Owing to the increasing importance of reflective sheeting materials in our daily life, the demand for these essentials has also undergone a major rise. The most popular material amongst these is undoubtedly, the reflective tapes. However, the types and colors of these are so varied that it is difficult to choose the right one. Well, the difference in types, colors, and intensities has been given birth by the stark variety in its applications. For instance, trucks require a bright red or white dot tape that can be viewed from a safe distance as well. On the other hand, the life vests must have an extremely bright white tape that too must be seen from miles away. Stop or street signs in the neighborhood require basic tapes for reflectivity but these need a more expensive prismatic film. As we all know that there are two different sorts of tapes available in the market- the glass bead one and the micro-prismatic one. But if you ask which the brightest and more efficient one is, it has to be the micro-prismatic retroreflective one.
So, what are the different kinds of reflective tapes? Here is a list of vital reflective tapes that you need to know about before you choose one for your respective application. Take a look.
Flexible Engineer Grade Type 1
The engineer grade retro-reflective tape is a narrow and flexible material which can be formed into a single layer, thereby preventing delamination. It is available in a number of shades and also quite affordable, which makes it quite a popular choice of all the tapes that are available. It is associated with all the applications which require the viewers to be close to the tape and where conformability is essential. This material can also be computer cut into numbers, shapes, and letters for wide usage on emergency vehicles and signs. In order to make the colors reflective and yet achieve a contrast in it, these are also often merged with brighter backdrops. And since it is a glass bead, it will disperse light in wide angles so it is mostly referred for applications where the onlooker is within 50 yards of the tape.
Flexible High-Intensity Grade Type 3
This is another stretchable version of the regular high-intensity tape which comes in 3 shades- yellow, orange, and white. It is designed for traffic cones and road barrels along with other applications where a bright, flexible tape is usually required. For instance, the hard hats have an unruly convex surface where most tapes do not conform but this high-intensity flexible grade works wonderfully in this respect.
High-Intensity Grade Type 3
This particular reflective tape is formed by laminating the layers together. The high index glass beads are accumulated in small honeycomb chambers with airspace above and are excellent for designing a brighter tape. Despite being thin, it is firmer than engineer grade. Suitable for smooth surfaces, this is about 2.5 times brighter compared to the engineer grade. Mostly used in applications where a viewer is able to view the tape from medium distances away, this is a little bit more costly as opposed to the engineer grade but cheaper than the prismatic ones. This particular tape also refracts light at wide angles, and this combined with the increased reflectivity allows itself to light up faster than the other tapes. Although CAD cutting into shapes and letters is not quite advised with high intensity, it is famous for the creation of bollard wraps, sign backgrounds, loading dock markings and such similar usages. This is recommended for onlookers who will be within a radius of 100 yards of the tape or in places equipped with competitive lighting.
You must choose one or ask professionals to choose the one for you which meets your requirements. And you must remember that brightness is not the only concern while choosing these tapes. You have to focus on the durability, contrast, light dispersion, adhesion, flexibility, competitive lighting, price, etc as well.