Hot Tips (Color Pavement Marking)

MMA vs. Thermoplastic

Schools and colleges have been looking for a long-term solution to pavement markings. MMA pavement marking is the most durable color marking material available. It has been used in the U.S. and around the world for decades as line striping. MMA (methyl methacrylate) is now getting a lot of attention as color pavement marking and is becoming increasingly common for bike lanes, bus lanes, crosswalks, pedestrian areas and other markings.

Unlike thermoplastic, MMA does not require special equipment for installation, it is less expensive and can last 5 to 10 years or more depending on the vehicular usage and markings do not need to be redone every season. This makes it an ideal material for campuses that can use their own personnel to apply it. MMA bonds to both asphalt and concrete surfaces; concrete is a challenge for other marking materials.

Known for high durability, increased wet-night visibility, skid resistance and optimal color stability, MMA-based area markings are commonly being used to apply bright red crosswalks. The contrasting colors of these crosswalks alert drivers and can significantly reduce the number of pedestrian injuries. MMA green bike lanes serve as a continuous reminder to drivers of the possibility of the presence of bicyclists. Wayfinding and unique designs are also great uses for this durable material that can be made in custom colors.

Pavement markings are primarily a safety feature and can only be effective if they are visible. MMA is UV stable, so the colors stay brighter longer than thermoplastic, and it bonds to itself so it can be refreshed without full removal. MMA can also be applied in temperatures ranging from 40-100°F, extending the marking season.

This article originally appeared in the June 2017 issue of College Planning & Management.

About the Author

Karen Dinitz is with Color-Safe/Transpo Industries, Inc. She can be contacted at and 800/321-7870.

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