Our company, Reflective Inc., stocks a large variety of reflective tapes and sheeting. This includes adhesive reflective tapes, sew on, and heat applied. The article below lists every tape that we carry in house and gives a brief summary of what each is used for as well as its characteristics. For most of our tapes, we carry sizes from 1″ up to 30″, with custom sizes available upon request. For catalogs of other reflective tapes that we sell on a wholesale basis in cases, click here.
Flexibility, toughness, vividness, color, brightness, and backing types for reflective tapes vary. When choosing which is best for you, these things need to be taken into consideration.
All of these things should be taken into account when deciding the kind of tape to employ for your application. Each variety of reflective that our company carries will be briefly covered in this article. This includes our specialty tapes. This article’s objective is to assist you in making the best tape choice possible for your project.
Reflective Tapes for Vehicle Graphics & Similar Applications
The films below are in our graphics line of reflective sheetings. This means that the materials are easily CAD or plotter cuttable, and are suitable for vehicle or other graphics. Note that V82 is an ASTM D4956 Type 5 film, so it can also be used for sign applications.
Oralite 5650 Rapid Air Engineer Grade Retro Reflective Tape – this glass bead reflective film is made for the graphics industry. It is easily CAD and Plotter cuttable and its air release backing makes installation bubble free. Air channels in the adhesive layer allow air to escape from under the film. It has a 7 year outdoor rating and is an ASTM Type 1 reflective sheeting. Orafol produces 11 colors, and we carry the 7 most popular. Spec Sheet. Colors. Where to Buy.
Oralite 5700 Black Engineer Grade – Also, a Type 1 sheeting, 5700 is our high end black engineer grade film, but with a standard backing. It utilizes glass bead technology for reflectivity. It is part of our Bright (ELG), Brighter (5700), Brightest (5650RA) category. It is not a rapid air product, but it is still simple to apply, and more affordable. It has a 7 year outdoor rating. To apply, peel and squeegee onto a clean, smooth surface. Spec Sheet. Colors. Where to Buy.
Nikkalite Flexible Engineer Grade (ELG) – This is a popular Type 1 glass bead based film because of the wide variety of colors it comes in, and its ability to conform over extreme surface when applied with a little heat from a hair dryer. It is more conformable than 5650 or 5700 films. It is made in 14 colors, of which we carry the 9 most popular. Application is a simple peel and stick, and the material is very plotter or CAD friendly. Like most engineer grade films, it is rated for a 7 year outdoor life. Spec Sheet. Colors. Where to Buy.
Oralite V98 Conformable Prismatic Graphics Film – this is our prismatic, bright, conformable graphics film. It is slightly stretchable. It is easily CAD or plotter cuttable with a 60 degree blade, and is simple to install. V98 is very tough and very bright, about 6 times brighter than engineer type 1. Oralite makes this film in 6 colors, all of which we carry. This film is very popular for fire trucks and emergency vehicles. It is rated for a minimum of 5 years outdoors, and longer for vehicles kept in garages. Reflects at about 750 candelas for white. Also, due to its PVC construction, V98 is easily printable with latex, solvent, and UV printers. Testing a small piece is recommended. Lastly, this is the Oralite film that we use for our custom Reflective Shapes. Spec Sheet. Colors. Where to Buy.
Oralite V92 Daybright Prismatic Graphics Film – this is Oralite’s original single layer, prismatic graphics film for vehicle conspicuity. It is reflective at about the same intensity as V98. V92 is thinner than V98, and flexible, but not stretchable, so it is best for flat, smooth surfaces. It comes in 7 colors, of which we carry 6. It is very easy to CAD cut due to its one layer design. The daybright pattern makes it more vivid in the daytime. Approximately 500 candelas for white. Like V98 it has a minimum 5 years outdoor life. Spec Sheet. Colors. Where to Buy.
Oralite V82 Type 5 Vehicle Graphics Film – this is Oralite’s Type 5 Prismatic vehicle graphics film that is also certified for delineators and channelizes in traffic. It is the brightest film available anywhere, coming in at ratings exceeding 1400 candelas when tested with a reflectometer. It is a 10 year outdoor rated film, and easily CAD cuttable. Like V92, it is perfect for flat smooth surfaces that do not require comfortability. It has a pattern, but it is very mild. Its main feature is bright reflectivity. We carry all 7 colors that Orafol produces. Spec Sheet. Colors. Where to Buy.
Reflective Tapes for Sign Sheeting – ASTM D4956 Typed Films
The following films are ASTM Type films designed for use in traffic sign applications. For signs there are Type 1 – Type 11 films. Some types are discontinued. We carry the following.
Type 1 – Engineer Grade – (See Above) 5650 RA – 5700 – Flexible Engineer Grade. Glass bead based film. Not typically used for signs anymore.
Type 2 – Super Engineer Grade by Nikkalite – this is an improvement on standard engineer grade film, and to the best of my knowledge, is only produced by Nikkalite Reflective Films. SEG is a high index glass bead based film, and double the brightness of standard engineer grade with the same look and feel. 150 candelas for white. It is produced in 7 colors, and we carry 6 of these. SEG can be CAD cut. It can be used for graphics, but due to color limitations, engineer grade type 1 is more often used for this. This film has a 10 year outdoor rating. A faint star watermark designates that the film is true SEG versus Engineer. SEG is used more for non sign applications now. Spec Sheet. Colors. Where to Buy.
Type 3 – High Intensity Glass Bead Film (standard) by Nikkalite – this film is the brightest of the glass bead based films. It utilizes enclosed lens technology which basically encloses metalized high index glass beads in small cells to maximize their return of light. Only prismatic films are brighter. Approximate reflectivity is 250 candelas for white. High intensity type 3 is not easily CAD cut and is therefore not generally used for graphics. It is more suited for sign backgrounds or striping applications like with bollards. It does not stretch, but it is thin and flexible. It is made in 7 colors, and we carry the 6 most popular. Spec Sheet. Colors. Where to Buy.
Type 3 – Flexible High Intensity Glass Bead (conformable & stretchable) by Nikkalite – this is just like our high intensity glass bead film, but in a flexible, stretchable version. It will conform to uneven surfaces very well. Flex high intensity comes in 3 colors, Orange, Yellow, and White. It reflects at 250 candelas. It is possible to CAD cut, but not commonly used this way. A popular use for this tape is Road Barrels and Traffic Cones due to the materials ability to rebound. This is one of the most versatile films that we carry due to its brightness and conformability. It works on almost any surface. Spec Sheet. Colors. Where to Buy. (Basic Specs are the same as standard high intensity – only available in White – Orange – Yellow)
Type 4 – High Intensity Prismatic (Similar to Diamond Grade in feel and appearance) – this is an air backed “Prismatic” film which simply means that prisms are set over an air space which is backed by a white film. This produces a vivid colored retro reflective tape with great reflectivity. About 360 candelas for white HIP. The film is thicker than engineer, SEG, or high intensity films, and feels a little thinner than a credit card. Nikkalite produces 6 colors and we carry them all. The material can be cut with scissors, but is a little thick to easily CAD cut. It is perfect for sign backgrounds and for striping on objects and vehicles. It is also printable. It needs to be applied to a flat, smooth surface. 10 year outdoor rating. Spec Sheet. Colors. Where to Buy.
Type 5 – V82 (AP1000) by Oralite – see description above under graphics films.
Type 6 – Marathon or Super Bright Roll Up Signs by Oralite – this is a special non adhesive product that is used for the temporary roll up signs that you see on roadways across the country and around the world. This article describes tape types and backings. Roll up signs are Type 6 films, with a Class 5 backing. Spec Sheet. Colors. Where to Buy.
Type 8 – Crystal Grade by Nikkalite (compare to Diamond Grade in feel, appearance, and brightness) – A highly reflective and very tough film manufactured in Japan by Nippon Carbide (Nikkalite) This ASTM D4956 Type 8 film is similar to Type 4 High Intensity Prismatic, but brighter. Carries a 10 year outdoor rating. Air backed prismatic film for vivid colors and high reflectivity. Manufactured in 8 colors, of which we carry the Lime and Red. Other colors can be purchase thought special order. Because it is thicker and acrylic based, it is difficult to CAD cut. Therefore it is mostly used for sign backgrounds, bollards, vehicles, and other striping applications where night time visibility is desired. Spec Sheet. Colors. Where to Buy.
Type 11 – Oralite 9900 Wide Observation Brilliant Reflective (newest and most advanced sign sheeting on the market) – this film is the latest in retro reflective technology. It is an air back prismatic with deeper specially designed prisms that reflect at wider angles. The main feature of this film is its ability to return higher percentages of light, while producing a wider cone of reflectivity than standard reflective sign sheeting. Oralite 9900 Brilliant Reflective is also printable with most wide format printers. UV, latex, and Eco Solvent ink jet printers are in general, compatible with this material. Testing a small piece is recommended. 9900 is a 12 year rated outdoor film. Like almost all air backed acrylic based reflective films, it is difficult to CAD cut. So it is used for backgrounds, striping, bollards, and applications where extreme reflectivity and wide observation is needed. Spec Sheet. Colors. Where to Buy.
Specialty Reflective Tapes for Specific Applications
V52 “Diamond Plate Pattern” DOT C2 Tractor Trailer Tape by Oralite – this Red and White alternating prismatic tape is certified for DOT C2 applications for trucks in excess of 10,000 pounds, and over 80 inches wide. It is available in a 6″ red / 6″ white pattern, as well as a 7″ white / 11″ red pattern. It has an outdoor rating of 5 years. V52 is a single layer monolithic film which means that it will not delaminate like other brands, even when impacted. It reflects at 460 candelas for the white portion of the tape, and 75 for the red. It is a polyester based film. Very thin, and very rugged. Spec Sheet. Colors. Where to Buy.
V92 “Daybright” DOT C2 Tractor Trailer Tape by Oralite – this is a red and white (silver) alternating block pattern prismatic DOT C2 tape made for tractor trailer rigs. It is a 5 year outdoor film. It has the daybright pattern which makes it more vivid in the daytime. More white, and more red in color. Night time reflectivity is 460 candelas for the white and 75 for the red. Like our V52 and V82, this is a thin, single layer film that does not delaminate. All feature a strong peel and stick adhesive. Spec Sheet. Colors. Where to Buy.
V82 “Type 5” DOT C2 Tractor Trailer Tape by Oralite – this is our Type 5 DOT tape. It is the brightest in the Oralite line of DOT C2 tapes. It has a 10 year outdoor life. The white on V82 tape reflects at 700 candelas, and the red reflects at 120 candelas. Like all Oralite metallized DOT tapes, V82 is a thin, bright film. V82 will provide the greatest protection against collisions, and the longest sight distance. The adhesive is strong, and is a peel and stick application. V82 has less of a pattern and focuses on nighttime brightness versus daytime vividness. Spec Sheet. Colors. Where to Buy.
V82 School Bus Tape “Type 5” by Oralite – this tape is made from the same AP1000 film that V82 is made from. The difference is that it is a yellow color. It is a thin, single layer tape and highly reflective. The brightest reflective film in the Oralite line of products. V82 school bus yellow tape reflects at 470 candelas. Like all the other AP1000 or V82 based films, a long sight distance is provided which gives other drivers plenty of time to react. This school bus tape has a very mild pattern. Spec Sheet. Colors. Where to Buy.
V59 School Bus Tape “Vivid Air Backed” by Oralite – this is an acrylic based air back prismatic tape. It is more vivid than a metallized film. The white is more white and the red is more red. The downside is ruggedness. For most applications this is fine, however, for installs where the tape may be impacted, a metallized film like a V82 or V99 is preferable. It has a 10 year outdoor rating. Spec Sheet. Colors. Where to Buy.
V99 School Bus Tape “OEM” by Oralite – this is an OEM film and often the reflective school bus tape you will find on buses coming directly from the factory. It has a hexagon pattern that uniquely identifies it from other films. Like V82, the yellow is more of an amber yellow, but incredibly bright. Seen from thousands versus hundreds of feet away. This film has a 10 year outdoor rating and reflects at 310 candelas. Spec Sheet. Colors. Where to Buy.
Rail Gate Arm Tape (RGA – R82) by Oralite – this reflective tape is designed specifically for Automatic and Manual Gate Arms and exceeds all standard and regulations. You will see this tape used at all railroad crossings in the United States, and on most automatic gate arms. Its use is mandated by the MUTCD and the Corp of Engineers. RGA comes in a 16″ red / 16″ white (silver) block pattern. The up and down block pattern designates that traffic must stop, versus go around which is what left and right slanted tapes are for. This tape is an ASTM Type 5 film that reflects at 700 candelas for white, and 120 candelas for red. It is a thin, single layer tape that will not delaminate. Simple peel and stick application. Spec Sheet. Colors. Where to Buy.
FRA Rail Car Tape – FRA-224 (R99) by Oralite – this is a retro reflective tape made especially for rail cars. FRA regulations require that the sides of the cars, as well as the front and back be marked with a certified tape. White or Yellow. We carry both colors and our rolls are Kiss Cut meaning you can peel off 18″ sections from the roll. The standard width for rolls is 4″. Oralite FRA has a 10 year outdoor rating. White reflects at 600 candelas, and Yellow reflects at 400. Spec Sheet. Colors. Where to Buy.
1403 SOLAS “Adhesive” Coast Guard Approved Tape – this is a very special prismatic tape that is designed specifically for marine environments. It has two features that lend itself to demanding surroundings. First is its brightness. SOLAS reflects in excess of 1000 candelas, over 13 times as bright as engineer grade white. This allows it to be seen from thousands of feet away versus hundreds. Second, it has an extra thick, extra strong adhesive backing. This keeps it in place in all kinds of conditions. SOLAS by Oralite has a special Ships Wheel” logo that designates it as genuine SOLAS tape that meets Coast Guard and IMO specs. Be aware that fake SOLAS tapes are prevalent on market places. These are generally glass bead tapes versus prismatic and do not reflect the same distance. Not even close. So for genuine coast guard approved SOLAS, stick with Oralite. Spec Sheet. Color. Where to Buy.
1403 SOLAS “Sew On” Coast Guard Approved Tape – this tape is like 1403 SOLAS above, only with a fabric backing. It is designed for sew on applications. It is not available in colors, however, our GP440 is an equivalent film and is available in silver and lime. Spec Sheet. Color. Where to Buy.
1404 SOLAS “Conformable” Coast Guard Approved Tape – this type of SOLAS is flexible and will stretch. This makes it perfect for applications where conformability is needed, such as on a Zodiac inflatable boat, or a survival suit. It is available only in the standard Silver (white) color and has the same strong adhesive as the 1403. Spec Sheet. Color. Where to Buy.
V98 Pre-Striped Lime & Red Chevron Striping Tape – this is a specialty ultra bright prismatic product designed for creating chevron designs or panels on the backs of fire trucks and apparatus. It is NFPA 1901 compliant. V98 is one of Oralite’s most popular films, and being pre printed with lime and red make it especially convenient for striping trucks. The material comes in a Right Hand and a Left Hand slant. To create chevrons you need both slant. LH slants left like a Palm Tree that leans left, and right does the opposite. Spec Sheet. Colors. Where to Buy.
P82 Photo Electric Reflective Tape – this specialty tape is used for photo electric applications where a photo eye needs to detect the film. It is also used for range finder applications. ORALITE® P82 Photoelectric sheeting is a metalized microprismatic sheeting with integrally bonded cube corner elements. The flexible sheeting is not more than 0.008 inches thick and is provided with a clear weather and solvent resistant top coating designed for harsh environments and extended outdoor durability. P82 sheeting has been tested to conform to 900 x 900 brightness. Spec Sheet. Colors. Where to Buy.
Reflective Tapes for Work Zones
Engineer Grade Type 1 Pre-Striped Barricade Tape by Nikkalite- this is a standard white engineer grade reflective film, with Orange or Red 45 degree stripes printed on it. It comes in Red/White or Orange/White. The ink is applied before the top coat for a long lasting permanent stripe. This reflective material comes in either a Left hand, or a Right hand slant. Also, for the orange white tape, it comes in 6″ wide stripes, or 4″ inch wide. The 6″ wide material is for larger barricades, and the 4″ wide is for smaller folding barricades. The white on the tape reflects at 108 candelas, the red reflects at 21, and the orange reflects at 54. This is a 7 year outdoor rated film. Spec Sheet. Colors. Where to Buy.
High Intensity Type 3 Glass Bead Pre-Striped Barricade Tape by Nikkalite – this tape is similar to our engineer grade pre-striped, but made with Type 3 sheeting. It comes in Red/White or Orange/White. Type 3 sheeting encloses glass beads in cells, making the tape more efficient and hence brighter. White/Red or White/Orange high intensity glass bead film reflects at about 3 times the intensity of Type 1 Engineer. This simply means the tape can be seen from further away. High Intensity Type 3 films are rated for a 10 year outdoor life. Spec Sheet. Colors. Where to Buy.
High Intensity Type 4 Prismatic Pre-Striped Barricade Tape by Nikkalite – High Intensity Prismatic is brighter and more vivid than glass bead based films. It comes in Red/White or Orange/White. It uses Air Backed Prisms to achieve higher reflectivity, longer sight distance, and more vivid colors. It is an acrylic base film with an outdoor rating of 10 years. This film is used wherever Type 4 specs call for it. It is thicker and feels somewhat like a credit card. It is a good film for a flat, smooth surface. Of the barricade tapes that we carry, this is the brightest at 360 candelas for White, 145 candelas for Orange, and 65 for red. Same peel and stick application as our other adhesive reflective films. Spec Sheet. Colors. Where to Buy.
Oralite 5934 “Flexible” Type 4 Prismatic Pre-Striped Barricade Tape (Oralite) – this film is very similar to our Type 4 Prismatic but more durable and rugged. It comes in Red/White or Orange/White. Its PVC construction makes it reboundable and flexible. Due to its use in rugged work zone environments, it is rated for 3 years outdoors. The white in the tape reflects at 500 candelas, the orange reflects at 145, and the red 65. Spec Sheet. Colors. Where to Buy.
Oralite 5930 Flexible Solid Color Tape for Work Zones (Oralite) – this tape is based on the same air backed type prismatic film as the 5934 above, but in solid colors. 5934 is a Type 4 retro reflective tape that comes in White, Fluorescent Orange, Fluorescent Lime, and Yellow. As a comparison to other films, White reflects at 360 candelas, Lime at 290, Yellow at 270, and Orange at 115. This is a PVC based, flexible, pliable, softer reflective film. Versus acrylic based ones. It has the same peel and stick adhesive as our other films, and is a very rugged material designed for difficult environments. Spec Sheet. Colors. Where to Buy.
Oralite Traffic Cone Collars – our traffic cone collars are the wrap around type with an adhesive, peel and stick backing. They are cut from a flexible, conformable, reboundable prismatic reflective material. Reflectivity is similar to V98 at 750 candelas for white. We carry collars for 18″ cones, 28″ cones, 28″ slim cones, and 36″ cones. Spec Sheet. Colors. Where to Buy.
Reflective Garment Trims for Work Zones and Fire Applications
GP020 Sew On Glass Bead Garment Trim by Oralite –
GP025 Heat Applied (Iron On) Glass Bead Trim by Oralite –
GP330 PVC Based Prismatic Garment Trim by Oralite –
GP440 Prismatic Ultra Bright Garment Trim by Oralite –
POLICE GP801 Prismatic Garment Trim by Oralite –
Checkered GP800 (Blue/Silver & Green/Silver) by Oralite –
UFR Fire Resistant Utility Fire Garment Trim –
FTP-2550 (TO or TL) Fire Garment Trim by Oralite –
FTP-2575 (Diamond or Stripe w/ Diamond) Fire Garment Trim by Oralite –
Marathon or Super Bright Roll Up Banner Material by Oralite – this is a repeat of a product above in our Typed Films section. Type 6. It is a reflective banner material that is similar to the GP330 film above, but much wider and made to create signs or large reflective grommeted panels. We sell this by the foot, or we can cut it to length and grommet it for you. It is a prismatic material, and reflects at 500 candelas for the white. We have Fluorescent Orange, Fluorescent Lime, White, Yellow, and Fluorescent Pink. Spec Sheet. Colors. Where to Buy.
Steven Cole (Economics, MBA – University of West Florida , Business & Innovation – Stanford University) 25 years of experience in the reflective safety business. Specializing in vehicle accident and rear end collision reduction through increased visibility.