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Section 3: Retroreflectorization

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"Retroreflectorization" refers to the property of the sign sheeting material that causes light to reflect such that the paths of the rays are parallel to those of the incident rays.

Sign retroreflectorization is accomplished by the use of a commercially made retroreflective sheeting applied to the substrate.

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Retroreflective Sheeting Types

There are several types of retroreflective sheeting. They are primarily classified by their brightness. Various factors determine the desirability of one type of sheeting over another on certain types of signs. Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) standards call for the following types:

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Fluorescent Retroreflective Sheeting Types

Fluorescent sheeting is also available on all sheeting types mentioned above. They are called out by using abbreviation FL as subscript in the type of sheeting used.

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TxDOT Standard

TxDOT's standards for retroreflective sheeting on various types of signs are detailed on the Traffic Engineering Standard Sheets (TSR Series).

All construction plans should reflect the retroreflective sheeting standard. Existing signs not in conformance with the standard should be replaced on a maintenance replacement basis.

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Deterioration of Retroreflectivity

The retroreflective quality of the sheeting material deteriorates over time, eventually requiring replacement of the sign. Premature failures of the sheeting should be reported to the Traffic Materials Branch of the Construction Division. A Guide for the Collection of Warranties on Sign Face Materials has been developed to assist districts who encounter premature failures. (See Chapter 4 for information on maintaining proper retroreflectivity.)

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