In the 1960’s Reflexite Inc. (now Oralite) designed and created the first prism based reflective film. These films or tapes differ from glass bead films in that they are much more efficient in managing and returning light. About 250% more efficient. Because of its efficient design, a prismatic tape can reflect at rates of 500 – 1000 candelas. This powerful return of light allows the tapes to be seen at thousands of feet away versus hundreds of feet for glass bead tapes. One of Orafol’s (Oralite) most popular prismatic products is called DOT C2 tape. Also known as conspicuity tape. This tape is seen on over the road trucks all over the country and around the world.
DOT C2 reflective tapes are designed to be used on tractor trailer rigs. It is a federal regulation in both the US and Canada that all tractor trailers exceeding 10,000 lbs. be marked with alternating red and white DOT approved 2″ wide (minimum) conspicuity tape along at least 50% of their lengths (can be segmented) and entirely across their back ends. Solid Silver/White DOT tape is required to mark the upper rear corners of trailers by the placement of two 2 inch x 12 inch segments together to form an inverted “L” in each corner. . Although DOT tape is made for trailers it is also very popular for non DOT applications such as motorcycles, bikes and other vehicles due to its extreme brightness and aggressive adhesive.
The C2 designation is simply the width of the tape. The most common and minimum required width is the 2″ DOT-C2 tape. We have information on C3 and C4 tapes here. A 3″ tape will however give you 50% more reflectivity and a 4″ will put out 100% more than a 2″ wide tape. For certain applications this is very beneficial and can make a work zone much safer.
Steven Cole (Economics, MBA) 24 years experience in the reflective safety business. Owner of Reflective Inc.