The durability of permanent pavement markings (PPMs) on roadways is important for drivers’ safety. There are two primary mechanical failure modes: cohesive failure that occurs internally in PPMs through small defects, such as internal pores, and adhesive failure that occurs along the interface between PPMs and road surfaces. Thus, it is critical to characterize the intrinsic mechanical properties of PPMs as well as the adhesion of PPMs on road surfaces to understand their mechanical performance and, ultimately, the durability of PPMs. In this study, the flexural modulus and strength of PPMs were characterized via three-point bend testing, while fracture toughness was determined with single edge notch bend testing. To analyze the adhesive performance of PPMs on asphalt, a shear adhesion testing approach was developed to measure the apparent debonding energy of PPM specimens on asphalt. The shear adhesion test was performed on asphalt road surfaces and cut surfaces to investigate the chemical and mechanical interfacial effects on adhesion. Two commercial thermoplastic PPMs with different mechanical properties were investigated to study how various factors directly affect the adhesion of PPMs on asphalt surfaces. Through mechanical tests, the relationships between the intrinsic materials properties and the mechanical performance of PPMs on asphalt were studied. A PPM material that had lower modulus and higher deformation energy exhibited greater adhesion performance on asphalt, especially when the PPM material was applied at higher asphalt surface temperatures on rough asphalt surfaces.


This is the author-accepted manuscript of H. Jo, M. Giroux, K.A. Erk and C.S. Davis, “Mechanical testing methods for evaluating thermoplastic permanent pavement markings,” Transportation Research Record (2022). Copyright Sage, the version of record is available at DOI: 10.1177/03611981221090236.

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