High-Performance Retroreflective Glass Beads

Last edit date: 3/1/2024

High-Performance glass beads are used with State Specification thermoplastic for traffic stripes and pavement markings with enhanced wet night visibility. These high-performance glass beads are typically applied in conjunction with a second ‘drop’ of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Designation M247, Type 2 beads when placing thermoplastic traffic stripes and pavement markings.

The wet-night traffic stripe visibility advantage provided by high-performance glass beads is affected by the pavement’s texture and drainage efficiency. Best wet-night visibility is afforded when used on well-drained, open-graded asphalt concrete pavement. Retroreflective pavement markers provide much better wet-night visibility than traffic stripes utilizing high-performance glass beads. The use of high-performance glass beads in traffic stripes does not replace the use of retroreflective pavement markers but can augment roadway delineation by providing brighter traffic stripes.

Specification requirements are in 84-2.02E and 84-2.03C(2)(e) of the 2018 Standard Specifications.

Evaluation Criteria: Authorization Procedures and Acceptance Criteria for High-Performance Glass Beads.

Manufacturer Product Name Expiration DateBABA Act Information*
3M Connected Roads All Weather Elements (Series Dry, Series 50/51, Series 90/91and Series CA) 08/2025Manufactured product, covered by 1983 waiver
Potters Industries, LLC Visimax 08/2025Construction material, domestic source reported
VisiUltra EP 08/2025Construction material, domestic source reported
VisiUltra UC 08/2025Construction material, domestic source reported
SWARCO Industries Incorporated Duralux 08/2025Construction material, domestic source reported
Plus9spots 08/2025Construction material, domestic source reported

Products on this AML are products that have been evaluated and found acceptable for use, provided the products are used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Caltrans may perform additional job control testing during construction or installation.

Caltrans contact: Chemical Testing Branch, chemistry.branch@dot.ca.gov

*As attested to by the supplier.

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is implementing statutory changes required by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – Build America, Buy America Act (BABA), which expands Buy America to additional construction materials, in addition to steel or iron materials and manufactured products.