SWARCO Road Marking Systems conducted tests on the visibility of orange road markings to increase road safety in construction zones and work zones. The marking system combining an orange cold spray plastic with SWARCO SOLIDPLUS & SWARCO DURALUX reflective glass beads made a compelling case thanks to its excellent retroreflection and outstanding colour fidelity at night.

Construction zones and work zones can pose particular road safety hazards. Orange lane markings that are clearly visible at night contribute significantly to greater road safety. SWARCO Road Marking Systems’ Center of Competence carried out a practice test at night on construction-zone marking systems, focusing on retroreflection and colour fidelity. “By conducting this test, we wanted to determine which types of glass beads on orange markings contribute most to road safety when it’s dark,” explains Friedrich Wiesinger, Team Leader Product Development at SWARCO Road Marking Systems.

SWARCO Road Marking Systems tested a marking system made of orange cold spray plastic in combination with three different types of drop-on beads: standard glass beads, high-index glass beads and SWARCO SOLIDPLUS & SWARCO DURALUX premium reflective glass beads. For the test run, test markings measuring 10 centimetres in width and 1 metre in length were applied. Subsequently, these were captured by cameras from a driver’s perspective at a distance of 30 metres from the middle of the stripes. While visibility of all marking systems was equally good during the day, there were marked differences in the dark.

The test marking with high-index glass beads, however, was perceived as white in the dark, which means that the orange marking had lost its colour fidelity. Therefore, it would be hardly possible either for the human eye or for cameras of driver assistance systems to differentiate such markings from permanent white markings. Only the marking system with SWARCO SOLIDPLUS & SWARCO DURALUX micro glass beads showed the desired effect – both excellent retroreflection and a clearly detectable orange colour shade.

This result proves that particularly at night and in wet or foggy conditions, premium reflective glass beads are well-suited to significantly enhance road safety in potentially hazardous areas. Wiesinger adds: “This confirms that SWARCO SOLIDPLUS & SWARCO DURALUX is the perfect glass bead for any kind of road marking. Especially in the case of coloured markings, whose visibility is particularly important in the dark, besides excellent retroreflection, the colour shade must be clearly detectable.”

Source: SWARCO