11. HOW TO UNDERSTAND THE ADVANTAGES OF PRISMATIC OVER “STANDARD” GLASS BEAD SHEETING?

This is a simplified description of each:

  • Standard “Glass bead” reflective sheeting (Style 3M 680) uses glass beads to reflect light. This light is diffused in all directions.

  • Prismatic is a newer technology that uses miniature prisms to reflect light in ONE DIRECTION ONLY….back to the source of the light. If you are in the angle of reflection (like when driving a car with your headlights on) you will see a very powerful reflection directed exclusively to you. This reflection is up to 8X more powerful than any reflection from glass-bead products and can be seen from a much greater distance.

 

Glass bead (3M 680 style)

3M_680.webp

3M 680

“PROS” of Glass bead sheeting:

 

  • Much more flexible

  • Easy to force into compound bends and body recesses (license plate areas, under door handles)

  • No “cells” to worry about.

  • Can be wrapped around door edges

  • Available in “CR”….”Conformable/Removable” to facilitate striping and glue removal.

  • Wider range of colors available

  • Easy to screen print or digital print decals over white, but reflectivity is even more reduced.

  • Black is available

 

“CONS” of Glass bead sheeting:

 

  • NO FLUORESCENT LIME available

  • Lowest reflectivity (5X to 8X less distance than “conspicuity” tapes)

  • Very minimal “advance driver warning”

  • Not used for NFPA-1901 Emergency Vehicle Chevrons

  • Reflective power is diminished when wet, which is exactly the time when maximum visibility is required.

 

Typical prismatic products.

3M 983
3M 983
Reflexite V-98
Reflexite V-98

What is your REAL purpose in adding chevrons and lateral striping?

 

Is it for corporate or vehicle identification only?

 

Then glass bead is perfect.

 

Is it for increased night-time visibility to prevent accidents?

 

Then use the newest technology that gives motorists up to 8X the advanced warning of your presence on the highway.

 

EMERGENCY VEHICLE GRAPHICS

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Compare glass bead with prismatic.

 

Prismatic CHEK.R.POINTS on diamond checker plate compared to standard glass bead striping below:

Lateral stripe on Canal Flats is glass bead. Reflective power is minimal.

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Striping and unit number on roll-up door is glass bead. Reflective power is minimal.