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Soy-Based Paint Hits the Road in Missouri

March, 2008

MODOT paintstriping BBS2008The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) is testing four types of yellow and white soy-based paint on heavytraffic asphalt and concrete highways in Missouri. The United Soybean Board and soybean checkoff support new industrial uses for soy, and soy-based paint and inks have long been a popular product.

MoDOT has been working with the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council; Cargill, which developed the soy-based paint; and Cook Composites and Polymers out of Kansas City, which brought the product to MoDOT for testing.

The soy-based paint went through in-lab testing to confirm the compositional qualities of the paint, and it passed all of MoDOT’s lab tests. Currently, the department uses water-based traffic paint. The new paint uses a soy resin as its delivery method.

“We need durability in paint for the highway,” says Todd Bennett, MoDOT’s chemical laboratory director. “Snowplows are the largest destruction method to wear down the paint, so we always test over the winter. The soy-based paint was applied in October and will be evaluated this summer and again after one year.”

The paint has been applied in test stripes on Highway 63, between Columbia and Jefferson City, on both the northbound and southbound lanes. The 12-foot test stripes run across the roadway from shoulder to center stripe. MoDOT typically buys about 1.5 million gallons of water-based paint a year, so there may be an opportunity for more soy-based paint to make it to Missouri’s highways and byways.

“It all depends on the durability after one year,” says Bennett. “MoDOT is always interested in finding good new products. The soy-based paint definitely got a good test this winter.”

 


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