How Does Reflective Material Work?

Enhanced Long Sleeve Visibility Shirt

Reflective material is worn by employees in a variety of industrial settings. It projects against hazards related to low visibility, allowing workers to safely move about where there are poor lighting conditions, heavy machinery/vehicles, and other hazards. Prudential Overall Supply offers a complete line of protective uniforms, including those with reflective properties. Here is a look at reflective material to help you better understand its purpose and benefits.

What Is Reflective Safety Fabric?

It is a fabric made of a fluorescent material. Reflective tape or shapes may be added to increase visibility even more. The material has a base cloth and adhesives to secure micro glass beads that produce highly reflective bands. Some are half-coated with aluminum to increase reflectivity.

The fabric may also be processed with coatings or composites. Another option is micro-prismatic tape. It is made of vinyl that bounces light around and back to the source. This can be produced in many colors and even with a holographic effect.

Reflectivity is provided in dull lighting or even in rainy weather. Fluorescence doesn’t occur in the dark, so no color will be seen in pitch-black conditions. In industrial settings, yellow and orange fluorescent clothing is most common, as it complies with health and safety laws. It’s used by truck drivers, construction personnel, postal workers, garbage collectors, and police officers.

Why Wear Reflective Material?

Reflective material is effective during the day and at night. Strongest during dusk or in low-light conditions like fog, it affords the following benefits:

  • It is highly effective when there’s a light source, such as headlights.
  • Glass bead reflective tape shines a bright white in response to light.
  • It’s also a low cost option and easy to add to garments.
  • Micro-prismatic tape is long-lasting and available in many different colors.
  • Nearly 80% of pedestrian fatalities in 2019 occured in the dark, according to the National Safety Council.1 Reflective material is recommended by the U.S. Department of Transportation in reducing pedestrian/cycling injuries.

How Does Reflective Material Work?

Men's Long Sleeve Hi-Visibility Ripstop Work Shirt

Reflective material that is based on the principle of retroreflectivity, in which very little returning light is scattered, is most suited for nighttime use. A large amount of reflected light returns to its source. Therefore, wearers of reflective materials contrast more with their surrounding environment.

Glass beads also reflect light directly back to its source. The material will only appear to light up when the person is in line with the original light source, so an observer near it can perceive light in low-light conditions. Someone wearing reflective fabric can be seen from hundreds of feet away.

Order High-Visibility Reflective Products Today

At Prudential Overall Supply, we sell high-visibility and enhanced visibility clothing including shirts, industrial enhanced visibility pants, and high-visibility safety vests, among a wide range of other protective workwear and apparel. Serving a wide range of industries, we also specialize in uniform rental. To learn more or receive help with your order, call us at 800-767-5536 today!