Why reflective sheeting? What does all of this mean?


Reflective signs are used when visibility is vital. A reflective sign uses ambient light (i.e., Headlights from a car) to illuminate itself and is used both by  municipalities and the general public.

Official MUTCD and DOT compliant traffic signs have many specific design attributes that allow the signs to be seen by drivers while on the road. One important factor is the size of the sign text, which gets larger when drivers are in zones of higher speed limits for increased visibility and reaction time. Another design factor important to visibility and reaction time is how reflective the sign is for drivers.

We offer three grades of reflectivity.


3M Engineering Grade Aluminum (Type I)


  • 3M™ Engineer Grade Prismatic Reflective Sheeting Series 3400 Series exceeds reflectivity within the engineer grade class
  • Robust design aids hand application to large substrate sheets
  • Reliable performance of polycarbonate cube corners
  • Meets and exceeds ASTM D4956 Type I specification
  • Better daytime and nighttime brightness than engineer grade with glass bead optics
  • Performance life of seven years
  • Made with significantly less VOCs, waste and energy use that glass bead sheeting

Made with significantly less VOCs, waste and energy use than glass bead sheeting.



3M High-Intensity Prismatic Aluminum (HIP) (Type III)



  • 3M™ High Intensity Prismatic Reflective Sheeting Series 3930 is a non-metalized microprismatic lens reflective sheeting for production of reflective work zone signs
  • Durable, tough topcoat aids against scuffs and scratches
  • Meets ASTM D4956 Type III, IV
  • Performance warranted for up to 10 years

Series 3930 sheeting provides long-term reflectivity and durability


3M Diamond Grade Aluminum (Type IX)
  • 3M™ Diamond Grade™ VIP Reflective Sheeting Series 3990 offers premium short distance sign brightness
  • Meets several top-level performance specifications
  • Ideal for urban street and intersection signage
  • Reliable performance of polycarbonate cube corners
  • Advanced prismatic design
  • Better legibility distance performance compared to ASTM Type VIII prismatic

Performance warranted for up to 12 years

Suggested Applications

  • Traffic control signs
  • Critical action signs
  • Street name signs
  • Overhead guide signs

Of the three levels of reflectivity that we offer, Engineer Grade is the least reflective, while Diamond Grade is the most.

All of the reflective signs produced by Highway Traffic Supply are made on a high-quality, anodized Aluminum substrate, sheeted with 3M reflective material. The legends (or wording) are added using one of three different methods; silk screening, lettered with cut vinyl or digitally printed depending on the complexity and/or quantity being made. All of our signs include a clear, 3M™ Protective Overlay to provide extra durability to our signs and creates a barrier to staining by many types of graffiti, including spray paint, permanent markers lipstick, etc. 

Highway Traffic Supply has manufactured all of our signs in the USA for 23 years. All of our Reflective signs are made to last 7 to 10 years outdoors.



An example of an Engineer Grade Sheeted sign (left) in the daylight and again with the lights out (right) and camera flash on it.

 For more specific information on sheeting, please click on the links below.

Engineer Grade

High Intensity

Diamond Grade

Reflective sheeting