occurred if the thermoplastic separates and part of the thermoplastic remains stuck to the pavement.
Three 50 lb bags of Swarco Premium Glass Beads
7) Beads: Preformed Thermoplastic is manufactured with surface applied and intermix glass beads to provide both high initial retroreflectivity and sustained reflectivity throughout its useful life. The product can be supplied without pre-applied surface beads (i.e. reversible turn arrows). When working with non-beaded material, beads must be applied to the surface in a uniform and even manner during application while the material is in the molten state to provide adequate initial retroreflectivity.
The completely handicap parking symbol in a parking spot.  The chalk grid is visible on the outside edges.
8) Dry Time:  Preformed Thermoplastic will cool and set within a couple of minutes of application. Dry times will vary based on roadway temperature, thickness of material and the amount of heat applied during application. If desired, setting time can be reduced by covering the applied marking with water after application.