Suzuki DR650 Reflective Tape Page

 

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Suzuki DR650 Reflective Tape Page

 

Suzuki DR650

 

Reflective Tape

Engineer Grade Reflective Vinyl

Conspicuity Marking Tape

SOLAS

Very High Gain Reflective Sheeting

Tire Sheeting

Patterns

Flexibility/Mouldability

Application

Reflective Paint

Retroreflective Tape Categories

ASTM D4956

Type I Engineer Grade

Type II (Super Engineer Grade

Type III High Intensity

Type IV Microprismatic High Intensity

Type V Metallized Super High Intensity

Type VI High Intensity Microprismatic Vinyl

Type VII Long Distance Super High Intensity

Type VIII Long & Medium Distance Super High Intensity

Type IX Short Distance Very High Intensity

Type X Medium Distance Super High Intensity

Federal Specification L–S–300

SAE Standard J594f

DHS 46 CRF § 164.018 - US Coast Guard

Type I

Type II

49 CFR, FMVSS Part 571.108 - US DOT

Title 49: Transportation PART 39 - definition

TSD Number 108 - Canada

Other Standards

 


Reflective Tape

Among the things that will make riding safer at night, such as better lighting, bright colors and not riding in traffic, reflective tape can make a huge impact on nighttime rider conspicuity.  Even when your bike is parked and the lights are off, your bike will be far easier to see at night as headlights and flashlights will bounce back enough light from reflective tape to make your DR stand out like a spotlight amongst the darkness around it.

 

Various types of reflection off of oblique surface

 

To get the terminology correct, you are not just looking for a tape that "reflects" light, you are looking for a tape that reflects light back at it's source - most importantly shining light from vehicle headlights back into the faces of their respective drivers.  The ability to reflect light back at its source is know as "retroreflectivity" (AKA reflex reflecting,  retroflective).  And it's retroreflective tape that you want on your bike or helmet.

 

Not all tapes are created equal and there are many types and subtypes of retroreflective tape.  The difference in quality and brightness varies greatly from product to product and brand to brand and many of the tapes are not suitable for the curves on a motorcycle, unless you want to go for a tiled look. 

 

 

Early (1940s) drawing of Glass Bead Retroreflective Tape

Dotted lines show incoming and outgoing light

 

One of the earliest types of retroreflective tapes incorporated glass spheres (beads).  These glass spheres are natural retroreflectors that reflect light back at its source irrespective of angle of approach, as a sphere has the same geometry at any angle since it's a ball. 

 

Many versions of glass bead reflective products have been developed over the past many decades.  You can find numerous types of glass bead reflective tapes, paints and impregnated fabrics.  For reflective paints, glass can be added as drop-on beads or premixed in the paint.  For tapes and sheeting, beads can be enclosed in plastic or encapsulated behind a plastic sheet while still suspended in air.

 

One reflective corner in field of prisms

 

Another type of retroreflector incorporates a cube corner.  With a set of three 90° mirrors or reflectors, light hitting one mirror will bounce off or it to another mirror and back at the light source.  This can be seen in a house of mirrors, where, no matter how you look a a corner pair of mirrors, you see yourself looking back at you.  If you shined a flashlight one of the mirrors, your reflection would shine that light right back at you.

 

Early design pattern of Reflective Corners

 

Microprismatic retroreflective reflectors use patterns of thousands of tiny geometric corners that reflect light back at its source.  Because of its design and large reflective surface area, sheets and tapes incorporating this technology tend to be far more retroreflective than glass bead products and appear significantly brighter at night.  The prism angles can also be designed to reflect light back at different observation angles, and a single sheet or tape can incorporate multiple patterns that allow light to be reflected back in a tailored cone of light.

 

The 6 signs below are made from different grades of retroreflective tape.  The first row of signs are made from glass bead sheets.  The Roman numerals refer to the ASTM D4956 type (see below).  ASTM type I is also know as engineering grade reflective sheet and is made from enclosed glass beads.  These sheets are easy to find, are affordable, come in many colors, including black, and are commonly used on bikes.  Type II is known as super-engineering grade and is composed of larger sized glass beads and is much brighter than regular engineering tape.  Type III reflective sheet uses encapsulated glass beads and is much more reflective than type I and II.

 

 

The second row of signs in the image above use microprismatic (corner cube retroreflection) reflective sheeting.  As the image above suggests, this group of retroreflective sheeting creates a much brighter and more noticeable effect when headlights hit it at night.  Unfortunately, many of the microprismatic retroreflective sheets are stiff and will not easily follow the curves on your bike really well.

 

Arrow Head Lane Change Indicator Tape

Arrow Head Lane Change Indicator Tape

 

Engineer Grade Reflective Vinyl

3M Scotchlite is a popular reflective tape for reflective graphics.  This ASTM D4956 Type I is commonly referred to as Engineering Tape.  It uses glass beads enclosed on vinyl sheeting for reflectivity, comes in many colors (including black) and easily follows complex curves found on a bike or helmet.  Although generally adequate for most riders, the retroreflectivity of enclosed glass bead tapes are unfortunately are a fraction of that of encapsulated glass bead and microprism type reflective tapes.

 

When shopping of vinyl tape, note that not only does the quality of reflection differ from brand to brand, but the thickness of the vinyl itself also differs.  There is a reason that no-name brands are cheaper.

 

3M Scotchlite Reflective Material 680 Series

245 meters (800 feet)

-4° entrance angle and a 0.2° observation angle

Film and Color

Typical Coefficient of
Retroreflection

White 100
Orange 25
Gold 65
Yellow 60
Red 20
Blue 10
Light blue 10
Green 15
Lemon Yellow 40
Ruby Red 20
Black 30

 

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Conspicuity Marking Tape

These are used to mark larger trucks and are generally much brighter than the more common reflective vinyl tapes.  They generally come in bright white, yellow or alternating white/red, but are also available in other colors and combinations.  They are considerably stiffer than vinyl engineering tape and will only wrap in one dimension and won't follow the rounded and complex curves of a helmet or gas tank. 

 

The different grades of conspicuity tape vary in thickness.  The thicker a tape, the greater the durability, the lesser the flexibility and lesser the requirement for reflectivity:

 

Conspicuity marking tapes must meet ASTM type V sheeting requirements except for the photometric standards.  The DOT standards for conspicuity marking tape retroreflectivity are lower than the standards for road signing but some Conspicuity rated tapes also meet or exceed the ASTM type V photometric standards.

 

3M Diamond Grade Reflective Tape

3M Diamond Grade Reflective Tape

 

Tapes such as the 3M Diamond Grade tapes use microprisms instead of glass beads for retroreflectivity.  Prism technology is generally far superior to glass bead technology and these tapes throw back considerably more (6 times or so) light than bead tapes.  These prismatic lenses are formed in a durable transparent resin and sealed with a white synthetic film that allows for both durability and good reflectivity.  These can be durable enough to last many years of rough roads and many even be strong enough for rivets. 

 

Reflexite Daybright Yellow

Reflexite Daybright Yellow

 

The Reflexite Daybright Conspicuity Tapes do not reflect as much as the 3M Diamond series, but they do come in many bright colors that can help with daytime conspicuity or fancy color schemes.

 

3M Diamond Grade Conspicuity Markings Series 983

Typical Coefficient of Retroreflection (RA) for New Sheeting (cd/lux/m2)

Entrance Angle Observation Angle
0.2° 0.5°
-4° 30° 45° -4° 30° 45°
White 800 550 345 460 215 85
Red 160 110 60 95 40 16
Yellow 645 420 235 360 180 65

 

Reflexite Daybright V92 Conspicuity Sheeting

Reflexite Daybright V92 Conspicuity Sheeting

Coefficient of Retroreflection

(Candelas/Lux/Square Meter)

 

Entrance Angle Observation Angle
0.2° 0.5°
-4° 30° -4° 30°
White 460 250 100 65
Gold 425 230 90 60
Yellow 310 165 70 45
Orange 185 100 40 25
Red 75 60 25 15
Green 75 60 25 15
Blue 35 20 10 5

 

SOLAS

SOLAS stands for Safety Of Life At Sea and these tapes are designed to conform to International Maritime Organization regulation, IMO Res. A.658 (16) and meet U.S. Coast Guard specification 46 CFR Part 164, Subpart 164.018 for type I and  type II reflective tape.  It is significantly brighter than regular vinyl reflective tape, but doesn't have to meet the brightness standards of conspicuity marking tapes.  Also of note, one of the special features of SOLAS tape is that it not only reflects back light, it also reflects back RADAR and significantly increases a bikes RADAR signature.  This is great to have when stuck on an lifeboat at sea, but may not be entirely desirable when trying to sneak through speed traps.

 

3M SOLAS Reflective Tape

3M SOLAS

 

The 3M SOLAS tape uses sealed pockets to encapsulate light reflecting glass beads.  On the edges of the tape where pockets are cut open, glass beads will leak out and dirt tends to get caught in these open pockets.  This simple design is a bit stretchy and more flexible than many prismatic tapes which allows it to better follow complex curves (helmets) and to be used on clothing (lifejackets) without making it too stiff to wear.  It is designed for life jackets, ring buoys, survival suits, and inflatable life rafts in marine environments.

 

3M's sewable SOLAS tape (6750I) has a 4-mil polyester sewable backing and is about 13-mils thick.  Their adhesive backed tape (3150A) will adhere to rubber-coated cloth, vinyl-nylon laminated cloth, cured polyester cloth, PVC, aluminum, nylon and Codura and is about 11 mils thick.

 

The 3M USCG High Intensity Sheeting (USCGHIS) Series 5870S is a marine grade prismatic reflective tape.  This USCG type II tape is approved for use on dayboards and channel markers (nuns, cans, & offshore buoys).  It is basically a marine version of conspicuity marking tape.

 

Reflexite SOLAS Logo

Reflexite SOLAS Logo

 

Reflexite has two  marine application tapes.  The USCG type I FD1404 is designed for flexible and inflatable applications and the USCG type II FD 1403 is 8 mils thick and is designed for life jackets, as well as continuous outdoor exposure applications (ring buoys, life floats, raft and life boats).  Both are ASTM D 4956 type V prismatic reflective tapes and claim to reflect at higher angles and be brighter than 3M's encapsulated glass bead SOLAS.  Reflexite can be identified by its "Ships Wheel" logo on the tape itself.

 

3M Scotchlite Reflective Material SOLAS Series 3100

Entrance Angle Observation Angle
  0.1° 0.2° 0.5° 1.0°
180 175 72 14
30° 140 135 70 12
45° 85 85 48 9.4
 

3M Scotchlite SOLAS Grade 6750I

Entrance Angle Observation Angle
  0.1° 0.2° 0.5° 1.0° 2.0°
180 175 72 14 2.5
30° 140 135 70 12 2.0
45° 85 85 48 9.4 1.0

 

Reflexite states that numbers for the white on the Reflexite AP1000 chart apply to the SOLAS products

Entrance Angle Observation Angle
  0.2° 0.5°
-4° 700 160
30° 400 75

 

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Very High Gain Reflective Sheeting

This is a specialty tape used  to enhance the reflected signal of polarized, laser, and infrared controllers and photoelectric sensors.  It can be stiff and expensive.  3M 3000X Very High Gain Reflective Sheeting is typically 3,000 times brighter than a perfectly diffusing white surface and 3M High Gain Reflective Sheeting 7610 is typically 900 times brighter.

 

Unlike the very stiff 3000X Very High Gain Sheeting, the 3M 7610 High Gain Reflective Sheeting is more fabric friendly and has been used on high end Gore-Tex jackets and other clothing.

 

 

Tire Sheeting

There are special reflective tapes designed to adhere to tires.

 

3M Scotchlite 8150 Tire Sheeting

Entrance
Angle
Observation
Angle
Typical
R
A
Minimum
R
A
-4.0° 0.2° 500 330
5.0° 0.33° 330 250

 

 

Designer Reflective Graphics

Reflective Bike Graphics

 

There are plenty of reflective graphics out there for you bike or helmet.  They may not be as bright as other high performance tapes listed above, but they may look a little better on your bike or helmet.  Fancy graphics may also command more attention than a strip of brighter reflective tape.

 

 

If you can't find the graphic you want, you can always have someone custom make if for you or you can get creative with the scissors and colored tape.

 

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Patterns

Cop Bike

Alternating Blue/Yellow and Red/Yellow color scheme

 

Brightness isn't everything.  Sometime contrasting colors will grad one's attention more than just a brighter single color.  Sometime less is more and stripes or checkers will offer better conspicuity than solid uninterrupted sheeting.  Notice how the police bike show above grabs your attention.  Even though the blue and red checkers are darker than yellow, the bike as a whole stands out since the contrasting colors create a perceived increase in brightness of the yellow.

 

Chevron Striping

 

It can be difficult to apply the ideal pattern of colors for visibility to a DR650 due to the limited amount of panels on this bike.  Hard cases certainly help and a chevron striping pattern is ideal if you can make it work.  Many of the EMS vehicles in Europe and now in the US are using chevron striping to increase visibility.  I increases a vehicles signature so much that many vehicles that use striping in the front will wire their headlights to go off when the parking brake is applied since the reflective striping is more noticeable than headlights.  These EMS vehicle also have a much larger surface area to apply a chevron striping pattern than a motorcycle does, but the point stands that chevron striping increases visibility.  Also note the universal sloping of stripes down and outwards in the image above.

 

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Flexibility/Mouldability

Motorcycle and helmets have a lot of multi-dimensional curves which can complicated reflective tape application.  For hard luggage cases with simple bends and big flat areas, you can use just about any of the tapes listed above.  For gas tanks and helmets, you will need to use a more flexible tape and may have to get creative with relief cuts to allow for very complicated shapes.

 

The 3M SOLAS and the vinyl tapes are the easiest to use for complicated curves.  They can wrap around most of the curves on a DR650 without having to get to complicated with the scissors.

 

 

Application

First thoroughly clean the surface where you want to apply your reflective tape.  Us rubbing alcohol to remove any waxes or oils that will hinder adhesion of the tape.  Avoid using paper towels that may contain unwanted oils and leave paper dust.


Some folks will perform a wet application.  To do this, mix a solution of about 7-8 drops of Palmolive dishwashing soap in 1 cup of water.  Use a spray bottle to wet the surface area and carefully apply your tape.  The tape will slide a little and you can carefully squeeze out any air bubbles and contour the tape over your curved surface.  Once you have the tape in place, allow it to dry before cleaning off water spots and rubbing it down.

 

Others prefer a dry application, which should in theory allow for better adhesion.  This is more difficult as the tape is very sticky and not very forgiving once it sticks.  It is also more difficult contour and you may be tempted to over stretch the tape.

 

The pressure sensitive vinyl tape has a layer of microscopic beads that are ruptured when enough pressure is applied to the film.  It is therefore important to apply enough pressure to the tape for it to properly stick to the surface you are covering.  So after applying your tape, give it a good rubbing.  A plastic credit card will work as a squeegee.

 

Later, you will notice some trapped air bubbles and if the conditions are just right (sunny hot day after garaged in a cool area) you'll have some horrific bubbling.  Not to worry.  You can either take a needle to the bubble and squeeze out the trapped air, or just let the air dissipate over time and give the tape an occasional rub.

 

Some folks will use a hair drier to coax the tape around curves a little.

 

3M SOLAS Application Instructions:

The coated fabric must be clean, dry, and substantially free of contamination. If necessary, wipe the substrate surface with a mild solvent, such as VM & P Naphtha or mineral spirits (test the solvent first on a small area of the fabric to make sure the surface is not damaged).


The minimum application temperature is 60°F (15°C). Whenever possible, remove flotation material or deflate equipment, and smooth out wrinkles.

 

  1. Hand cut, die-cut, or guillotine the reflective material to the desired size one layer at a time. Do not cut in multi-layers. Use sharp dies or blades made of steel or magnesium.

     

  2. Separate approximately 1” of liner paper from reflective material. Bend liner back onto itself.

     

  3. When everything is properly aligned, press down the exposed adhesive area by using a squeegee starting from the inside and working towards end.

     

  4. Slowly remove the rest of the liner as the squeegee application is made, keeping material away from fabric until pressure is applied. Squeegee down entire reflective area in this manner.

     

  5. On all vinyl applications, use talcum powder around edges after material application to prevent tackiness.

 

It is recommended, to improve adhesion, to allow 48 hours (above 60°F) before handling, inflating, or packaging.

 

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Reflective Paint

Glass Beads in Paint

Micro Glass Bead Impregnated Paint

 

You can get paint impregnated with glass bead and either spray, brush or role on your new glitter scheme.  You can even coat a layer of glow in the dark paint or some obnoxious florescent paint scheme to increase conspicuity during the day.

 

Related Links:

 

 


Retroreflective Tape Categories

You may on occasion see references to various standards that a manufactures reflective tape meets.  The following is not all inclusive, but list some of the more common standards seen.

 

ASTM D4956 (Standard Specification for Retroreflective Sheeting for Traffic Control)

This set of standards are for retroreflectivity of traffic signs and the like in the US.  They are currently on version ASTM D4956-07e1.  This standard replaces the Federal Standard  L-S-200 and MIL-S-83946 for reflective tape and sheeting.

 

Here are some categories of reflective tapes, as classified by AST D4956-07e1:

 

 

ASTM D4956 Table 1 Type I SheetingA

Observation Angle Entrance Angle White Yellow Orange Green Red Blue Brown
0.2° -4° 70 50 25 9.0 14 4.0 1.0
0.2° +30° 30 22 7.0 3.5 6.0 1.7 0.3
0.5° -4° 30 25 13 4.5 7.5 2.0 0.3
0.5° +30° 15 13 4.0 2.2 3.0 0.8 0.2

 

ASTM D4956 Table 2 Type II SheetingA

Observation Angle Entrance Angle White Yellow Orange Green Red Blue Brown
0.2° -4° 140 100 60 30 30 10 5.0
0.2° +30° 60 36 22 10 12 4.0 2.0
0.5° -4° 50 33 20 9.0 10 3.0 2.0
0.5° +30° 28 20 12 6.0 6.0 2.0 1.0

 

ASTM D4956 Table 3 Type III SheetingA

Observation Angle Entrance Angle White Yellow Orange Green Red Blue Brown
0.1° -4° 300 200 120 54 54 24 14
0.1° +30° 180 120 72 32 32 14 10
0.2° -4° 250 170 100 45 45 20 12
0.2° +30° 150 100 60 25 25 11 8.5
0.5° -4° 95 62 30 15 15 7.5 5.0
0.5° +30° 65 45 25 10 10 5.0 3.5

 

ASTM D4956 Table 4 Type IV SheetingA

Observation Angle Entrance Angle White Yellow Orange Green Red Blue Fluorescent
Yellow-Green
Fluorescent
Yellow
Fluorescent
Orange
0.1° -4° 500 380 200 70 90 42 400 300 150
0.1° +30° 240 175 94 32 42 20 185 140 70
0.2° -4° 360 270 145 50 65 30 290 220 105
0.2° +30° 170 135 68 25 30 14 135 100 50
0.5° -4° 150 110 60 21 27 13 120 90 45
0.5° +30° 72 54 28 10 13 6 55 40 22

 

ASTM D4956 Table 5 Type V SheetingA

Observation Angle Entrance Angle White Yellow Orange Green Red Blue
0.1° -4° 2000 1300 800 360 360 160
0.1° +30° 1100 740 440 200 200 88
0.2° -4° 700 470 280 120 120 56
0.2° +30° 400 270 160 72 72 32
0.5° -4° 160 110 64 28 28 13
0.5° +30° 75 51 30 13 13 6.0

 

ASTM D4956 Table 6 Type VI SheetingA

Observation Angle Entrance Angle White Yellow Orange Green Red Blue Fluorescent
Yellow-Green
Fluorescent
Yellow
Fluorescent
Orange
0.1° -4° 750 525 190 90 105 68 600 450 300
0.1° +30° 300 210 75 36 42 27 240 180 120
0.2° -4° 500 350 125 60 70 45 400 300 200
0.2° +30° 200 140 50 24 28 18 160 120 80
0.5° -4° 225 160 56 27 32 20 180 135 90
0.5° +30° 85 60 21 10 12 7.7 68 51 34

 

ASTM D4956 Table 7 Type VII SheetingA

Observation Angle Entrance Angle White Yellow Orange Green Red Blue Fluorescent
Yellow-Green
Fluorescent
Yellow
Fluorescent
Orange
0.1° -4° 1000 750 375 100 200 45 800 600 300
0.1° +30° 570 420 215 57 115 26 460 340 170
0.2° -4° 750 560 280 75 150 34 600 450 230
0.2° +30° 430 320 160 43 86 20 340 260 130
0.5° -4° 240 180 90 24 48 11 190 145 72
0.5° +30° 135 100 50 14 27 6.0 110 81 41

 

ASTM D4956 Table 8 Type VIII SheetingA

Observation Angle Entrance Angle White Yellow Orange Green Red Blue Fluorescent
Yellow-Green
Fluorescent
Yellow
Fluorescent
Orange
0.1° -4° 1000 750 375 100 150 60 800 600 300
0.1° +30° 460 345 175 46 69 28 370 280 135
0.2° -4° 700 525 265 70 105 42 560 420 210
0.2° +30° 325 245 120 33 49 20 260 200 95
0.5° -4° 250 190 94 25 38 15 200 150 75
0.5° +30° 115 86 43 12 17 7 92 69 35

 

ASTM D4956 Table 9 Type IX SheetingA

Observation Angle Entrance Angle White Yellow Orange Green Red Blue Fluorescent
Yellow-Green
Fluorescent
Yellow
Fluorescent
Orange
0.1° -4° 660 500 250 66 130 30 530 400 200
0.1° +30° 370 280 140 37 74 17 300 220 110
0.2° -4° 380 285 145 38 76 17 300 230 115
0.2° +30° 215 162 82 22 43 10 170 130 65
0.5° -4° 240 180 90 24 48 11 190 145 72
0.5° +30° 135 100 50 14 27 6.0 110 81 41
1.0° -4° 80 60 30 8.0 16 3.6 64 48 24
1.0° +30° 45 34 17 4.5 9.0 2.0 36 27 14

 

ASTM D4956 Table 10 Type X SheetingA

Observation Angle Entrance Angle White Yellow Orange Green Red Blue Fluorescent
Yellow-Green
Fluorescent
Yellow
Fluorescent
Orange
0.1° -4° 800 600 300 80 120 40 640 480 240
0.1° +30° 400 300 150 40 60 20 320 240 120
0.2° -4° 560 420 210 56 84 28 450 340 170
0.2° +30° 280 210 105 28 42 14 220 170 84
0.5° -4° 200 150 75 20 30 10 160 120 60
0.5° +30° 100 75 37 10 15 5.0 80 60 30

A Minimum Coefficient of Retroreflection (RA) cd/fc/ft2(cd·lx-1·m-2)

 

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Federal Specification L–S–300, Sheeting and Tape, Reflective; Nonexposed Lens, Adhesive Backing

On February 6, 1992, L-S-300C, dated March 20, 1979, was superseded by ASTM Standard No. D 4956

 

Cross Reference Table

L-S-300C Designation ASTM D 4956 Designation
Type I Sheets
Type II Rolls
Class 1 Class 1
Class 2 Class 2
Class 3 Class 3
Class 4 Class 4
Class 5 Class 5
Reflectivity 1 Type I
Reflectivity 2 Type III
Reflectivity 3 -------
Reflectivity 4 Type VI

 

 

SAE Standard J594f, Reflex Reflectors, January 1977

This SAE technical report provides test procedures, requirements, and guidelines for reflex reflectors.

 

Definitions:

  1. Reflex reflectors are devices that are used on vehicles to give an indication of presence to an approaching driver by reflected light from the headlamps on the approaching vehicle.

  2. The observation angle is the angle between a line from the observation point to the center of the reflector and a second line from the center of the reflector to the source of illumination.

  3. The entrance angle is the angle between the axis of the reflex reflector and a line from the center of the reflector to the source of illumination.

 

Table 1 - Minimum Millicandelas per Incident
Lux for a Red Reflex Reflector

Observation Angle

Entrance Angle (deg)

10° 10° 20° 20°
0.2° 420 280 280 140 140
1.5° 6 5 5 3 3

 

Table 1A - Minimum Candlepower per Footcandle -
Red Reflex Reflector

Observation Angle

Entrance Angle (deg)

10° 10° 20° 20°
0.2° 4.5 3.0 3.0 1.5 1.5
1.5° 0.07 0.05 0.05 0.03 0.03

 

 

Coast Guard, DHS 46 CRF § 164.018

This subpart prescribes design requirements, approval tests, and procedures for approving retroreflective material used on lifesaving equipment.

 

 

Divergence angle (Observation angle)1 Incidence angle (Entrance angle)1 Reflective intensity (Specific intensity per unit area)1
0.2° -4° 150
0.2° +30° 75
0.2° +45° 50
0.5° -4° 57
0.5° +30° 33
0.5° +45° 25
2.0° -4° 2.5
2.0° +30° 2.0
2.0° +45° 1.0

1 These terms are described in Federal Specification L-S-300.

 

Among other tests, there is a requirement for resistance to water immersion.

 

 

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) - 49 CFR, FMVSS Part 571.108 Ch. V (10–1–04 Edition) - US

S5.1.1.4 Reflective material conforming to Federal Specification L–S–300, Sheeting and Tape, Reflective; Nonexposed Lens, Adhesive Backing, September 7, 1965, may be used for side reflex reflectors if this material as used on the vehicle, meets the performance standards in either Table I or Table IA of SAE Standard J594f, Reflex Reflectors, January 1977.

 

 

S5.1.5 The color in all lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment to which this standard applies shall comply with SAE Standard J578c, Color Specification for Electric Signal Lighting Devices, February 1977.

 

 

S5.7 Conspicuity Systems. Each trailer of 80 or more inches overall width, and with a GVWR over 10,000 lbs., manufactured on or after December 1, 1993, except a trailer designed exclusively for living or office use, and each truck tractor manufactured on or after July 1, 1997, shall be equipped with either retroreflective sheeting that meets the requirements of S5.7.1, reflex reflectors that meet the requirements of S5.7.2, or a combination of retroreflective sheeting and reflex reflectors that meet the requirement of S5.7.3.

 

S5.7.1 Retroreflective sheeting. Each trailer or truck tractor to which S5.7 applies that does not conform to S5.7.2 or S5.7.3 shall be equipped with retroreflective sheeting that conforms to the requirements specified in S5.7.1.1 through S5.7.1.5.

 

S5.7.1.1 Construction. Retroreflective sheeting shall consist of a smooth, flat, transparent exterior film with retroreflective elements embedded or suspended beneath the film so as to form a non-exposed retroreflective optical system.

 

S5.7.1.2 Performance requirements. Retroreflective sheeting shall meet the requirements of ASTM D 4956–90, Standard Specification for Retroreflective Sheeting for Traffic Control, for Type V Sheeting, except for the photometric requirements, and shall meet the minimum photometric performance requirements specified in Figure 29.

 

S5.7.1.3 Sheeting pattern, dimensions, and relative coefficients of retroreflection.

 

(a) Retroreflective sheeting shall be applied in a pattern of alternating white and red color segments to the sides and rear of each trailer, and to the rear of each truck tractor, and in white to the upper rear corners of each trailer and truck tractor, in the locations specified in S5.7.1.4, and Figures 30–1 through 30–4, or Figure 31, as appropriate.

 

(b) Except for a segment that is trimmed to clear obstructions, or lengthened to provide red sheeting near red lamps, each white or red segment shall have a length of 300 mm ±150 mm.

 

(c) Neither white nor red sheeting shall represent more than two thirds of the aggregate of any continuous strip marking the width of a trailer, or any continuous or broken strip marking its length.

 

(d) Retroreflective sheeting shall have a width of not less than 50 mm (Grade DOT-C2), 75 mm (Grade DOTC3), or 100 mm (Grade DOT-C4).

 

(e) The coefficients for retroreflection of each segment of red or white sheeting shall be not less than the minimum values specified in Figure 29 of this standard for grades DOT– C2, DOT–C3, and DOT–C4.

 

 

S5.7.2 Reflex Reflectors. Each trailer or truck tractor to which S5.7 applies that does not conform to S5.7.1 or

 

S5.7.3 shall be equipped with reflex reflectors in accordance with this section.

 

S5.7.2.1 (a) Each reflex reflector shall conform to SAE Standard J594f, Reflex Reflectors, January 1977.

 

(b) Each red reflex reflector shall also provide, at an observation angle of 0.2 degree, not less than 300 millicandelas/lux at any light entrance angle between 30 degrees left and 30 degrees right, including an entrance angle of 0 degree, and not less than 75 millicandelas/lux at any light entrance angle between 45 degrees left and 45 degrees right.

 

(c) Each white reflex reflector shall also provide at an observation angle of 0.2 degree, not less than 1250 millicandelas/lux at any light entrance angle between 30 degrees left and 30 degrees right, including an entrance angle of 0 degree, and not less than 300 millicandelas/lux at any light entrance angle between 45 degrees left and 45 degrees right.

 

(d) A white reflex reflector complying with S5.7.2.1(a) and (c) when tested in a horizontal orientation may be installed in all orientations specified for rear upper locations in S5.7.1.4.1(b) or S5.7.1.4.3(b) if, when tested in a vertical orientation, it provides an observation angle of 0.2 degree not less than 1680 millicandelas/lux at a light entrance angle of 0 degree, not less than 1120 millicandelas/lux at any light entrance angle from 10 degrees down to 10 degrees up, and not less than 560 millicandelas/lux at any light entrance angle from 20 degrees right to 20 degrees left.

 

FIGURE 29—FMVSS Minimum Photometric Performance of Retroflective Sheeting in Candela/LUX/square Meter

Entrance angle Observation angle Grade
0.2° 0.5°
White Red White Red
-4° 250 60 65 15 DOT–C2
30° 250 60 65 15 DOT–C2
45° 60 15 15 4 DOT–C2
-4 ° 165 40 43 10 DOT–C3
30° 165 40 43 10 DOT–C3
45° 40 10 10 3 DOT–C3
-4 ° 125 30 33 8 DOT–C4
30° 125 30 33 8 DOT–C4
45° 30 8 8 2 DOT–C4

  

Title 49: Transportation PART 393—PARTS AND ACCESSORIES NECESSARY FOR SAFE OPERATION § 393.5   Definitions.

Reflective material. A material conforming to Federal Specification L-S-300, “Sheeting and Tape, Reflective; Non-exposed Lens, Adhesive Backing,” (September 7, 1965) meeting the performance standard in either Table 1 or Table 1A of SAE Standard J594f, “Reflex Reflectors” (January, 1977).

 

Reflex reflector. A device which is used on a vehicle to give an indication to an approaching driver by reflected lighted from the lamps on the approaching vehicle.

 

 

Technical Standards Document Number 108 - Lamps, reflective devices and associated equipment (Canada)

Required Motor Vehicle Lighting Equipment -- Section S5.1 of TSD 108

(10) Where reflective material referred to in paragraph S5.1.1.4 of TSD 108 is applied to a non-vertical surface, the entrance angle used to demonstrate that the material conforms to the performance standards prescribed by that paragraph shall be the sum of the entrance angle specified in Table 1 or Table 1A of SAE Standard J594f, Reflex Reflectors (January 1977) and the angle by which the material deviates from the vertical, measured on the horizontal centreline of the sheeting.

 

Conspicuity Systems -- Section S5.7 of TSD 108

(21) Notwithstanding section S5.7 of TSD 108, the colour of retroreflective sheeting applied to a vehicle pursuant to paragraphs S5.7.1.4.1(a) and S5.7.1.4.2 of TSD 108 may be white, yellow, white and yellow, or white and red, in accordance with paragraphs 3.1.3, 3.1.2 and 3.1.1 of SAE Standard J578, Color Specification (May 1988).

 

(22) Where retroreflective sheeting referred to in paragraph S5.7.1.2 of TSD 108 is applied to a non-vertical surface, the entrance angle used to demonstrate compliance with the photometric requirements prescribed by that paragraph shall be the sum of the value shown in column 1 of Figure 29 of TSD 108 and the angle by which the material deviates from the vertical, measured at the horizontal centreline of the sheeting.

 

(23) The retroreflective sheeting applied to the rear of a trailer pursuant to paragraph S5.7.1.4.1(c) of TSD 108 shall be located not more than 760 mm above the road surface and extend to within 450 mm of the extreme outer edges of the trailer.

 

(24) Where a vehicle is equipped with yellow retroreflective sheeting, the sheeting shall meet the photometric requirements of the following table:

 

 

Minimum Coefficient of Retroreflection (cd/lx/m2)

Grade Entrance Angle Observation Angle of 0.2° Observation Angle of 0.5°
DOT-C2 -4° 188 49
DOT-C2 30° 188 49
DOT-C2 45° 45 11
DOT-C3 -4° 124 32
DOT-C3 30° 124 32
DOT-C3 45° 30 8
DOT-C4 -4° 94 25
DOT-C4 30° 94 25
DOT-C4 45° 23 6

 

 

Other Standards

 

 

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