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Why upgrade to ASTM Type XI sheeting?

See how our Type XI sheeting compares to Type IV sheeting

To help ensure road safety, we must consistently and effectively provide drivers with critical information and visual cues—particularly at night. This starts with bright, highly retroreflective road signs.

Sheeting that meets the ASTM Type XI standard is a highly retroreflective sheeting that uses microprismatic cube-corner elements to better reflect the headlights of newer vehicles, compared to the lower ASTM types. It provides greater luminescence for older drivers and, because it’s designed to be effective at wider angles than standard sign sheeting, it helps truck drivers see road signs at greater distances.

Let’s take a closer look at the reasons it’s time to upgrade to Type XI sheeting.

  • A car’s headlights illuminate falling snow on a road at dusk.
    Low-beam headlights are evolving

    Studies show that, over the years, low-beam headlights have evolved to be less glaring and deliver more light to the road. But this means they deliver less light to overhead traffic signs and signs on the shoulders of the road. This makes sign performance more important than ever. Upgrade your traffic sign specification from Type IV high intensity prismatic sheeting to 3M™ Diamond Grade™ DG³ Reflective Sheeting Type XI to compensate for the evolution of low-beam headlights.

    Read the study summary (PDF, 370 KB)

  • A large highway sign is highly visible over a busy highway.
    Standardized sheeting ensures sign performance

    Signs that use the same sheeting type for both the sign background and lettering provide optimized performance, deliver consistent contrast and improve legibility by reducing haloing and glare. All of these factors add up to help your signs perform consistently and efficiently and deliver optimum retroreflectivity in a range of conditions.

    See how to improve sign readability (PDF, 7.87 MB)

  • Cars speed past illuminated road signs on a highway at sunset.
    Visible signs improve road safety

    According to one study, brighter sign sheeting helped reduce the number of crashes by 25-46% (over a three- to six-year period) in locations where the more reflective sheeting was installed.¹ Type XI sheeting is brighter, more reflective and more conspicuous than standard beaded sheeting (or…than lower grade sheeting). This helps drivers see and react to road signs sooner and with greater confidence.

    Download the white paper on traffic sign brightness (PDF, 387.96 KB)


Explore the products

  • 3M™ Diamond Grade™ DG³ Reflective Sheeting Series 4000
  • Upgrade to 3M™ Diamond Grade™ DG³ Reflective Sheeting Series 4000

    3M™ Diamond Grade™ DG³ Reflective Sheeting outperforms both the select competition and other 3M reflective sheeting products in the most common sign locations. The 100% efficient full-cube prismatic technology behind our DG³ Reflective Sheeting reflects almost 60% of available light back to motorists—almost two times more than Type IV sheeting.

    See how our Type XI compares to our Type IV

    3M™ Diamond Grade™ DG³ Reflective Sheeting Series 4000

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  • References
    ¹Ripley, D., Howard R. Green Company, ITE AB04H313.