Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

April, 2008

Glass Beads in Paint for Roads

Q: I seem to recall that most road paints have small glass particles in them. I'm wondering if that industry would have any use for crushed/powdered glass that came from old incandescent light bulbs. With so many people switching to CFLs these days, there are millions of old glass bulbs going to landfills.

Are there any possibilities here?

A: I'm not an expert on glass beads, but with regard to road marking paint the main issue is the efficient reflectance of light. There might also be other important properties of glass beads of which I'm not aware. I suppose that if you could make a case that the crushed glass from incandescent light bulbs efficiently reflects light, perhaps this would be a great alternative to glass beads. You can search Google for commercial glass beads and see what properties the manufacturers offer.


Ron Joseph

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