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Lane markings on roads and highways need to be very robust. Today, Evonik supplies a group of reactive resins under the brand name DEGAROUTE® that act as bonding agents and ensure the longevity and durability of road markings.
DEGAROUTE® lane markings
In the 1960s, two chemical companies were already starting work in the area of coating resins. Evonik Industries continues their business today. Both, Röhm & Haas and its competitor, Degussa AG, used versatile methylmethacrylate (MMA) as the raw material. The addition of fillers, pigments and glass beads, plus the use of peroxide as a curing agent, created a mass for laying that lasts for many years. Experts responsible for road markings called this mass “cold plastic,” as opposed to hot plastic, which had been developed a short time before. The pigmented systems turned out to be particularly suitable for road markings. In 1963 and 1964, the first test coatings were carried out on the area around the Degussa plant and at Frankfurt Airport. At the same time, Röhm’s product was licensed by the Federal Highway Research Institute. 1975 both companies received their first formulas for road markings. In order to align the cold plastic’s durability with the resurfacing cycle and to increase economic efficiency, there followed the development of cold spray plastic, with a layer depth of 0.3-0.8 mm and the application technology in cooperation with manufacturers of road marking machines.
Over the years, Degussa has developed different variations for different purposes: for example in 1988, a new profiled DEGAROUTE® cold plastic marking compound was introduced. The advantage: the markings have profiles that stand out above the otherwise smooth marking at regular intervals, which makes the lane markings more visible through headlights in dark and wet conditions. Furthermore, driving over them makes a noise, alerting the driver to possible unintentional lane crossing. Road markings of this kind are known today as “Type II” markings. Low-noise versions are structural markings, called agglomerates, which have the advantage of being more resistant to snow ploughs and, owing to less material, are particularly economical.
Röhm, too, widened continuously its road markings range. In the construction chemicals segment this application was pivotal and in consequence was marketed together under the brand name PLEXILITH® . Following the successful trials in 1982 using red bikeway coatings, coating resins gained importance. In 1999 Röhm and Agomer (Degussa’s subsidiary for methacrylate activities) were merged. In consequence the methcrylate activities of both companies were consolidated. Today all road markings are concentrated under the Evonik brand name DEGAROUTE®.