Glass bead

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    I’m using a gravity flow glass bead system.
    I’ve only used it on a few jobs, on concrete, as it’s inexplicably becoming more popular in my area.
    So far, I’ve tried using a 321 tip for a 5″ line. I noticed within 5 feet of stripe that it did not put a high enough paint build down to hold the beads properly. I switched to a 323 tip. Better, but not optimal. If I move slower, the build is thicker, but does not seem to allow the beads to sink into the paint any further. Plus, the surface of the stripe becomes covered in a million tiny divots, or waves. So then the beads tend to congregate in each of those divots making the distribution of the glass not completely uniform. Only noticeable to me, but still. This was with acetone based paint.

    So, any advice on glass bead installation?

    I’ll be striping 1,350 linear feet of 12 inch wide line and 3,100 linear feet of 8 inch wide line at a small airport. 2,180 will be laid out on new asphalt. All with glass bead.
    Just want to make sure that I can give the best job possible. I figure thermo plastic would be the best material to use but they want a price for paint.

    (Dan, your dispenser is on my wish list. The quick attachment idea is a must have.)



    Hey Rob…you are the best.
    Thanks for the post too.
    First…the gravity flow is the right choice. The pressurized bead dispensers are certainly out there…but, generally priced out of the “every day man’s” price range. And..most would argue they’re needed on windy, fast jobs = airports and truck mounted stripers. ( I am sure there’s an argument against that. ) Bottom line…I think you’re doing everything you can and doing it well.
    Next…I also use the 321. I’ve also used the 323. Moving more quickly demands wide open gates for the dispenser. ( Mine are kinda wide open most of the time anyway. ( I also know there’s an argument for too many beads. ) That said…I’ve never been accused of using too many beads…!
    Next…my best advice is probably…maybe…(2) coats…if you can. I’ve had that called out before. Beads in the second or “top” coat.
    Bottom line…again…you’re probably fine on reflectivity…coverage…and down right “putting the pretty on it”.
    And…most jobs we do will not require an inspector with the reflectivity gun. I know that may sound bad…as though we’re going to stiff someone…but we don’t. I am a believer in giving more than I get. It sounds like you are too.
    Rob, I hope I’ve offered some help.
    And…I am thinking every striper in the US would be doing the same = a good job and worrying a bit.
    How’s that?

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