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At Cole Safety Products, we carry four different types of reflective safety tapes.
Reflective safety tapes vary in brightness. There are several characteristics that should be considered when selecting which type of tape to use. This article will help you choose the right safety tape based on surface application, light dispersion and the distance the tape is visible.
Engineer Grade Type 1 Reflective Safety Tape utilizes high index glass beads to create retro-reflection. This flexible, versatile safety tape returns light at wider angles than prismatic tapes (much like a flood light.) Provides good visibility especially at shorter distances. Very durable with an outdoor rating of 7 years. Engineer grade only returns about 30% of the light source back to the source however, it is significantly less expensive and can easily be custom cut into letters, numbers, symbols, logo’s and more. Comes in eight colors and is great for traffic sign sheeting, commercial signs, addresses, mailboxes, boat and auto striping as well as graphics. Widths: ½, 1 and 2 inch widths.
High Intensity Grade III Reflective Tape also uses high index glass beads but with a big twist. In this type of tape beads are condensed into honeycomb patterns which more than doubles the tapes brightness and efficiently. Returning more light back to the light source than the engineer grade tapes. Comes in six colors and is great for traffic control, posts, marine, coast guard and any vehicle including motorcycles. Extremely durable with an all-weather outdoor rating of 10 years. Widths: 1 and 2 inch.
V92 Reflective Daybright Prismatic Safety Tape creates intense reflection using enclosed lens micro prisms. The unique day bright pattern makes this tape highly visible both day and night. Known as the industry standard V92 tape is many times brighter than tapes that use glass beads. Because of the narrower range of retro- reflectivity, V92 tape is highly visible from thousands of feet away versus hundreds for standard reflective glass bead tapes (more like a spotlight than a flood light.) Returns around 80% of the light back to the source. Very durable and weather resistant with outdoor rating of 5 years. Used to mark loading docks, bollards, poles, gates, barricades, traffic barrels, tractor-trailers, emergency vehicles, school buses. Comes in six colors and can be easily custom cut into shapes, letters and numbers. ½ inch, 1 and 2 inch.
SOLAS Prismatic Tape is the brightest tape around. This versatile marine grade tape is coast guard approved and is highly visible from more than 3,000 feet. This high performance tape comes in silver, is 8-mil thick, flexible, UV-stabilized and weather- resistant with a 10 year all weather rating. SOLAS (safety of life at sea) returns more than 80% of light back to its source. Meet U.S. Coast Guard Specification G-Sec-393A for use on Maritime Aids to Navigation. (M82-1545 FD1403 and FD1404 Type) Also comes in sew-on fabric tape. Greatly increases the visibility of life jackets, ring buoys, survival suits, boats, buoys, markers, rain suits, backpacks, jackets as well as trailers, traffic control devices, automobiles and motorcycles. Comes in ½ , 1, 2 and 4 inch widths. Can be custom cut into letters, numbers, shapes and more.
Reflectivity factors below are in candelas and are measured at a -4 degree entrance angle. The factors above are for white tapes and are approximate. The factors are for comparison only. The color of the tapes effects reflectivity. *Candelas (/kænˈdɛlə/ or /kænˈdiːlə/; symbol: cd) is the base unit of luminous intensity in the International System of Units (SI); that is, luminous power per unit solid angle emitted by a point light source in a particular direction
First thing, do not mix reflective glass beads into paint or cover them with a clear coat as this will negate or greatly reduce reflectivity. Reflective glass beads must be the first layer to receive light in order to reflect properly.
Secondly, let us talk about retro-reflectivity. Retro-Reflection happens when light enters the bead finds the edge and is returned directly back to the source of the light. Retro-reflection is directional. You only see the reflective glass beads reflect when your eyes are at the same level or in between the light source and the glass beads. Think of it like this: You see the signs reflecting on the interstate and roads because your eyes are at the same level as your headlights. If you were riding 15 feet above your cars headlights, you would not see the same reflectiveness. Factors that affect reflectivity (refractive index) are clarity, roundness and inclusions or air bubbles. In addition, the brightness of the light source obviously can affect how well the glass beads reflect. The size of the reflective glass bead mainly affects the angles that you can see reflectivity. One final note, do not push the beads down into the medium (paint, glue) just sprinkle on top and let the medium dry. If glass beads are pushed down too far into the medium, they will not reflect as well. Hope that helps! https://colesafety.com or https:reflectivebeads.com