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Welcome to our “All About Reflective Tape” informational website. All the articles on this site are written by Steven Cole. To purchase reflective tape you can go to our Online Store. For more images you can go to our our Reflective Tape Picture Site.Reflect Tape

For decades, reflective tape has played a major role in enhancing night time visibility and safety. It has saved countless numbers of lives since it was invented in the

Reflective tape or sheeting is also referred to as retro-reflective in that it collects and returns light back to the source of that light. In other words, no matter which direction the light comes from, the reflective material collects it, focuses it, and returns it back to the light source. (often an automobile or flashlight) This is done via glass spheres that act as parabolic mirrors or through man made prisms that bounce light back to its source. In our article titled “How does reflective tape work” we show you how the tape is able to do this.

Retro-reflective tape is used voluntarily all over the world to allow objects to be seen at night. There are also government regulations that mandate the use of retro-reflective tape in certain situations. These include the :

Retro reflective tape is defined as a film that through the use of glass spheres or man made prisms, reflects light or radiation back to its source. Glass bead tapes reflect using microscopic glass beads that act as parabolas and direct light back to where it came from. Prismatic tapes use man made prisms or mirrors to collect light and send it back to its source. When a transparent color is applied to the surface of either tape the light that is reflected is colored.
Reflective and Retro-Reflective surfaces are often confused with each other. A surface that is Retro-reflective is always reflective but a surface that is reflective is not always retro-reflective. For example, a mirror is reflective but not retro-reflective.

Reflect Tape

One of the most important features of retro reflective tape is its ability to collect light, change the color of that light and send it back to its source. That is why stops signs are visible at night in a red color. Yield signs are visible at night in a yellow color. And so on. Without this feature, night time driving would be different than it is now.

The types and colors of reflective tapes are mind boggling. The huge variety of applications are what create the need for all the different intensities, types and colors. For example, trucks need a bright red and white alternating dot tape that can be seen from thousands of feet away. Life vests need a super bright white tape that can be seen from even farther away. The life vest needs a sewable reflective tape whereas the truck does not. Stop signs in neighborhoods can utilize basic affordable reflective tape that uses glass beads for reflectivity. However, street signs on interstates need a more expensive prismatic film. Distance is what dictates this necessity.
The Importance of Reflective Tapes for Visibility and Safety Control
Posted by NADCO on June 8, 2021 2:57 pm | Leave a Comment

You probably see marking or reflective tapes used throughout your facility and don’t give it much thought. After all, you already know there’s a step-down here or a potentially dangerous piece of equipment there, so it might seem like the tape isn’t doing much help to you. However, it plays an incredibly important role in the workplace.

Reflect Tape

Marking tape is applied to facility surfaces for a variety of purposes, including drawing attention to a hazard, identifying uneven surfaces or low clearances, marking boundaries and pathways, outlining emergency exit plans, and more. It often has reflective properties, which make it stand out from surrounding surfaces, so facility workers and visitors notice it and the information it is conveying.
Types of Reflective Tapes

There are many types of reflective tape available, each of which varies with regard to brightness and other features to suit different applications. For example:

Common Applications for Reflective Tape

Reflective tape can be used in many different applications, including, but not limited to, the following:

Why Should You Use Reflective Tape in the Workplace?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other government agencies require industrial and commercial facilities to mark floors and other potentially hazardous locations with tape to prevent workplace injury. The tape markings inform facility employees and visitors of dangers they may encounter within the facility and how to avoid them, which can result in improved workplace safety.

reflective tapes

Other purposes of reflective safety tapes in workplaces include:

Partner With NADCO for Your Reflective Tape Needs Today

Reflective tapes are essential to ensuring safety and visibility in the workplace. Want to learn more about this product? Ask the experts at NADCO. Equipped with nearly 30 years of experience supplying tapes and other adhesive products, we can answer and address almost any question or concern you may have. If you’re looking to partner with us for your reflective tape needs, request a quote. Reflect Tape
Retro Reflective Tape” is defined as a thin white or colored film (aka sheeting) that reflects light back to the source of the light using either glass spheres or man made prisms. The film normally adheres to a surface using a self-adhesive peel and stick backing. However, for garments and fabrics, they would have a fabric backing and are sewn on. A large variety of colors are created at the factory by coloring the top coat of the film with a transparent ink. Light goes in white, and returns as the color of the film. (i.e. red, white, blue, green, orange, purple, yellow, gold, black, lime) These colors are used for a variety of applications, with each having their own color. A red stop sign, for example.

Microscopic glass beads in a film act as small parabolas that collect light and direct that light back to where it came from. Man made prisms in a prismatic reflective film use tiny man made mirrors placed at angles to each other to bounce the light back. Glass beads are bright, and the films made with them are inexpensive, but micro prisms are much brighter and can be seen from much further away Reflect Tape
As stated above, reflective tapes come in a variety of colors. They appear as their normal color in daylight, and at night, when reflecting, they are the same basic color, only brighter and lighter. Street signs are one example of an application for colored reflective tape. Stops signs can be seen at night in a red color, and yield signs are yellow at night, and so on. They are also red and yellow in daylight. The ability of reflective tapes to do this is what makes them so useful when it comes to safety on highways around the world. Suffice it to say, the invention of colored retro reflective tapes has been a huge plus for traffic safety.

The ability of reflective tape to be made in so many colors makes it useful for applications like signs. Colors visible day and night also make it perfect for school bus marking tape, dot truck tape, orange work zone tapes, traffic cone colors, rail car tape, gate arm tape, and much more. And as mentioned above, each color has a different purpose in traffic, with many applications mandated by the MUTCD or other regulations. For personal use, you can use any color you would like, for whatever you like, for the most part.

Reflective tapes also come in different types. The term “type” refers mainly to the brightness of the tape, but also references other characteristics. The large number of applications for reflective tape are what create the need for all the different intensities, types and colors. For example, tractor trailer rigs need a bright red and white alternating tape that can be seen from thousands of feet away. We call this DOT Conspicuity tape and it is normally a Type V film. Life boats and life vests need an ultra bright white tape that can be seen from over a mile away in marine environments. SOLAS tapes meet this need and use the same base film as the Type V material used for DOT trucks. Some SOLAS tapes self adhere, and some, like what you find on life vests, are sewn on. Stop signs in Reflect Tape neighborhoods often use basic affordable reflective tape that uses glass beads for reflectivity. This film is referred to as a Type 1 glass bead reflective. However, on interstates, a much brighter and more expensive Type 8 or better prismatic film is required. Generally, required sign distance is what dictates the type of tape used.

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