Sustainable Road Safety Thanks to Higher Retroreflection of Markings

A field study in Switzerland demonstrates the excellent retroreflection of SWARCO SOLIDPLUS/SWARCO DURALUX premium glass beads, even after several winters.

Modern road infrastructure makes a decisive contribution to enhancing road safety. In this respect, lane markings are a key factor. Thanks to innovative glass beads embedded in the marking material, lines reflect light much more efficiently. SWARCO Road Marking Systems is one of the global players in this field. The premium glass bead SWARCO SOLIDPLUS/SWARCO DURALUX underwent a field test in Switzerland, and the results prove this product’s excellent retroreflection values and durability. Even after several winters, road users benefit from the markings’ sustainable visibility.

29. September 2020 – With applied glass beads, road markings achieve higher retroreflection values when reflecting the beam back from the headlight. Since 1969, SWARCO Road Marking Systems has been successfully advancing research and development in this field. The focus of these activities is to increase retroreflection as well as improve durability and abrasion resistance. Thanks to their excellent retroreflection values, SWARCO SOLIDPLUS/SWARCO DURALUX premium glass beads substantially increase road safety and can save lives. Particularly at night and in foggy or rainy weather, road markings can be seen much more clearly – precisely when they are most important to road users! The study “Investigation of longitudinal pavement marking retroreflectivity and safety” (Carlson, Park & Kang, 2013), for instance, verifies that every 100 mcd/m²*lx increase in retroreflection reduces the risk of accidents by up to 8.6 percent.

Retroreflection and Durability Demonstrated in Switzerland
In a field study near Aarau, Switzerland, SWARCO SOLIDPLUS/SWARCO DURALUX 100 300-850 T18 premium glass beads were applied to the white centre-line marking of a motorway using a cold plastic. A first measurement was carried out one month after marking and served as a reference. These values were measured again after 8, 14 and 28 months. Over that period, an average of about 36,000 vehicles drove on this road every day. After the first winter, the retroreflection value decreased from 900 to 800 mcd/m²*lx. Even after 28 months, this value was still far above the highest standard requirements of EN 1436 Class R5.

Long-Term Durability and Abrasion Resistance
The durability of the premium glass bead has also been proven by special abrasion tests. These tests, which were conducted on a rotating machine, compared SWARCO SOLIDPLUS/SWARCO DURALUX beads with two other bead types under identical conditions, and demonstrated that the premium glass bead not only has a longer service life, but is also measurably more durable. SWARCO SOLIDPLUS/SWARCO DURALUX beads therefore not only increase the safety of road users over a longer period, but also offer clear economic benefits. The tests also show that these premium beads have practically no defects, flaking, or signs of wear. Striping companies can be certain that they will achieve the required values, and sustainably increase road safety thanks to the higher retroreflection.

About SWARCO Road Marking Systems
Quality products and services from SWARCO Road Marking Systems guide traffic safely from A to B by day and, above all, by night. On all types of roads. Whatever the weather. From a single source. Over 5,000 customers in more than 80 countries place their trust in them.

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