ASTM E2540 - 08

    Standard Test Method for Measurement of Retroreflective Signs Using a Portable Retroreflectometer at a 0.5 Degree Observation Angle

    Active Standard ASTM E2540 | Developed by Subcommittee: E12.10

    Book of Standards Volume: 06.01


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    Significance and Use

    Measurements made by this test method are related to the night time brightness of retroreflective traffic signs approximately facing the driver of a mid-sized automobile equipped with tungsten filament headlights at about 100 m distance.

    Retroreflective material used on traffic signs degrades with time and requires periodic measurement to ensure that the performance of the retroflection provides adequate safety to the driver.

    The quality of the sign as to material used, age, and wear pattern will have an effect on the coefficient of retroreflection. These conditions need to be observed and noted by the user.

    This test method is not intended for use for the measurement of signs when the instrument entrance and observation angles differ from those specified herein.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers measurement of the retroreflective properties of sign materials such as traffic signs and symbols (vertical surfaces) using a portable retroreflectometer that can be used in the field. The portable retroreflectometer is a hand-held instrument with a defined standard geometry that can be placed in contact with sign material to measure the retroreflection in a standard geometry. The measurements can be compared to minimum requirements to determine the need for replacement. Entrance and observation angles specified in this test method are those used currently in the United States and may differ from the angles used elsewhere in the world.

    1.2 This test method is intended to be used for the field measurement of traffic signs but may be used to measure the performance of materials before placing the sign in the field or before placing the sign material on the sign face.

    1.3 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

    1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    E284 Terminology of Appearance

    E808 Practice for Describing Retroreflection

    E809 Practice for Measuring Photometric Characteristics of Retroreflectors

    E810 Test Method for Coefficient of Retroreflection of Retroreflective Sheeting Utilizing the Coplanar Geometry


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 93.080.40 (Street lighting and related equipment)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/E2540-08

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