Retroreflective sheeting

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Car with reflective stickers. Flash photo.
Moped with Retroreflective sheeting tape. Flash photo.

Retroreflective sheeting is flexible retroreflective material primarily used to increase the nighttime conspicuity of traffic signs, high-visibility clothing, and other items so they are safely and effectively visible in the light of an approaching driver's headlamps. They are also used as a material to increase the scanning range of barcodes in factory settings. The sheeting consists of retroreflective glass beads, microprisms, or encapsulated lenses sealed onto a fabric or plastic substrate. Many different colors and degrees of reflection intensity are provided by numerous manufacturers for various applications. As with any retroreflector, sheeting glows brightly when there is a small angle between the observer's eye and the light source directed toward the sheeting, but appears nonreflective when viewed from other directions.

For road signs[edit]

Retroreflective sheeting for road signs is categorized by construction and performance specified by technical standards such as ASTM D4956-11a.;[1] various types give differing levels of retroreflection, effective view angles, and lifespan.[2] Sheeting has replaced button copy as the predominant type of retroreflector used in roadway signs.

For Barcode Labels[edit]

Barcodes can be printed onto retroflective sheeting to enable scanning up to 50 feet away.[3]


  1. ^ ASTM Standard D4956-11a
  2. ^ Retroreflective Sheetings Used for Sign Faces
  3. ^ Retroreflective Labels