Military Unified Facilities Guide Specifications | UFGS 32 17 23
Division 32 - Exterior Improvements - Section 32 17 23 Pavement Markings
(Published August 26, 2016)
There were few significant changes to the Pavement Marking specifications for the military airfields, roads, and parking lots. A general reorganization of
the document provides a logical flow of information relative to the process. A brief description of the significant changes for airfield markings is provided
below. If you'd like to download a PDF of the document, please click the image to the right.
Surface Preparation (for airfields)
- What Changed - The term "Surface Preparation" has been distinguished from "Rubber and Paint" removal. Surface preparation for airfields is
discussed on page 30 and directs the contractor to "thoroughly clean surfaces to be marked before application of the paint." Any other type of removal
(rubber, paint, curing compound) should be accomplished according to UFGS 32 01 11.51 (to download, click the image to the right). Additionally, surface
preparation is included as a pay item in accordance with Subsection 184.108.40.206.
- What It Means For A Contractor - A clearer distinction is made between cleaning and removing existing markings. This will reduce the ambiguity
about the requirements, the time allotted, and the cost.
- What It Means For The Military - The Contracting Officer can expect the contractor to properly clean the markings in preparation for a fresh
coat of paint. An inspector should verify the surface is clean before painting begins. Longer life of the markings should be the result of proper surface
Materials (for airfields)
- What Changed - Modifications were made when using paint and glass beads:
- Paint - Multiple coating types are now permitted for use as follows:
- US Navy and NASA - refer to the Master Painters Institute (MPI) manual. The MPI decision tree identifies paint systems. A visit to the
website reveals the wide range of painting applications and requirements, of which pavement markings are one. MPI 97 is used for Navy and NASA
- US Air Force and Army - "Use reflective waterborne or methacrylate paint for airfield markings," TT-P-1952. Detail about Type I, Type II,
and Type III paints is provided, along with application conditions.
- Methacrylate paint can be used on airfields where cold weather may preclude the use of waterborne paint; however, existing coatings must
be removed because of incompatibility with others.
- Glass Beads - Multiple glass bead types are now permitted for use as follows:
- Type I, Gradation A, coarse - low-index recycled glass beads for drop-on applications.
- Type I, Gradation B, fine - low-index glass beads for premixed paint (for temporary markings on airfields). Note: Pneumatic equipment
would likely have to be used to permit flow of material and paint tips/lines would wear more quickly; not recommended.
- Type III - High index glass beads for drop-on applications for increased visibility.
- Type IV, Gradation A - Large coarse, direct melt, low index glass beads for drop-on applications. The wet film thickness of the paint
must be increased (76 plus or minus 6 square feet per gallon - 25 to 28 mils) to properly embed the glass beads.
- Type IV, Gradation B - Medium coarse, direct-melt, low index glass beads for drop-on applications. The wet film thickness of the paint
must be increased (98 plus or minus 9 square feet per gallon - 18 to 20 mils) to properly embed the glass beads.
- What It Means For A Contractor - When specifications are clear and concise about types of material and proper coverage rates, the project is
easier to quantify, and expectations are understood.
- What It Means For The Military - A wider choice of material types will permit the Contracting Officer and Engineer latitude in matching the
right material for the facility, to include its environment, pavements, current conditions, etc.
Field Quality Control
- What Changed - Dimensional tolerances had previously been published in Air Force Instruction 32-1042, but are now included
in this specification.
- "New markings may deviate a maximum of 10 percent larger than the standard dimension."
- "The maximum deviation allowed when painting over an old marking is up to 20 percent larger than the standard dimension."
- What It Means For A Contractor - Greater deviation from standard marking widths and lengths is tolerated during initial marking installations as
well as repainting operations.
- What It Means For The Military - The range of acceptable dimensions is larger compared to other industry guidance. For example, the width of
an FAA threshold marking has a tolerance of plus or minus one inch; the UFGS now allows up to 14.4 inches (20 percent of 72 inches) wider than the
standard when maintaining threshold markings.
- What Changed - Reflectivity readings are still required when the paint has reached a "no track" state. A reading of 200
millicandelas per square meter per lux (mcd/m2/lx) is required on white paint and 175 mcd/m2/lx on yellow paint. Note:
reflectivity readings may continue to increase as the paint cures.
- What It Means For A Contractor - The target retroreflectivity values have remained unchanged, and relatively easy to achieve at application.
In the event the project specifies a bead type other than Type I, retroreflectivity values should be adjusted accordingly.
- What It Means For The Military - Each installation management group (e.g. Director of Public Works) will determine the type of beads to be
used, "taking into consideration local conditions, requirements, and the life cycle costs of the pavement markings". Now each facility can select the
type of glass bead most suitable to its environment and operational requirements, possibly achieving greater life out of the marking system when
proper application procedures are employed each time.
Operations Area Cleanup
- What Changed - The requirement to vacuum the painted area has changed to preclude potential foreign object damage to aircraft engines. The prior
specifications had required that "within 7 days after application, use an industrial vacuum to sweep new markings". Houskeeping or cleanup must occur
immediately after marking application.
- What It Means For A Contractor - Clean up can be accomplished right away, although care will need to be taken to not dislodge glass beads in
coatings that have not cured completely. A "no track" state comes much sooner than a fully cured coating.
- What It Means For The Military - The work area can return to operational status sooner with little fear of foreign object damage to aircraft
engines. However, diminished retroreflectivity may result from dislodging glass beads.
There is a tremendous amount of new information, best practices, and technologies available relating to airport pavement markings; all of which is
incorporated into the our Airfield Marking Symposiums, so mark your calendars!