DoD Sustainable Products Center

Biobased Traffic and Marking Paint

Demonstration Overview

The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Energy, Installations and Environment) (OASD (EI&E)) and the National Defense Center for Energy and Environment (NDCEE) are demonstrating a biobased traffic and marking paint at Department of Defense (DoD) Installations.  

Traffic and marking paints are used at essentially every DoD installation for informational markings on traffic-bearing surfaces such as roadways, and parking lots..  Traffic and marking paints are applied predominantly to concrete, asphalt, and tar surfaces.  Waterborne acrylic paints are typically used for this application.  Seasonal climate conditions, such as elevated temperature and humidity in some areas of the country necessitate the use of solvent borne paints in place of the waterborne paint.  A low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) biobased traffic and marking paint was identified as a potential sustainable alternative to conventional marking paints.  

Before sustainable products such as this biobased traffic and marking paint are utilized by the Military Departments and DoD Components, their performance must be proven to meet DoD requirements.  The objective of this demonstration is to evaluate the effectiveness of the biobased traffic and marking paint through pilot demonstrations in DoD operational environments.  The demonstration of the biobased traffic and marking paint allows DoD end-users to determine, through firsthand experience, if the products meet their requirements for use.  

Technology Description

DoD installations expressed interest in evaluating the BioStripe Traffic Paint, manufactured by Aexcel Corporation, as an alternative to conventional traffic and marking paint.  Aexcel Corporation develops, manufactures, markets, and services traffic safety marking paints and industrial coating products. The BioStripe Traffic Paint is a low-VOC, waterborne alkyd latex traffic and marking paint that utilizes a binder based on natural soybean oil with a renewable content greater than 55 percent.  BioStripe Traffic Paint can be applied to all types of pavements with performance comparable to solvent based marking paints.  The BioStripe Traffic Paint can be applied using regular line marking equipment and is available in standard zone marking colors including white, yellow, red, blue and black.  

Biobased traffic and marking paint provide both performance and environmental benefits including:

  • Application with existing conventional marking equipment
  • Available in standard colors
  • Reduced VOC emissions
  • Non-toxic, reduced ground water contamination and reducing chipped or peeling paint hazards to wildlife
  • Increased use of green/biobased sustainable materials, USDA BioPreferred

Demonstration Sites

Demonstrations of the biobased traffic and marking paint are underway or planned for the following DoD installations:

  • Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM)
  • Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA) 
  • Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC) Twentynine Palms

Demonstration Details

Overall performance criteria were established to validate biobased, sustainable, low VOC traffic and marking paints for use by DoD.  These performance criteria allow the evaluation of the paints to DoD requirements.  The following key performance criteria were identified.

  • The biobased traffic and marking paints should meet the requirements of the TT-P-1952 specification with the exception of the material requirement for the non-volatile portion of the paints to be composed of 100 percent acrylic polymer.  
  • The biobased traffic and marking paints should be compatible with existing installation traffic and marking paint application equipment.
    • Equipment Functionality
    • Coating Application Quality
  • The biobased traffic and marking paints should be comparable in performance to baseline conventional marking paints in respect to dry time, durability, and visibility.
    • Dry time
    • Durability
    • Visibility
    • Soil Resistance

A demonstration plan was developed to provide an overview of the demonstration sites and summarizes the selection of biobased traffic and marking paints, marking locations, and the identification of key performance criteria.  This plan also specifies the demonstration activities to be performed, data to be collected, data analysis methods, and roles and responsibilities of demonstration participants and stakeholders.

The biobased traffic and marking paints are applied at each demonstration location by in coordination with installation facilities personnel using existing marking paint application equipment.  Demonstration feedback and data is collected and analyzed to evaluate the demonstration products against the key performance criteria.