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Is MMA Better Than Epoxy for Traffic Marking Paint?

November 30, 2022

When choosing traffic marking paint for roadways, parking lots, walkways, and more, it’s imperative for local and state agencies to select a paint that can withstand heavy traffic and harsh weather conditions. The ideal option will offer long-term adhesion and visibility with low maintenance concerns to minimize traffic disruption and effectively maintain public safety.

Methyl methacrylate (MMA) and epoxy are two common traffic marking paint choices due to their beneficial strength and resistance properties for these applications. Learn more about each material to help determine if MMA or epoxy is right for your project.

Overview of Methyl Methacrylate (MMA)

In addition to applications in line striping as traffic marking paint, MMA has a myriad of uses as everything from an alternative to shatterproof glass to a bone replacement material in hip surgeries. MMA achieves curing in approximately 15 to 30 minutes through a catalyst that initiates the curing process. MMA doesn’t require a curing agent or heat to bond with a surface, nor does it necessitate using primer. This two-part coating chemically bonds directly with pavement, concrete, and asphalt once a catalyst mixes in, even when users apply it at colder temperatures.

Epoxy’s mixing ratio is measured in parts by volume (PBV), whereas MMA’s ratio is referred to in parts by weight (PBW). As MMA has a ratio of 98:2, the material consists of 98% resin while the catalyst accounts for 2% of the total weight. Users can vary the catalyst amount in the ratio to slow the curing process in high-temperature environments or speed it up in colder weather.

MMA’s unmatched durability gives it the capability to last up to 10 years, withstanding even the most severe of weather and traffic conditions. The coating also resists staining, chipping, cracking, and general wear, even on rougher surfaces when applied correctly. For reflective capabilities as an added safety feature, users can mix it with glass beads for greater visibility, and MMA is also highly versatile as it’s available in a range of standard and custom colors.

Overview of Epoxy

Another durable traffic marking option that isn’t greatly susceptible to snowplow abrasion, epoxy pavement markings are common in the northern U.S. Epoxy is a thin two-component coating material available in two types: fast- and slow-curing epoxy. Fast-cure epoxy is more economical and, given its speed, is useful for opening traffic projects back up sooner. Slow-cure epoxy takes longer to set, but it bonds better with the pavement. Epoxies are an alternative to thermoplastics and adhere well to concrete and asphalt. They combine epoxy resin with a curing agent in a ratio of 2:1, often requiring heat application to properly mix and cure.

Why/When to Choose MMA Over Epoxy for Traffic Marking

Epoxies are an acceptable choice for many environments and projects, and they do give users the option of applying them as a thin film or a thick coating. However, MMA offers numerous benefits that make this coating the optimal choice for traffic applications, including:

  • Fast curing times. Methyl methacrylate road markings cure quickly, making MMA ideal for projects like traffic markings because slow curing equates to longer road closures.
  • Temperature resistance. Unlike epoxy, MMA has a high tolerance for low temperatures, so it’s suitable for outdoor applications, high elevations, and cold climates.
  • Durability. MMA is a rugged coating that won’t require frequent maintenance. It’s ideal for long highway stretches, roads, intersections, and bike trails. Epoxy isn’t as resistant to scratching and wear.

Contact Aexcel for Premium Traffic Marking Paint Solutions

MMA is ideal for traffic marking applications as it’s supremely enduring, easy to apply, and highly tolerant to even subzero temperatures. Since 1963, Aexcel Corporation has specialized in industrial coating and paint solutions, with a focus on quality products, quick turn times, and fast deliveries.

One of our product lines of traffic and zone marking paints, the Roadzilla® MMA Two-Component Traffic Marking System, utilizes a unique formulation of high-quality polymers that outperforms other products on the market for marking walkways, pavement, intersections, parking lots, and other traffic features. These MMA offerings provide an optimal solution for harsh environments and high-traffic areas, even in regions commonly traveled by snowplows, semi-trucks, and other rugged vehicles. Contact us today to request a quote or learn more about our high-performance MMA traffic marking systems.

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