Sign Sheeting Material/Roll Up Signs (SSM/RUP)

Sign visibility and legibility is important in providing guidance to the traveling public. Sign sheeting material is designed with specific colors and retroreflectivity levels to enhance visibility to the driver during the day and night. This material is also designed to be durable over specific time periods depending on the needs of the user. Sign sheeting performance is evaluated through the NTPEP testing process.

Sign Sheeting Testing History
Sign sheeting material evaluation has been managed through AASHTO’s NTPEP since 1994. Prior to that time, the successful Regional Testing Facility operated by the SASHTO (Southeastern states) administered the program. Under the umbrella of AASHTO, the NTPEP program expanded to the current four outdoor test facilities.

Benefits of the Program
Information reported by NTPEP is widely used by AASHTO member departments for decision on which products to approve for their QPL (Qualified Product Listing.) Participating industry finds benefit from NTPEP participation in reduced costs associated with product marketing and consolidated testing. In addition, an impartial comparison of performance with respect to competitor’s products is achieved through industry’s NTPEP participation.

SSM (Rigid and Reboundable Sign Sheeting)
NTPEP evaluation of rigid and reboundable sign sheeting materials consists of three-year, accelerated outdoor exposure on fabricated test panels. Sheeting panels are tested for retroreflectivity, color, and visual appearance initially and after 6, 12, 24, and 36 months. Also, a series of laboratory tests are conducted on the new sign sheeting material. All testing is in accordance with ASTM D 4956 specification. Lab and field testing is conducted through state DOT cooperatively, including the following states: Virginia (lead state), Louisiana, Minnesota, Arizona and Missouri. Industry participating in NTPEP evaluations includes all major manufacturers of sign sheeting materials.

RUP (Rollup Sign Sheeting)
In parallel, NTPEP evaluation of rollup sign sheeting materials consist of a one-year accelerated outdoor exposure of fabricated rollup test panels. Rollup samples are tested for retroreflectivity, color, and visual appearance initially and after 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, and 12 months. Also, a series of laboratory tests are conducted on the new rollup sheeting material. All testing is in accordance with ASTM D 4956 specification. Lab and field testing is conducted through state DOT cooperatively, including the following states: Louisiana (lead state), Minnesota, Arizona. Industry participating in NTPEP evaluations includes all major manufacturers of rollup sign sheeting which are commonly used in daytime utility and maintenance work zone applications.

Testing Results
Test result data is entered into the web-based Data Mine program where it is reviewed and approved by industry prior to being made accessible to the public.

NTPEP Annual Meeting
The NTPEP Technical Committee for SSM and RUP convenes yearly at the NTPEP Annual Meeting to discuss with Industry the current Project Work Plans and any modifications needed. Any changes to the Work Plan are balloted for adoption. Improvements are immediately implemented in the next available testing cycle thus promoting an efficient and effective testing program.

NTPEP Designated Labs:

SSM:

  • Virginia Department of Transportation
  • Louisiana Department of Transportation
  • Arizona Department of Transportation
  • Missouri Department of Transportation
  • Minnesota Department of Transportation

RUP:

  • Louisiana Department of Transportation
  • Arizona Department of Transportation
  • Minnesota Department of Transportation

NTPEP - Sign Sheeting Material and Roll Up Signs


Committee Name:
NTPEP-Technical Committee on Sign Sheeting Material and Roll-Up Signs
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Work Plan
NTPEP tests products according to a Project Work Plan, which describes the laboratory and/or field test protocols used to conduct the evaluation. The Project Work Plan is a consensus-based document and includes peer review and input from industry experts. Each Project Work Plan is adopted after receiving at least two-thirds affirmative support from 52 AASHTO member states. The Project Work Plan is the basis for host states to conduct their testing and evaluation. When implemented by state DOTs, their own state standard specifications may supersede the NTPEP Project Work Plan. Industry is advised to be aware of state-level requirements, which may supersede basic NTPEP testing.

Project Work Plan for Field and Laboratory Evaluation of Sign Sheeting Materials

Project Work Plan for Field and Laboratory Evaluation of Roll Up Signing Materials

Please go to NTPEP DataMine.

Please go to NTPEP DataMine.

Sign Sheeting Materials (SSM) Roll Up Signs (RUP)

Overview

  • This evaluation is based on ASTM D4956 “Standard Specification for Retroreflective Sheeting for Traffic Control”
  • SSM work plan evaluates rigid and reboundable sign sheeting
    • 3-year accelerated outdoor exposure evaluation
    • Laboratory testing of new material
  • RUP work plan evaluates rollup sign sheeting materials
    • 1-year accelerated outdoor exposure evaluation
    • Laboratory testing of new material

 

Evaluation

Laboratory Evaluation

    • SSM and RUP
      • Coefficient of Retroreflection – ASTM E810
      • Daytime Color and Luminance Factor for non-Fluorescent Colors – AASHTO M 268
      • Daytime Color and Luminance Factor for Fluorescent Colors – ASTM E991
      • Flexibility – ASTM D4956
    • SSM only
      • Adhesive Properties – AASHTO M 268
      • Impact Resistance – ASTM D4956
      • Shrinkage – AASHTO M 268
      • Liner Removal properties – AASHTO M 268

Outdoor Exposure Evaluation

    • Test decks in Arizona, Louisiana, Minnesota, and Virginia
    • Tests Performed:
      • Coefficient of Retroreflection, ASTM E81
      • Lab and Portable Color, AASHTO M 26
      • Portable Retroreflectivity, ASTM E1709
      • Visual Evaluation:

Shrinkage/Expansion

Cracking

Blistering

White Spots

Appearance

Comparison w/unexposed control sample

Links

Additional information about this evaluation can be found at: http://www.ntpep.org/Pages/SSMandRUP.aspx

AASHTO National Transportation Product Evaluation Program (NTPEP) www.ntpep.org

AASHTO NTPEP DataMine https://data.ntpep.org/

 

Success Stories

Manufactured products engineer
Scott Sommers, P.E.
515-239-1259
scott.sommers@iowadot.us

Iowa use of NTPEP for Sign Sheeting Materials
“With Reflective sheeting we used to do long term testing of this material on signs outside along with our normal reflective testing, Now with NTPEP we are able to utilize their data and our testing is limited to verification only which helps with other demands on our lab and personnel. “

Johnnie S. Miller, P.E.
Coatings & Traffic Materials Branch Manager
Construction Division/M&P
Johnnie.miller@txdot.gov

Texas DOT use of NTPEP for traffic safety products
TxDOT utilizes NTPEP for pre-qualification testing of various traffic safety products including flexible delineator posts, raised pavement markers, prefabricated pavement markings, and retroreflective sheeting. The NTPEP testing program frees up state resources and provides manufacturers a uniform testing protocol by which products can be tested without the necessity of having to perform qualification testing in each individual state.

Sample Specifications

  • Arkansas DOT Method of approval for Reflective Sheeting
  • Kansas DOT spec for Reflective Sheeting
  • New Hampshire DOT spec for Retroreflective sheeting
  • Virginia spec for sign sheeting