Most of the reflective items are made of soft reflective vinyl. We use these materials for different applications, including the materials from USA by the following manufacturers:
These materials mainly has two colours, silver and neon yellow. They are EN13356 (EN471) approved, and you should pay attention to counterfeit materials.
Standards and certificates
European standards (EN) are prepared by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) under mandates from the Commission of the European Union and the European Free Trade Association. Implementation of these standards is mandatory within EU member states.
All products complying with these standards must be marked with both the CE mark and the relevant standard number.
The standard covers three types of accessories:
Type 1 Free hanging accessories (such as our hangers)
Type 2 Removable accessories (such as our slap wraps and soft bands)
Type 3 Mounted accessories (such as our high-strength adhesive stickers)
Accessories are required to meet both surface area and reflective requirements of the standard. When mounting the reflector on a garment the surface area of the accessory shall be such that the reflective value requirements are met. The surface area for type 1 accessories shall be between 15cm2 and 50 cm2 per side. If a type 1 accessory is reflective on two sides the thickness shall be maximum of 10mm. Each type 2 and type 3 accessory is required to have a surface area exceeding 15 cm2.
The EN13356 standard specifies the optical performance requirements for accessories that are worn, attached to or carried by persons and that are designed for non-professional use. Visibility accessories complying with this standard are intended to signal the user’s presence visually when illuminated by vehicles on darks roads. This standard is not applicable to garments.
The European Norm 13356 determines the visual requirements for reflective accessories for non-professional use. As this norm deals with requirements for accessories, it is not as strict as those in the consequently described norms EN 1150 and EN 471 for reflective clothing. Accessories manufactured in accordance with EN 13356 are especially recommended for additional use on unlighted streets.
This norm specifies the visual requirements for reflective clothing for adults and teenagers and non-professional use. Reflective clothing that fulfils this norm is meant to make the wearer clearly visible during all light and weather conditions as well as when being illuminated by headlights. Clothing that has been manufactured in accordance with this norm is especially recommended for use during workout or biking.
EN 471 is the European standard norm for clearly visible protective clothing. It distinguishes between three classes that have to have different minimum areas of fluorescent background material and reflective material.
In this context class 3 is the most stringent and is thus recommended by the Gemeinde-Unfallversicherungsverband (GUV) for fire brigades and rescue authorities. Protective clothing complying with class 2 is suitable for both professional as well as private use, class 1 clothing may only be used in non-professional areas. For car drivers carrying a reflective vest complying with EN 471 class 2 is recommended to guarantee a sufficient safety and signalling effect.
EN 471 and EN 1150 Garments.
Whilst EN471 specifies a set of requirements for high visibility warning garments for professional use in the work place, the EN 1150 standard provides details for non-professional use, together with criteria for minimum area’s and placement of reflective material to achieve enhanced conspicuity. Garments conforming to these standards are capable of signalling the users presence visually under any light conditions both by day and under illumination by vehicle headlights in the dark.
Non-professional use, EN1150, is considered to be suitable for children, cyclists and pedestrian training activities, walking bus etc.
Each garment consists of both background material, (luminous) and retroreflective materials, (reflective bands and braces). The background material provides for day light conspicuity whilst the retroreflective provides for night time visibility.
EN1150 can either be satisfied by the minimum area’s of background and retroreflective materials, or depending on the height of the wearer, the combined performance area.
Line on surface
When you check the reflective items carefully, you will find there is a line on the surface of the slapwrap, badge, etc. The line may be more or less visible, as seen on the images to the right. The top image is a 3M qualitiy (notice the small triangular logos on the surface) and the bottom images are standard materials such as Reflexite.
Reflective vinyl raw material comes in different sizes. The American material i.e.comes in a roll (for example, 3M material is in size of (45.7cm x 100meter) while China made material comes in a sheet (45 x 45cm). Every 22.5 cm on the surface for the raw material, there will be a line. This is not a quality problem. Because the size of the moulding which produce the reflective vinyl is about 22.5 x 22.5cm. So it will not be possible to avoid the line.
You can print your company logo, text or image on the reflective item. However, the printed area must not cover too much of the reflector, it will then not be considered to be a reflector and will loose the CE EN13356 standard. The logo can be printed on the transparent plastic surface or below. The images shows the two different printing possibilities.
The image on the left shows the print above the reflective surface, while the image on the right shows the print below the transparent reflective surface.
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