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Guidelines for Evaluating Graffiti Removal and Protection Technologies

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2001
13 pages
Based on impartial evaluations by the Highway Innovative Technology Center (HITEC), which was established to expedite the introduction of innovative products into the U.S. highway and bridge markets, this is the executive summary of a report that describes the fundamental properties and performance attributes of a range of graffiti removal and graffiti protection products.
These guidelines provide a uniform and consistent protocol for State departments of transportation, municipalities, and other agencies to consider when testing graffiti removal and graffiti protection systems. The report advises that factors to consider when developing an evaluation plan for either a graffiti removal or protection process/product include the intended service environment, type of graffiti material, and substrate to be protected or cleaned. The four general types of substrates identified by HITEC's technical evaluation panel as being most vulnerable for graffiti vandalism are porous, nonporous, painted, and nonpainted surfaces. The materials most often used in defacing these surfaces are broadly categorized as paints or markers. These include spray paints, lipsticks, pens, pencils, and markers, especially the indelible or permanent type. The service environments identified are classified by climate as cold-wet, cold-dry, hot-wet, and hot-dry. This report describes the procedures for conducting field and laboratory testing, addressing a range of factors and analyses that include performance, environment, health, safety, cost, process, technology, and physical properties. The field tests described for graffiti removal products and systems encompassed substrate preparation, graffiti application, and graffiti removal. A field test and a laboratory test were conducted for graffiti protection products and systems. Other graffiti protection tests focused on durability, chemical resistance and cleanability, and physical properties.