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The National Academies

NCHRP IDEA 20-30/IDEA 228 [Active (IDEA)]

A Retroreflective Road Lane Marking Tape 1,000X Brighter Than Existing Technology

  Project Data
Funds: $129,267
Staff Responsibility: Inam Jawed
Research Agency: Mark O’Neill, LLC, Fort Worth, Texas
Principal Investigator: Mark O’Neill
Effective Date: 1/1/2021
Fiscal Year: 2020

This project will produce fully functional prototypes of a new ultra-bright road stripe technology and evaluate their performance with regard to retroreflectivity and durability. Work in Stage 1 will focus on designing the top prismatic surface of the new lane marking road stripe. The prototype road stripe design will be finalized to enable tooling and production of the top prismatic surface with light-turning prisms and to facilitate lamination of the top surface prismatic film to commercially-available bottom surface cube corner retroreflective film. Based on the developed design, the contractor will procure master tooling, production tooling, and prototype prismatic polymer film containing light-turning prisms from 10X Technology. Cube corner retroreflective sheet material will also be procured from a commercial provider.  This film will later be laminated to the light-turning prism film to form the prototype road stripes. All other material needed to laminate the two prismatic sheets to form the final prototype road stripes will also be obtained. In Stage 2, prototypes of the new road stripe will be produced for testing and evaluation.  At least four prototypes will be produced with dimensions of approximately 4 inches by 40 inches. Two of these prototypes will be installed for highway testing, one on a northern highway subject to snowplowing, and the other on a southern highway not subject to snowplowing.  The industrial collaborator, Ennis Flint, will provide pavement grooves for installing the prototype road stripes. One or more prototypes will be tested at the Texas Transportation Institute’s retroreflectivity laboratory to verify performance of the new technology. Test results will be reviewed and the measured performance will be compared to the expected performance. Designs and methods to mitigate traffic damage to the new road stripes on the highways will be developed. A plan for further development and commercialization of the technology beyond the IDEA project will be prepared.

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