Reflexite vs. SOLAS tape?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Anthøny, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. Anthøny

    Anthøny FarkleDurabilityTester

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    Since the reflectorized thread is very long, I figured that I'd start a more concise posting...


    Reflexite versus SOLAS tape? Which is more flexible? Which is better? Why?



    PS: I'm mainly interested in White/Silver tape.
    #1
  2. spicychili

    spicychili Been here awhile

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    I believe that reflexite is brighter and solas is more flexible.

    http://www.identi-tape.com/hi-intensity.htm

    What are your needs?

    As far as I know either one will stick well to side cases. I personally like the reflexite better.
    #2
  3. FlyingMachine

    FlyingMachine Adventurer

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    I had the same question a number of years ago and found this answer on a website from a company that makes protective fire equipment (hence the references to EMS and fire gear).

    It seems like Reflexite would be a better choice for most motorcycle applications with the possible exception of applications on panniers near the exhaust, where Scotchlite (which is what SOLAS is) would probably stand up to the exhaust blast temperatures better (but might still degrade from exposure to the roadway).

    ---------------------------------------

    Taken from Morning Pride Protective Clothing Co.
    in PDF http://www.totalfiregroup.com/pdfs/ClothingCatalog_pp52-58.pdf

    Reflexite and Reflexite Power Trim
    In June of 1986, Reflexite introduced new, brighter products. Like their older products, the new product employs closed cube prisms as the reflective elements. Advantages of Reflexite include ease of cleaning, ability to reflect equally well wet or dry and resistance to abrasion of the reflective elements. Disadvantages include a relatively low melting point (300º F approximately) and loss of reflectivity after high heat exposures. Reflexite is available in 2" or 3" widths in white (EMS only) or fluorescent lime, 3" lime with white center strip (Lime/White Power Trim) and 3" Orange with white center strip
    (Orange/White Power Trim) and 3" Orange with Lime center (Orange/Lime Power Trim). Reflexite has a 150 coefficient of reflectivity.

    Scotchlite (which is what SOLAS is made of)
    Employs exposed glass bead reflective material. Advantages include higher heat resistance than Reflexite products. Disadvantages include a tendency for the exposed glass beads to abrade off and/or clog with dirt over time (reducing reflectivity) and a slightly lower wet reflectivity. Unlike Reflexite, Scotchlite reflects light back in a silver color (not the trim color). Scotchlite is available in 2" or 3" widths in silver(EMS only) (500 coefficient of reflection), white (EMS only) (100 coefficient of reflectivity), fluorescent orange or lime (175 coefficient of reflectivity).

    ---------------------------------------

    Here's a good exaple of effective reflective marking on a UK R1200RT-P

    Attached Files:

    #3
  4. dirty_sanchez

    dirty_sanchez Dirty_Sanchez

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    If we're voting, Dirty votes for Reflexite.

    10 feet each of Red and White weren't enough for my bike.

    I'll post some photos of my 640 with Zega's all reflectored up.

    While the tape is pretty darned thin, on fairly shallow compound curves I think the tape would work nicely. When I say thin, think two layers of heavy duty aluminum foil.

    How sticky is it? I sell glue for a living and I know what sticky really is, and this stuff is sticky enough to pull off a fingernail.

    The white is so efficient, it actually hurts my eyes when the light from a flashlight hits it just right, I kid you not.

    The Red is pretty darned intense as well.

    If you look at the Reflexite Tech Data Sheet, in the upper right column of the first or second page, you'll notice a 3 degree figure. This figure refers to the max angle the light reflects at 99% thereabouts the light that strikes the surface.

    Other brands of reflective tape might have a greater degree measurement which is most important-Something I definately would ponder when I'm shopping for reflective tape for the next bike.

    You won't go wrong with the Reflexite in my opinion.

    Dirty
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  5. RL Lemke

    RL Lemke Long timer Supporter

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    Here is an unfair test. Unfair because the 2" SOLAS will always appear brighter than the 1" Reflexite. But anyway here it is.
    #5
  6. RL Lemke

    RL Lemke Long timer Supporter

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    I have other reflective widths but you get the idea with this test.
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  7. RL Lemke

    RL Lemke Long timer Supporter

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    Here is a distance test.
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  8. RL Lemke

    RL Lemke Long timer Supporter

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    Maybe a better test here.
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  9. RL Lemke

    RL Lemke Long timer Supporter

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    Even better test,
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  10. RL Lemke

    RL Lemke Long timer Supporter

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    Off axis 20 feet.
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  11. RL Lemke

    RL Lemke Long timer Supporter

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    30 feet 30 degrees
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  12. NJ Moto

    NJ Moto Glory Bound

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    There was an inmate that posted a link a while back that had a comparo of both. The Reflexite was much brighter in the photos, even the red and amber was brighter than the white Solas.:nod

    If you don't already know, the Solas uses tiny glass beads and the Reflexite uses prisms for their reflectivity.
    #12
  13. Wild Man

    Wild Man Escape Artist

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    FWIW, I deal with a fair number of different retro-reflective tapes and fabrics in my business and thought I'd add a little info for clarification.

    SOLAS (aka Safety of Life at Sea) is a rating given to any product that meets certain standards of the IMO, USCG, etc. for safety products used on boats. Many different manufacturers such as Reflexite, 3M, et al, can have SOLAS-rated tapes, as long as they meet the minimum ANSI reflective lumens standards. I can't remember which mfr had the hexagonal patterned "SOLAS" tape shown (possibly 3M?).

    Reflexite has several different grades of retro-reflective tapes, each with varying patterns and pros/cons as it relates to total reflectivity, flexibility, durability, etc. As with everything, there are always trade-offs. One of their best/brightest tapes is not pictured in your current comparison (the pattern is unique).

    I don't have the exact model numbers in front of me right now, but I can probably look them up later and post some links. Personally, I prefer the Reflexite adhesive tapes too - but 3M has some of the better retro-reflective fabrics I've seen to date.

    YMMV.
    #13
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  14. Anthøny

    Anthøny FarkleDurabilityTester

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    I would love to see the grade that Wild Man is talking about.


    Thankyou RL Lemke and all for making this a great thread!


    Keep it coming!
    #14
  15. Anthøny

    Anthøny FarkleDurabilityTester

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    I found this to be relevent: http://www.reflexite.de/news_207_reflexite-launches-new-film-design-to-combat-counterfeit-tape.htm


    <table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="665"><tbody><tr><td class="texteNoir" align="left" valign="top" width="506"><table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="505"><tbody><tr><td class="texteNoir">Reflexite Europe
    March 10 2006 Starting in March 2006 Reflexite® GP340, School Bag Tapes, Fire Tape Plus 1200, and
    master rolls will be manufactured with a Reflexite logo incorporated into the reflective film
    to protect our clients against counterfeit material. Some imitation manufacturers in the
    market claim that their tape is Reflexite, however, these imitation products do not perform
    as brightly, do not wash as well as Reflexite and typically do not carry approval
    certifications from the approved test houses in Europe (or any test house). Our aim is to
    ensure you get genuine Reflexite® products to enhance your visibility and to be Brighter
    Smarter Safer.exite has taken this step to ensure the high quality and rion
    Please feel assured that existing certificates of Reflexite® tapes remain valid. Reflexite will
    continue to sell existing inventory with no Reflexite logo until this stock runs out.
    Thank you for your continued business.
    Brighter Smarter Safer
    </td> </tr> </tbody></table></td> <td width="13"> </td> <td align="right" valign="top" width="142">
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="texteNoir" align="left" valign="top">[​IMG]</td></tr></tbody></table>
    #15
  16. NJ Moto

    NJ Moto Glory Bound

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  17. chrisjohn

    chrisjohn Been here awhile

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    Can reflexite be sewn onto something?
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  18. NJ Moto

    NJ Moto Glory Bound

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  19. NJ Moto

    NJ Moto Glory Bound

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  20. Anthøny

    Anthøny FarkleDurabilityTester

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    An update from Wild Man:

    "The one I was thinking of was V-82 in white. It's been their standard for many years, but also one of their all around best. You can find it in the DOT vehicle conspicuity section of their website. Besides being one of the brightest in reflectivity at most angles, it also doesn't have the "cells" like some do (i.e. 3M's SOLAS), which means it won't rupture around the edges as I've seen some tapes do over time from exposure to weather, etc. The pattern is very small, consisting of small diamonds in a single, homogenous layer.

    I've used SOLAS and had the edges (hexagonal cells) become discolored from rain/sun, but the V-82 holds up better across the board - and provides very bright reflection overall."
    #20