Thermoplastic material is applied hot and cures on laying. It has good durability and is suitable for use on all roads. 2-component material (Cold plastic) consists of two parts, which are a pigmented resin base and a catalyst. The product cures by chemical activity. With 2-component material you get a wear-resistant road marking with low dirt pick up. Paint is typically a low-cost marking and has been in widespread use since approximately the early 1950s.

All materials can hold glass beads, for night-time reflectivity, that are applied to the wet material immediately after the application of the line. For larger sizes of beads there can be considerations compared to the application equipment, not to crush the beads / not to damage the equipment.

In some countries, it is necessary to have a certificate for the materials used. The producer of the material makes samples of the marking, and this is then tested by an institute in the country where the marking shall be performed. 

Parameters to consider when choosing material:

  • The total economy of the project
  • Climate and local conditions
  • The amount of traffic
  • Cold paint – cost-effective material, but a lifetime of only 1 year
  • Hot Thermoplastic – Lifetime of 2 to 5 years, higher costs
  • Cold plastic (2 component) - Lifetime of 2 to 5 years (and retro-reflection will decrease over time), higher costs 

Please note that the above indications of lifetime are only rules of thumb. There are many factors that can influence the lifetime. I.e. recipe of the material, is it suitable for the climate, the number of cars per day, type of beads used, etc. Contact your material supplier for specific information about the different compositions and characteristics of materials.


Material consumption is an essential part of planning your road marking jobs as well as correctly calculating your business' revenue.

Calculating the material consumption for your road marking projects can be a difficult process due to the various factors that need to be taken into consideration. Therefore, we have developed an easy tool to calculate material consumption that can be used for cold paint, 2-component cold plastic or thermoplastic.


All you need to do is to fill in a short contact form and we will send you the calculation sheet straight to your e-mail inbox.


Thermoplastic material

Thermoplastic material is mainly composed of synthetic resin, glass beads, colored pigments, timber fillers, and other additives. At room temperature, it is a solid powder. The thermoplastic material is usually melted in a thermoplastic preheater, before being transferred into the material tank of a line marking machine.

The Thermoplastic marking cures quickly and adheres strongly to the road surface. Thermoplastic material is most commonly produced in yellow and white. The white mainly contains titanium white, zinc oxide, lithopone, while the yellow is mainly heat-yellowing lead. The particle size of the material influences the flow, sedimentation and also the surface processing. Glass beads are mixed in or applied to the surface in order to improve the visibility at night and improve brightness and durability of the marking. The glass beads are colorless, and function as retroreflectors.

These lines can be made with a thick layer, as a profiled structured marking, to produce a rumble strip effect.



The Dot’n line requires special types of premium thermoplastic material that fulfill the demands for thermal stability and viscosity.

To have a practical way of handling the material, the following general guidelines have been given by leading thermoplastic material manufacturers:

  • A melting temperature (and working) range: 180-210 °C (356-410 °F).
    Around 200°C hot when applied.
  • Relatively slow agitator speed in the thermoplastic tank (the boiler): Max 30 rpm
  • Minimum and maximum heating time - achieve the correct homogenization but also avoid a degrading of the thermoplastic: From ½ to max 6 hours (total heating of the material – incl. the time in a premelter)



Advantages of thermoplastic

  • Superior reflection values
  • UV light will degrade the road marking the surface, enabling new glass beads to appear on the line surface
  • Short drying time. No need for cones
  • Spray up to 2 mm Speed up to 20 km/h
  • Many types of structured markings, 2-10 mm layer. Speed up to 5 km/h
  • Environmentally-friendly – less evaporation to surroundings
  • Easy cleaning


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Cold Paint

Paint consists of three main components: pigments, resins or binders, and water or solvents. Pigments are finely grounded materials that give out colors or block out the surface beneath it. They may contain other materials such as UV stabilizer, and fillers which bring out the color pigments to the required level. Resins or binders are the glue of the paint to bind pigment and glass beads together to the road surface. The pigments and resins are mixed with water for water-based paints and solvents for solvent-based paints so that they can be applied onto the road surface. 

Solvents that are used can be naphtha, toluene, methanol, methylene chloride, and acetone. Sometimes glass beads are mixed in with the paint. Also, a separate bead gun is used to spray glass beads on to the wet paint during the application. Due to environmental concerns, some countries have restrictions on solvent-based paints.

After application, the drying time of the different paints differs, cones and traffic management might be needed.


  • Environment-friendly – fewer problems for nature and operators
  • Economical: 400 – 1000 g/m2
  • UV - and weather will tear and wear on marking enabling new glass beads to appear on the surface
  • Easy cleaning with water or vegetable oil
  • High-speed application – above 20 Km/h





  • up to 0,75 mm layer thickness. Limited lifetime
  • Drying time is long – cones and traffic management is needed
  • Reduced friction on the marking
  • Some water-based paints contain ammonia and other not nice components
  • Can only be used for flat markings


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2- component material or CAP systems (98:2)

There are different kinds of 2-component systems (CAP systems) – at Borum, we have chosen to mainly work with the 98:2 system for the larger machines. This system consists of 2 components; 98% paint and 2% hardener to cure the material.

When initiated Component A has combined with the accelerated Component B the curing process starts immediately! The pot-life, when mixed at room temperature, is about 3 minutes – higher temperature reduces pot-life. Working with 2-component is temperature related, the viscosity of the material is different on cold mornings and hot afternoons, so you have to adjust the material to make it suitable for the application. With 2-component you get a wear-resistant road marking with good visibility, durability, and low dirt pick up.

NB! When working with 2-component whenever the application is stopped, application equipment has to be cleaned from the cold plastic mixture immediately!

Recommendations regarding the viscosity of the material for application:

  • Dots min. 8500 cp (centipoise)
  • Agglomerate min. 8000 cp
  • Extruder min. 6500 cp (for making ribs approx. 8500 cp)
  • Paint – depending on the size of the nozzle


  • Very hard material, less wear and tear
  • Less UV degradation
  • Better adhesion to the road, marking size is not a decisive factor; UNIDOT (or agglomerate marking) is not a problem
  • Better reflection over longer time when used in (profiled) marking
  • Spray up to 0,75 mm Speed up to 20 km/h
  • Many types of extrusions including DOT





  • Price of 2 component cold plastic is significantly higher than a thermoplastic material
  • Due to the hardness of the 2C substrate new glass beads are not emerging to the surface.
  • Organic solvents are used, which is problematic for the working environment, and also for nature.


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