Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

William E. Sitzabee, PhD.


Pavement markings are an essential element in the navigational aids subsystem for any airfield. Most airfields still use waterborne paint as the primary marking material, although there are other materials in use on roadways that airfield managers could use to save time and money. An airfield experiences a host of maintenance operations that cause degradation of the pavement markings. Of particular concern are rubber removal operations, sweeping operations, and snowplowing operations. This research focuses on chemical rubber removal operations and sweeping operations. The study evaluates waterborne paint markings and thermoplastic marking strips to determine if these marking materials perform differently from each other after the maintenance operations of chemical rubber removal and sweeping. The evaluation criteria included retro-reflectance, chromaticity, and coverage. Results show that the two materials experienced different degradation characteristics from the chemical rubber removal treatment. Waterborne paint markings degraded quickly and no longer met the minimum requirements for retro-reflectance and chromaticity after the first chemical treatment. The thermoplastic markings experienced catastrophic failure after the third chemical treatment. In contrast, neither the waterborne markings nor the thermoplastic markings showed any appreciable amount of degradation in any of the three performance measurements when subjected to sweeping operations.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number