August 23, 2008

New Mediums: Thermoplastics

I happened to see the construction workers laying lines down on my bike ride home yesterday. While in Philly I saw some diy versions for punk shows and there is of course Stickman who does a lot of his own diy thermoplastics in NY. Well when I saw the workers laying it down and pouring finely ground glass on it for the reflectivity I thought it could be a good direction to take a memorial project. I found more info about the ingreadiants (below) but will be looking for more diy techniques to add.

I also found a company called StreetArt Impressions, run out of California by Ralph and Dora Taylor. They combined with 40+ year construction guru Don Hays to do whatever it is that they do.

I sent them the below email to find out more

The Process of "Road-marking" Described

Briefly the thermoplastic material is a mixture of a light coloured silica sand, (a bulking agent), a white pigment, (to make it look white), a resin binder, (to hold it all together), and some glass beads, (to make the lines shine in the dark by reflecting the headlight beam back to the driver).

The property of the night-time visibility of a line is known as its retro-reflectivity, or sometimes specific luminance. Glass beads are also added to the still molten thermoplastic line surface to increase the initial retro-reflectivity of the line.

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