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Thread: Reflective tape

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    Reflective tape

    Anyone know which is better, Reflexite or 3M Diamond Grade, i.e:

    http://reflectivelyyours.com/generic142.html

    http://reflectivelyyours.com/generic140.html

    Is the 3M harder to bend and stick on?

    I know SOLAS is the best, but it seems only available in white. I think white is too common so would prefer gold/yellow.

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    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    I saw a test in which the Reflexite was outperforming the SOLAS and basically everything else too. When I get home I'll find that link and post it for you.

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    AEO
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    on a related note, what is the 3M reflective tape hierarchy?
    All I know iis that engineering is pretty low and high intensity is a lot better.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

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    That Reflexite does look good in the photo. I learned decades ago that 3M tuned their various tapes to reflect very tightly as in the photo and at wider angles though more dimly the wider the angle. As I worry mostly about over-taking vehicles I go for the 3M "Bright Silver" tape on my Class 3 shirt. Front, back, sides and sleeves; wide bands of reflective tape to cover me from all angles. If you do not mind looking like a UFO use several kinds of tape.
    This space open

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    AEO
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    how about when they are wet?

    I'd imagine SOLAS does better in rain, seeing as it's designed for marine applications.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

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    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    how about when they are wet?

    I'd imagine SOLAS does better in rain, seeing as it's designed for marine applications.
    Hehe, I couldn't help but chuckle when I was reading 3M's spec sheet on SOLAS and it says it's NOT MACHINE-WASHABLE "Sure, you can be lost at sea with it, just DON'T let it near water!"

    My guess is that prismatic tape will all be hindered by rain to the extent that the surface is actually obscured by water droplets. But it's glossy tape, water should run off of its surface, right? Road grime sticks, though... it's hard to keep the tape clean & effective in the wet season. I do believe the satin-finish reflective tape, like my iron-on stuff, loses a lot of reflectivity when wet.

    I ride on highways with 60mph / 100kph speed limits, so I'm considering getting some Reflexite for my commuting bikes, to boost the detection range a little.

    Incidentally, Identi-tape.com's price on the Reflexite tape may be better than Reflectivelyyours. http://identi-tape.com/hi-intensity2.htm

    OT: I have one of these 15-inch LED bars on the way too, gonna wire it up to an extra DiNotte battery:

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    AEO
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    3m, or some other maker should come up with a miniature version of this wet/dry reflective tape

    from what I could recall in a video demonstration of it, it has dimples or bumps on the surface to wick away water from the higher areas to remain reflective even when wet.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

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    This is an article run by Randonneurs-USA (RUSA.org) on some reflective belts and ankle bands. Not tape, but you can still pull some useful information from it.

    http://www.rusa.org/newsletter/08-02-09.html
    Flying an airplane is really very simple...Push the stick forward, the house gets big. Pull the stick back, the house gets small. Keep holding the stick back, the house gets big again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by veggie_lover View Post
    Anyone know which is better, Reflexite or 3M Diamond Grade, ... Is the 3M harder to bend and stick on? I know SOLAS is the best, but it seems only available in white. ...
    I read 3M's and other manufacturer's specification sheet PDF's several months ago before purchasing tape. The 3M Diamond Grade is the most reflective in a given color (more than the SOLAS product, much to my surprise). See LINK1 LINK2

    White is the most reflective in any given product, followed by yellow. 3M apparently makes the Diamond Grade in a fluorescent yellow but I could not find a source.

    I ended up getting the yellow Diamond grade from Hillas LINK (ignore their picture, this is solid yellow tape, not alternating red and white). Now I have more than enough tape for marking the car door edges, bikes, etc. etc. The 1" wide will wrap (edge to midline of fender) around a large 26" fender (large = larger diameter) IF you put it on at an angle. I do not think it would stick well if you put a continuous strip along the length of the fender unless you made some small side cuts.

    The specification sheets have all sorts of info on what materials it sticks to (e.g. they have a special tape for sticking to motor vehicle bumpers), what diameter it can wrap around, etc.

    Edit:
    Example of the information on 3M Diamond Grade #983 at LINK (unfortunately, the columns of numbers do not come out aligned here, see the link):

    Table A. Typical Coefficient of Retroreflection (RA) for New Sheeting (cd/lux/m2).
    Observation Angle1 0.2 0.5
    Entrance Angle2 -4 30 45 -4 30 45
    983 Typical Values White 800 550 345 460 215 85
    983 Typical Values Red 160 110 60 95 40 16
    983 Typical Values Yellow 645 420 235 360 180 65
    1 Observation Angle - the angle formed by the light beam striking the reflective surface and the light beam returning to the observer (from 800 feet, a motorist normally views a marking at approximately an 0.2 observation angle).
    2 Entrance Angle - the angle formed by a light beam striking a surface at a point and a line perpendicular to the surface at the same point.

    For more on 3M Diamond Grade conspicuity products: LINK1 and LINK2
    3M Engineer Grade has much lower retroreflectivity: LINK
    3M High Intensity Prismatic also lower retroreflectivity: LINK
    3M SOLAS tape also lower than Diamond Grade: LINK
    Reflexite also not a good as 3M Diamond grade: LINK

    Bottom line: Get 3M Diamond Grade unless it will not conform to the curve and another product will.
    Last edited by Giro; 10-26-08 at 08:02 PM. Reason: More links & fix typos

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    AEO
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    excellent info giro
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giro View Post
    I read 3M's and other manufacturer's specification sheet PDF's several months ago before purchasing tape. The 3M Diamond Grade is the most reflective in a given color (more than the SOLAS product, much to my surprise). See LINK1 LINK2

    White is the most reflective in any given product, followed by yellow. 3M apparently makes the Diamond Grade in a fluorescent yellow but I could not find a source.

    I ended up getting the yellow Diamond grade from Hillas LINK (ignore their picture, this is solid yellow tape, not alternating red and white). Now I have more than enough tape for marking the car door edges, bikes, etc. etc. The 1" wide will wrap (edge to midline of fender) around a large 26" fender (large = larger diameter) IF you put it on at an angle. I do not think it would stick well if you put a continuous strip along the length of the fender unless you made some small side cuts.

    The specification sheets have all sorts of info on what materials it sticks to (e.g. they have a special tape for sticking to motor vehicle bumpers), what diameter it can wrap around, etc.

    Edit:
    Example of the information on 3M Diamond Grade #983 at LINK (unfortunately, the columns of numbers do not come out aligned here, see the link):

    Table A. Typical Coefficient of Retroreflection (RA) for New Sheeting (cd/lux/m2).
    Observation Angle1 0.2 0.5
    Entrance Angle2 -4 30 45 -4 30 45
    983 Typical Values White 800 550 345 460 215 85
    983 Typical Values Red 160 110 60 95 40 16
    983 Typical Values Yellow 645 420 235 360 180 65
    1 Observation Angle - the angle formed by the light beam striking the reflective surface and the light beam returning to the observer (from 800 feet, a motorist normally views a marking at approximately an 0.2 observation angle).
    2 Entrance Angle - the angle formed by a light beam striking a surface at a point and a line perpendicular to the surface at the same point.

    For more on 3M Diamond Grade conspicuity products: LINK1 and LINK2
    3M Engineer Grade has much lower retroreflectivity: LINK
    3M High Intensity Prismatic also lower retroreflectivity: LINK
    3M SOLAS tape also lower than Diamond Grade: LINK
    Reflexite also not a good as 3M Diamond grade: LINK

    Bottom line: Get 3M Diamond Grade unless it will not conform to the curve and another product will.
    Great post! I ordered some of the school-bus-yellow Diamond Grade from a seller on eBay.

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