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Applying PermaStripe In Low Temperatures Guide


Applying heavy duty line marking materials at low temperature has always been a common question we get asked. Floor marking paint does not like it, 2-part floor marking resin does not like low temperature and floor marking tapes struggle to bond. There is MMA resin that can be applied at low temperature but this is a messy, specialized application and MMA has a very strong overpowering smell when applied.

Our range of heavy duty floor marking materials have been successfully used at low temperatures, it requires more preparation and thought, but it can be done.

Self-adhesive materials do not normally perform well in low temperatures, this can be due to a combination of problems;

Wetting out prevention

I have previously wrote blogs concerning how self-adhesive materials bond, they rely on what is know as ‘wetting out’. The underside of an adhesive tape is coated with a semi-liquid material, it is constructed using one of the following adhesive families;

Water based (aqueous) – These can be cheaply produced as no solvent recovery is required but water based adhesives should be avoided for any industrial application, they can break down in water and have low performance values.

Hot melt – Can be cheaply produced as the compounds are inexpensive. They have great initial grab characteristics but poor long term performance, poor temperature variation and cannot cope with any movement.

Solvent acrylics – Solvent acrylics have superb performance. They have fantastic long term bond characteristics and excellent strength, all due to the superior acrylic adhesives. They cope well with temperature variation, are not affected by water and can cope with some movement. If a small amount of hot melt adhesive is added then you obtain the initial grab of a pure hot melt thus creating the best adhesive possible, this is known as a modified solvent acrylic which is what Heskins only uses.

As mentioned above, all forms of self-adhesive coating are coated in a semi-liquid format. 

Lower temperatures prevent the liquids from spreading as they would normally do, this does not allow them to grab the substrates. All self-adhesives are ‘pressure sensitive’, this means that they require that they are pressed down to then wet out, although pressure can be applied in cold environments the spreading problem above is not offset sufficiently to create a great bond. A secondary issue is surface moisture coatings. Chilled warehouses have constant traffic flows moving through, this movement introduces moisture into the atmosphere, the moisture then condenses in the cold air either forming frost on the cold floor of a freezer or condensation on the floor of a refrigerator. The frost or condensation then forming another barrier to successful bonding.

What can be done?

As mentioned above the Heskins adhesives are superior modified solvent acrylics, they cope really cope with higher than average temperatures and lower than average temperatures, but, the adhesive may need help in low temperature applications. As a rule we recommend application above 50°F however anything above 41°F should be fine but be aware that there can be high levels of surface moisture in a cold warehouse due to condensation forming, if this is the case, we recommend removing that.

What else can be done? 

Obviously anything that has a water content will freeze at 32°F, but, some solvents freeze at much lower temperatures, our PRIM Surface Primer is a special liquid coating; it is a suspension of hot melt adhesive compounds that are kept liquid due to the solvent content, once applied onto a surface the solvent content flashes off in the air leaving behind a water sealed surface that also has a tacky feel. The surface primer increases bond, seals the surface and allows for application onto previously impossible sub-zero substrates.

We always recommend testing prior to application, our sales team is very knowledgeable and always willing to help with technical information and samples.


line marking / floor marking / permastripe / guides / aisle marking

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