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Reflective Sheeting Guide

Reflectivity Standards
Traffic signs must be retroreflective or otherwise illuminated to show the same shape and similar colors by both day and night. Per the 2009 MUTCD, agencies are required to establish and implement a sign assessment or management method to maintain minimum levels of retroreflectivity. Agencies can choose to use one method or a combination of the two.
  Assessment Methods require evaluation of individual signs. With the Visual Assessment: Nighttime Inspection method, the retroreflectivity of an existing sign is assessed by a trained sign inspector from a moving vehicle during nighttime conditions. With the Measured Sign Retroreflectivity method, retroreflectivity is measured using a device called a retroreflectometer. Signs failing to meet the required levels of either method are replaced.  
  Management Methods allow for the ability to maintain sign retroreflectivity without having to assess individual signs. With the Expected Sign Life method, sign installation dates are labeled or recorded and then compared to the expected life of the signs. Date Stickers help keep track of installation dates on individual signs. With the Blanket Replacement method, all signs in an area are replaced at specified intervals, eliminating the need to assess retroreflectivity or track the life of individual signs. With the Control Sign method, replacement of signs in the field is based on the performance of sample of control signs, which are monitored to determine the end of their retroreflective life.  
 
Reflective Materials
Hall Signs carries several popular grades of retroreflective sheeting to meet a variety of needs and requirements. These materials can be used to manufacture traffic and custom signs and sign faces or sheeted blanks. They can also be purchased in the form of roll goods, border tapes, radius corners, and die cut letters numbers and arrows. While all of the materials we carry are reflective and meet different ASTM D4956 standards, each has its own unique properties.
  3M™ Engineer Grade is an enclosed lens reflective sheeting that is ideal for directional and route signage, or off-road signage for parking lots. 3M™ Engineer Grade meets ASTM D4956 Type I specifications.  
  Nikkalite™ Engineering Grade is a beaded reflective material that is suited for non-critical traffic and parking signs in areas with little competing surrounding light. Nikkalite™ Engineering Grade meets ASTM D4956 Type I specifications.  
  3M™ Engineer Grade Prismatic is a prismatic reflective material that provides brighter daytime and nighttime performance than standard “beaded” technology Engineer Grade materials. It is well-suited for non-critical traffic and parking signs. 3M™ Engineer Grade Prismatic meets and exceeds ASTM D4956 Type I specifications.  
  Nikkalite™ Super Engineering Grade is an enclosed lens reflective material with reflective properties nearly double that of Engineer Grade. It’s ideal for traffic signs and other reflective safety devices. Nikkalite™ Super Engineering Grade meets ASTM D4956 Type II specifications.  
  Nikkalite™ Ultralite Grade is an encapsulated lens reflective material designed to provide greater reflectivity and durability for traffic signs and reflective devices. Nikkalite™ Ultralite Grade meets ASTM D4956 Type III specifications.  
  3M™ High Intensity Prismatic is a prismatic reflective sheeting designed for greater nighttime visibility and improved durability. It is ideal for traffic signs, work zone devices, and delineators. 3M™ High Intensity Prismatic meets ASTM D4956 Type III and Type IV specifications.  
  3M™ Diamond Grade DG3 is a highly visible microprismatic lens sheeting and is ideal for use on signs requiring exceptional visibility and longevity, or on signs placed in disadvantaged locations such as overhead or the left shoulder. 3M™ Diamond Grade DG3 meets ASTM D4956 Type XI specifications.  
  3M™ Diamond Grade DG3 Fluorescent is a highly visible microprismatic sheeting with the same properties as non-fluorescent Diamond Grade™ DG3 material, but is designed for specific permanent traffic sign applications. Fluorescent Yellow is used for Warning signs; Fluorescent Yellow Green is used for School Zone and Bicycle warning signs, and Fluorescent Orange is used for Work Zone signs. 3M™ Diamond Grade DG3 Fluorescent meets ASTM D4956 Type XI specifications.  
 
Product Options
Hall Signs carries a range of sign-making materials to compliment our Sign Blanks.
  Reflective Roll Goods are used to cover the aluminum backing and create a reflective “base” for signs, but can also be used with special plotting and cutting equipment to create die-cut legends and shapes for hand-lettered applications. Hall Signs carries Reflective Roll Goods in all eight of our standard reflective sheeting options, each in a variety of colors . Roll goods are available in varying widths x 50 yard lengths.  
  Electrocut (E.C.) Film is a transparent graphics film that is applied over reflective sheeting instead of screen printing. Plotting and cutting equipment is used to cut out any text, graphics or borders, and the cut material is “weeded” from the surface so that the reflective background shows through when the film is applied. Hall Signs uses E.C. Film most commonly when making Street Name Signs but it can be used on any type of sign where a durable, long-lasting background is desired.  
  Clear Transfer Tape is applied over a die-cut legend - again, commonly used in the manufacture of Street Name Signs - to transfer the pre-positioned lettering to the sign surface. Once the legend is securely in place, the tape is removed from the surface of the die cuts. Premasking Tape is used in a similar manner to Clear Transfer Tape but is intended for larger applications.  
  Overlay Films are designed to protect printed sign surfaces from vandalism and graffiti, UV damage, or both. These materials are applied over the surface of a finished sign and, in the case of our graffiti-resistant products, allow unwanted markings to be removed from the sign surface without damaging the print.  
  Border Tapes and Radius Corners are used together to finish the edges of hand-lettered signs. Border Tapes are used along the straight edges and are available in 50 yard rolls of varying widths. Radius Corners are used to trim the rounded edges and are sold in packs of 25 identical corner cuts per pack.  
  Die-Cut Letters and Numbers are used for hand-lettering Street Name and 911 Address Signs. Hall Signs offers packages of 25 identical characters in a variety of sizes and series. Our standard fonts are Standard Highway and Clearview Highway, but we can cut custom fonts on request. Die-Cut Arrows are useful for finishing Parking Signs when ordered with a blank space for an arrow. The signs can be easily finished “on demand” once the desired arrow directions are determined. Arrows are available in packages of 10 identical arrow sizes per pack. Custom sizes are available on request.  
  Diamond Grade™ Vehicle Marking Supplies are available for DOT trucks and trailers, school buses, and rail cars and locomotives. Each type of marking is available in colors specific to the industry, in a variety of roll sizes. Rail Car tapes feature an FRA-224 certification mark and exceed this requirement.  
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