Chapter 2: Material Selection

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Section 1: Overview

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This chapter provides guidance to engineers and technicians involved with the selection of pavement marking materials for a given roadway. This includes selecting marking materials, specifying application properties, specifying surface preparation, applying retroreflective performance specifications to contracts, and determining if restriping is necessary.

Many materials can be used for pavement markings. However, the performance and cost of the different materials vary greatly. It is also important to recognize that some materials are more appropriate for a given set of circumstances than other materials. The useful life of a pavement marking material often varies widely based on many factors. This handbook includes information on many materials that are used for striping in jurisdictions other than TxDOT. Some of these materials have been used within TxDOT on an experimental basis. Special permission from TxDOT’s Traffic Operations Division (TRF) or the Construction Division’s Materials Section (CST-MAT) is required to use materials for which no TxDOT specification exists. Materials should be selected that will meet or exceed the performance requirements at the lowest cost. To maximize cost-effectiveness, material selection should be based on roadway surface type, traffic volumes, and expected remaining service life of the pavement.

This chapter provides information intended to help the engineer or designer select the appropriate marking material for a given roadway and to develop the appropriate specifications. It must be noted that engineering judgment should always apply in the material selection process. Appendix A contains supporting information on pavement marking visibility and retroreflectivity. Appendix B lists and provides links to pertinent TxDOT specifications, test methods, and standard sheets.

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Additional Information

This chapter supplements TxDOT Specification Items 666, 668, 677, and 678 and Material Specifications DMS-8200, DMS-8220, DMS-8240, DMS-8241, and DMS-8290. In addition to the links provided in the text, the following web addresses can be used to access current TxDOT specifications or test methods:

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All TxDOT on-line manuals

TxDOT’s Standard Specifications for Construction and Maintenance of Highways, Streets, and Bridges (2004)

TxDOT’s Material Specifications

TxDOT’s Manual of Testing Procedures (test methods)

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