Heat Transfer Reflective Tape & vests – Safe Use and Manufacture

17 Sep

Regulations in the U.S. exists to designate how reflective vests are made and how heat transfer reflective tape for clothing is used to improve visibility. Reflective vests must meet certain standards for safety in professional work environments

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has established a number of rules, regulations and guidelines pertaining to reflective clothing and heat transfer reflective tape for clothing – primarily for the purpose of maintain a standard when it comes to the design of these items. Minimum expectations and standards must be met in order to maintain certain safety levels for professional employees. These regulations are in place specifically for the protection of those working in environments or job sites that are deemed hazardous, or with a high potential for accidents, injury or death. The regulations established for heat transfer reflective tape for clothing and reflective garments are further broken down into sub-regulations for determining quality in color and other components.

The Color of Reflective Vests

The specific function of the high visibility clothing is to alert oncoming drivers, site workers and others involved in traffic of the presence of the wearer. In order to achieve maximum visibility, regulation requires the color to be bright, and highly visible regardless of lighting conditions. The reflective vest must be designed to grab attention. In the case of reflective vests, neon colors or fluorescent hues are used – particular orange, red and yellow.

Heat Transfer Reflective Tape & Other Accessories

While fluorescent material is effective during the day, it doesn’t provide much of an improvement for low light and nighttime periods. As such, OSHA requires that high visibility garments also be fitted with retro-reflective components, such as heat transfer reflective tape. This can also include reflective accessories such as zippers or plotting. When combines, the total sum can improve visibility in a 360 radius. The fluorescent improve day time visibility while reflective parts shoot light back at their source once the natural light is gone.

According to regulation, these components need to be silver, yellow, orange or a fluorescent version of one of those colors. Minimum visibility distance needs to be at least a thousand feet though many of them aim for more than that to maintain visibility once the reflective material begins to slowly deteriorate with wash and wear. The most common color is silver.

Determining the Class

Because different situations call for different levels of visibility, reflective vests are placed into three different classifications. Class1, class 2 and class 3 garments are segmented depending on the potential for injury and the hazards experience on the job site.

Class 1 Garments – A class 1 garment is required when employees operate near, but in direct line with, hazardous traffic, where that traffic is traveling under 25 miles per hour. This is most commonly experienced in parking lots, parking structures, subdivision streets, etc.

Class 2 Garments – A class 2 garment with reflective tape for clothing is required in professional work sites where the visibility of the worker is increasingly important, mainly when their job duties force their attention even partially away from surrounding traffic.

Class 3 Garments – These are reflective garments worn by professional, volunteers and other workers where they operate in extremely hazardous environments, especially where they are in the line of or working near traffic exceeding 50 miles per hour.

When a company needs to improve the visiblity of their staff to maintain a safe job site, they trust in the power of heat transfer reflective tape for clothing from the Loxy product line. To achieve maximum performance while meeting industry standards, trust your product line to Loxy reflective sew on tape .


How seam sealing tape is used in professional clothing

13 Aug

Not all professional garments are made the some. Some feature powerful waterproofing with quality seam sealing tape. Discover some of the practical applications for seam tape in professional work wear.

Waterproofing has been around for more than 180 years, so it’s not a new practice. But it is not a static industry. It has changed, advanced and improved over the years through using seam sealing tape to prevent water from coming through the fabric. In recent years, more advancement have been made to keep professionals stay warm, dry and most importantly safe through all types of weather conditions and situations. Professionals know that if the wrong seam sealing tape is used, their job and themselves might be in danger.

You cannot have a waterproof garment without seam sealing tape. Whenever clothing is made, a needle is used to sew the pieces together and creates seams. If a needle passes through the fabric, it is no longer completely waterproof. Moisture and even hazardous materials can seem through even the smallest whole made by the thinnest needle.

Depending on the type of job and worker, a garment that is not entirely waterproof can harm and injure the professional wearing it.

Enter seam sealing tape. Wherever there is a seam, this tape is applied as an adhesive bond between the two pieces of fabric to stop moisture and liquids from getting through. Most garments cannot be bonded without sewing them together, so seam sealing tape is an integral part of waterproof garment production. There are some jobs where the worker’s health and life depends on a seal that is stronger than just a regularly sewn seam.

There are many industries that use sewn-seams and seam sealing tape to keep workers safe. Here are a few.

Outdoor Gear – Hikers and backpackers know that you have to prepare for the worst weather, but waterproofed gear isn’t just for avid nature lovers and enthusiasts. There is a wide variety of professionals who spend a majority of their time in the outdoors and rely on seam sealing tape to keep them dry when exposed to bad weather and hazardous conditions. Tape is used on a range of products like backpacks, shoes, utility and tool bags, hats and more. It ensures that no matter what the situation is, workers and outdoor enthusiasts alike will be safe and dry.

Subterranean Gear – There are millions of caves around the world. Cave divers travel to Europe, Africa, North America and beyond in search of new spots. The environment is moisture rich and a cave will often have an underground river system. Professionals also spend time in caves, like geologists. Waterproofed gear and clothing is needed to keep them safe and dry as they do their job. It protects them from often bacteria and fungi laden air.

Hazmat Equipment – This may be the profession that relies most on effective and advanced seam sealing tape. Their suites need to be completely air tight as they work near chemicals from spills, research, or cleanup. The seam sealing tape needs to be 100% at all times to protect these workers from medical dangers as well. Hazmat workers work around disease and need to be protected or conversely, they need to keep their own germs out of the air for sterile rooms and areas. If their suits did not have seam sealing tape, their mortality rate would sky rocket.

Seam sealing tape does so much more than make sure you don’t get wet on your hike. It keeps professional workers safe and dry so they can perform their jobs. It’s critical in their lines of work and provides a way for them to complete their work efficiently and effectively. Seam sealing tape is an essential item for the health and safety for millions around the world.

When you need to stay dry, you need seam seal tape that will always outperform cheaper products. Dress down in only the best, with seam sealing tape from the Loxy product line.

Ride share cyclists kept safe by reflective vests

1 Aug

With the cost of fuel increasing, more tourists and locals are using ride share programs with bikes to get around. Discover how this is leading to more accidents in big cities and how pedestrians can protect themselves.

There is an ever-running battle between vehicles and cyclists and these battle becomes every more pronounced as cities around the world begin to adopt ride-share programs for people who love the feel and convenience of a bike. We’re seeing programs like this pop up across the U.S., UK and other tourist destinations as well as major metropolitan areas.

Unfortunately, there’s a growing conflict that puts first-time riders at risk due to local traffic patterns. These situations product safety problems that aren’t necessarily the fault of the bicyclists and pedestrians. Motorists want to be able to drive down the road, bicyclists want to be safe, and pedestrians want to be able to cross the street. All around the world people are complaining about everyone else.

New York has developed one of the largest bike sharing programs in the country, with more than 7,000 bicycles available to rent across over 600 self-serve stations. Unfortunately renting a bike isn’t ideal in areas where traffic can be severe – especially if you’re not prepared to protect yourself with reflective vests and other accessories.

In many metropolitan areas, bikes share the roads with cars provided those cyclists follow standard motor vehicle laws. Some have laws for helmet usage, but none have regulations and laws for high visibility clothing and safety gear – and that’s becoming a problem.

Some cyclists feel that drivers are unable to adapt to a cultural shift where more people are riding bike. “There are still people that use their cars to intimidate and harass cyclists,” said Greg Billing of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. “They’re upset with the change in the status quo of who’s using the roads, and that’s not acceptable.”

In Miami Beach, city officials have consistently heard complains about novice riders using the bike-share program there. These novice riders can pose a risk for themselves as well as motorists they mingle with. “The cyclists will tell you there’s a difference between a cyclist and someone who’s just riding a bike,” says city spokeswoman Nannette Rodriguez. “They’re responsible; they got their equipment; they know what they’re doing. They have reflective clothing and reflective tape on their gear. Then you got people who just get on a bike to go to the supermarket and just cross the street wherever.”

The primary issue with drivers around the world, especially in the US, is that motorists feel as though bicyclists aren’t following the rules of the road as they should. That can lead to additional safety issues when a motorists expects a cyclist to do one thing, but they perform another action and violate road laws.

“In certain cities, where they’re very bike-friendly, you often see bikers asserting themselves maybe more than they should,” says John Bowman, a spokesman for the National Motorists Association, a drivers’ rights advocacy group. ” Bicyclists need to look out for cars because they’re most vulnerable,” Bowman says. “In any type of conflict between a car and a bike, the car always wins.”

You won’t find a better reflective tape on the market. If you’re concerned about keeping your customers visible then contact Loxy today to discover how you can make high visibility clothing fashionable.
fire retardant tape
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Microprism Reflective Tape vs Glass Bead Designs

17 Jul

Comparing the popularity and use of glass bead reflective tape vs the advanced design of microprism technology.

Commercial and professional industries rely on two primary types of reflective tape: prismatic reflective tape and glass bead tape. Glass bead reflective tape came first to the industry back in the early 1900’s while the prismatic tape that came out later in the 1960s as an invention which was developed by Reflexite. Even though the prismatic tape acted as an upgrade with both better functionality and design, it has not yet driven glass bead tapes from the market in the last fifty years. The most obvious reason for this lack of domination is that both types of reflective tape have characteristics that make each ideal for particular situations.

Glass Bead Reflective Tapes

Reflective tapes developed from glass beads use microscopic glass spheres that naturally capture, bend and reflect light back toward the source of the light. The natural curvature of glass beads is – for the purpose of reflective tape – considered to be somewhat of an imperfection. That curved surface results in a higher dispersion or scatter of the light particles – making them function at about 30% efficiency.

There are several advantages to this depending on the situation in which the reflective tape is used. First, reflective tapes using glass beads are more affordable. For a manufacturer in need of a large quantity of reflective tape to produce high visibility safety gear, glass bead technology is simpler to manufacturer – thus a reduced cost and less of a hit on inventory budget controls.

Second, a large number of retroreflective tapes using glass bead technology are CAD cuttable, meaning you can cut the tapes into letters, numbers, designs , etc. before applying it to fabric. This is the type of tape often used for lettering on turnout gear used by rescue crews and fire departments. Lastly, glass bead reflective tape – as mentioned – disperses light at a wider angle. This makes the tape more like a flood lamp than a targeted spot light. The primary problem with glass bead reflective tape is that a wider dispersal of light particles reduces the effective distance and efficiency of the retroreflective properties.

Prismatic Reflective Tape

Prismatic reflective tape is more efficient, returning about 80% of the light to the source as opposed to the 30% offered by glass bead designs. This makes prismatic reflective tape brighter. While the other type uses glass beads, this type of reflective tape uses man-made prisms designed with hard angle mirrors. Because of this, the light is more focused and can travel a much greater distance without dimming.

Distance plays a crucial factor in the popularity of this tape. There are many long distance requirements by ANSI and DOT at distances of 1000 feet or more. Marine operations and the coast guard also have their own distance regulations that require effective reflective technology at long distances.

In order to choose the right prismatic reflective tape, one must examine the grade ranges. These range between Type 4 to Type 8. While the differences between these types might not be obvious at first glance, these differences are quite obvious during tests where the maximum distance is increased and the visibility of the tape is tested. When distance is the primary factor, prismatic tape is the best bet. When visibility from a wide variety of angles is needed such as in construction and other work areas, glass beads work much better at increasing worker visibility.

Loxy doesn’t just provide reflective tape for safety clothing. We ship reflective tape to manufacturers around the world who use it in a variety of clothing styles and designs. For the best protection, skip scotchlite reflective tape and trust brands that use Loxy brand reflective tapes.

Applications for Retro-Reflective Tape

4 Jul

The greatest benefit of reflective tape is improving visibility for safety. From textiles to automotive and utility companies, discover how professionals utilize reflective tape to stay safe.

Regardless of the time of day, visibility always seems to be an issue. This is easily seen from the drastic increase of accidents from distracted driving and poor visibility conditions; however, there is hope – reflective tape. This product was designed with one sole purpose: to increase visibility, regardless of the amount of light and weather condition at any given point in time.

Despite reflective tape being originally produced for professionals, nowadays it seems to be everywhere. From work to play, reflective tape is now making a fashion statement everywhere you look, with people of all ages reaping the benefits of this product.

The Practical Uses of Reflective Tape

Although sidewalks add a lot of convenience to outdoor activities, some cities have laws and regulations about the use of sidewalks by cyclists and because of the proximity to the road, safety is a key issue for cyclists. Reflective tape can drastically increase a cyclist’s visibility and reduce the risk of injury, therefore decreasing the chance of death.

When hiking or camping in a heavily wooded area, visibility is vital. Reflective tape across the torso and back dramatically improves your visibility. In heavily wooded areas, it easy for people to trail off from the pack; however, retroreflective tape gives you the peace of mind knowing that if someone wanders off, they can be easily seen by everyone as well as from above.

Wet and dry suits with reflective tape improve the visibility of swimmers and surfers, especially during low visibility times, such as at night where not all beach closing times are regulated. The reflective tape offers an added sense of security because should an accident happen, you will be better seen in the water.

Many rescue uniforms are dark blue or black, which makes visibility difficult during nighttime and early morning operations. The low visibility puts rescue workers at risk on roadways and highways that involve vehicle accidents. Putting reflective tape on certain parts of the uniform, such as jackets, tactical pants, shirt, hats and footwear, can greatly improve the worker’s visibility and keep them safer.

Although Halloween costumes are generally worn only once a year, it is an important time to ensure your child’s safety. Distracted driving and decreased visibility near sunset puts your child at risk for getting hurt. However, if you use reflective tape on the zippers, seams, outlines of pictures and logos. it will drastically increase their visibility and reduce their risk of getting hurt, still allowing them to have fun.

Keep your workers protected, visible and safe with the leading provider of reflective tape. Whether you need to outfit your existing clothing, or you’re buying new high visibility clothing, trust in manufacturers that use only Loxy sew on reflective tape and seam sealing tape.

Education on Fire Retardant Tape

2 Jul

We’ve made leaps and bounds with FR tape technology. Discover the nature of fire, the burn cycle, and how flame retardant tape works to stop the spread of flame.

In order to understand how flame retardant tape works, you must first understand how the fire cycle works. As with any product that has a variety of manufacturers, flame retardants work differently and at different stages of the fire cycle so as to stop the cycle dead in its tracks. Having said that, let’s look at how the fire cycle actually works.

Stage 1 – This is the ignition stage where any energy source (heat, flame, etc.) can start the fire.

Stage 2 – As energy is transmitted by the source of ignition, local degradation occurs. With a polymer, for example, flammable gases are emitted by way of pyrolysis. This fuels the start of the initial ignition and advances the cycle to stage three.

Stage 3 – This is where pyrolysis begins; in other words, the long-chain molecules of the polymer are degraded into smaller hydrocarbon molecules. When condensed, the resulting inert carbonized material is often called carbon char or simply char for short.

In the fourth stage, flammable gases (which can include smaller molecules and high, energy-free radicals) combine with the surrounding air’s oxygen. When the right mixture reaches an ideal state, it then enters stage five of the fire cycle.

Stage 5 – While in the combustion stage, hundreds of exothermic chemical reactions occur, involving fuel, free radicals, and oxygen, which finally results in the formation of a flame or a much larger flame, depending on the type of ignition source used in stage one.

Stage 6 – In a perfect world, the combustion would result in the production of CO2 and H2O, but since reality is not perfect, the combustion is left incomplete, which results in Co, HCN and PAHs to be emitted, among other products of combustion.

A rather large amount of energy is released during the fire cycle’s exothermic reactions. This results in a direct transfer to the polymer, reinforcing pyrolysis and the cycle itself as it repeats.

Fire Retardant Tapes and Their Chemical Reactions

Each manufacturer has their own ways of producing fr reflective tape. Often times they are treated with various chemicals, which interact with the gases during pyrolysis. This specific reaction increases the amount of char, inhibiting the continuation of the burn cycle, which in turn prevents further combustion.

Extending the Life Span of Fire Retardant Tape

Fire retardant tape undergoes many of the same tests as other fire retardants, including firefighting gear and equipment. While the tape may meet the necessary performance standards of fire retardants in general, its life span depends greatly on the amount of exposure to heat and flame over any given period. The treatment and cleaning of fr reflective tape tends to decrease the tape’s life and performance as well. To safeguard against any accidents, any flame retardant that is in close proximity to or undergoes a great deal of stress from fire itself should be inspected routinely to ensure that the material is performing up to standards and still meets the NFPA regulations.

Understand how the fire cycle works. As with any product that has a variety of manufacturers, flame retardants work differently and at different stages of the fire cycle so as to stop the cycle dead in its tracks. Having said that, let’s look at how the fire cycle actually works.

Stage 1 – This is the ignition stage where any energy source (heat, flame, etc.) can start the fire.

Stage 2 – As energy is transmitted by the source of ignition, local degradation occurs. With a polymer, for example, flammable gases are emitted by way of pyrolysis. This fuels the start of the initial ignition and advances the cycle to stage three.

The third stage, pyrolysis, is the process of turning the polymer’s long-chain molecules into smaller hydrocarbon molecules. When condensed, you are left with an inert carbonized material, which is commonly called carbon char or just char.

In the fourth stage, flammable gases (which can include smaller molecules and high, energy-free radicals) combine with the surrounding air’s oxygen. When the right mixture reaches an ideal state, it then enters stage five of the fire cycle.

Stage five, or the combustion stage, is where hundreds, if not thousands of exothermic chemical reactions occur, which involves oxygen, fuel, and free radicals. This results in a flame or a much larger flame, depending on the ignition source used in the beginning of the cycle.

Stage 6 – In a perfect world, the combustion would result in the production of CO2 and H2O, but since reality is not perfect, the combustion is left incomplete, which results in Co, HCN and PAHs to be emitted, among other products of combustion.

Due to the fire cycle, a rather large amount of energy is released during these exothermic reactions. As this energy displaces, it goes directly to the polymer, which reinforces pyrolysis along with the cycle itself as it repeats.

The Chemical Reaction within Fire Retardant Tape

As with most products, there is a wide-variety of methods used to manufacture fr reflective tape; however, most are treated with specific chemicals that change with the gases during the pyrolysis stage. This kind of chemical reaction creates a great deal more char, which prevents the continuation of the fire cycle, preventing any further combustion.

Extending the Life of Your Fire Retardant Tape

Fr reflective tape undergoes the same tests other flame resistant materials do, including firefighter equipment. While the tape may meet the set standards for this type of material, the actual life span of it relies heavily on the exposure to heat and fire over time. Furthermore, treating and cleaning flame retardant tape decreases the life and performance of the material as well. To ensure that your fr reflective tape still functions properly, namely if it is regularly used, it should be thoroughly inspected routinely to ensure that it still performs according to NFPA regulations.

How Seam Sealing Tape Keeps Outdoor Lovers Dry

18 Jun

You don’t need to walk around carrying an umbrella everywhere you go. That can be a cumbersome option if you’re doing outdoor activities. Rock climbing or mountain hiking with an umbrella? Not so much. There are a variety of garments that have been designed with extensive waterproofing and seam sealing tape to keep the wearer dry. Some of these designs include Polyurethane, laminates, coatings and other specialized fabrics.

Waterproofing made headlines back in the 70’s when laminated fabrics were introduced, though this wasn’t the first introduction. Waterproofing dates back more than 100 years, where oils and fats as well as tars were used to coat the inside of furs, fabrics and garments – or between layers of garments – to prevent water from passing through. This wasn’t effective as modern methods such as laminate and seam tape but it did provide some protection from the elements. Unfortunately the fabric didn’t really provide much comfort and had limited range of motion.

Now, waterproof and breathable fabrics for outdoors are far more comfortable and offer extensive protection from moisture. Because of its popularity, most people simply refer to waterproof clothing as “ goretex ”, much the same way people refer to all tissues as “Kleenex” even though the brands are not the same.

Drop the branding confusion and you have a variety of waterproof garments that are designed to essentially perform the same function. 1) The garments must repel moisture at the outer layer in order to keep the wearer dry and to keep the garment from absorbing water. 2) The clothing must be breathable, wicking moisture and perspiration away from the wearer to keep them comfortable.

These things are achieved through a design that uses multiple layers. The inside of the garment is waterproofed using a laminate membrane bonded to the underside of the internal fabric, much like the way wallpaper is applied in a home.

On the outside of the garment, that outer layer of fabric is treated with a water-repellant finish. When water strikes the surface, it beads up and rolls off the garment without being absorbed into the fabric. This prevents saturation of the outer layers. This works the same way as a wax coating on a vehicle.

Internal perspiration escaped with the uni-directional design of most garments. The internal layer pulls moisture and heat from the body. The internal layer prevents water from transferring to the inside while at the same time allowing vapor to transfer outward. The external layer is breathable (vapor molecules are smaller than water molecules) but water is unable to transfer through.

To complete the garment, seam tape is critical. Sealing tape is used in all of the seams where a needle passes through the waterproof garment. These thread holes would normally allow water to transfer into the garment. With the bonding of seam sealing tape using a seam tape machine, those holes and the threading are sealed and the layers of fabric bonded together at the seams to prevent any moisture transfer into the garment.