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Old 10-25-08, 01:38 PM   #1
veggie_lover
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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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Old 10-25-08, 03:05 PM   #2
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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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Old 10-25-08, 03:30 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 10-25-08, 08:07 PM   #4
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Here's the link I mentioned: http://www.mahonkin.com/~milktree/hawk/reflector-pics/
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Old 10-25-08, 08:43 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 10-25-08, 09:13 PM   #6
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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.
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http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm
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Old 10-25-08, 09:48 PM   #7
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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:

Last edited by mechBgon; 10-25-08 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 10-26-08, 02:19 AM   #8
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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.
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Old 10-26-08, 09:22 AM   #9
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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
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Old 10-26-08, 04:04 PM   #10
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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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Old 10-28-08, 02:28 AM   #11
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excellent info giro
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Old 10-29-08, 01:45 AM   #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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