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Choosing the Right Reflective Sheeting

Written by Geoff Gerling

Aug 14, 2023 5:43:00 PM

Reflective sheeting is a crucial product in both the sign and transportation industries. When working on a reflective sign project, you have the ability to get materials from Grimco and create reflective signs in house. Either way, it's important to know which reflective level to choose. 

Do you know what type of reflective you need? Before starting a sign project, find out if an ATSM D4956 Type is required for the job. The ATSM D4956 requirement will help you determine which reflective level to use. Now, let us break down the difference between the 3 reflective levels and when to use them:

  1. Advanced Engineer Grade
  2. High Intensity Prismatic
  3. Diamond Grade.

Advanced Engineer Grade


Advanced Engineer Grade is the most economical reflectivity level out of the three. Best for any sign not going on a major roadway such as, parking lots, neighborhoods, warehouses, loading docks, etc. We recommend using 3M™ AEG Reflective Series 7300 for any projects requiring ATSM D4956 Type I or no requirement at all.   

High Intensity Prismatic


High Intensity Prismatic is your everyday sheeting. The minimum sheeting level to meet roadways and DOT requirements. For example, stop signs, Street name signs, speed limit signs, and other regulatory signs. We recommend using 3M™ HIP Reflective Sheeting Series 3930 for any projects requiring ATSM D4956 Type III, IV.

Diamond Grade


Diamond Grade is necessary for permanent long term DOT work where ATSM D4956 Type IX is specified for the project. Best for large signs that need to be extra bright. We recommend using 3M™ DG3 Fluorescent Reflective Sheeting 4080 or 4000 for any projects requiring ATSM D4956 Type IX. 



Reflective Level Table


Sheeting Short Name Product Links ATSM D4956 Type Reflectivity Level Ideal Uses
Advanced Engineer Grade AEG

3M™ AEG Reflective Series 7300

Type I  Low Parking lots, neighborhoods, loading docks, warehouses, health and safety.
High Intensity Prismatic HIP

3M™ HIP Reflective Sheeting Series 3930

Type III, IV Medium-High Low traffic roadways, stop signs, speed limit signs, other regulatory signs. 
Diamond Grade DG or DG3

3M™ DG3 Fluorescent Reflective Sheeting 4080 or 4000

Type IX High-Very High Permanent long term DOT projects, Moderate to heavy traffic roadways, warning signs, work zones.


Have a project for reflective signs?

Whether you choose to manufacture your own or prefer to utilize the ease of pre-made signs, Grimco's got you covered. Check out our full line of traffic materials:

Sign Blanks

Reflective Sheeting

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