Vehicle warning markings from 3M™ and Orafol® in comparison
With modern microprismatic technology, retroreflection is achieved via optimally calculated small prisms. Light penetrates the prisms, is reflected at each of the 3 surfaces and then deflected back to the light source. Multi-layer materials have the disadvantage that water and dirt can penetrate at the cut edges or on the film due to stone chips or other damage. This causes the film to peel off slowly or a brownish discolouration in the affected areas. It is therefore recommended to seal the cut edges of multi-layered materials.
With its clear white areas, the 3M™ 3410 vehicle warning marking has increased daytime visibility. The 3M™ 823i also has slightly lighter white areas than the other films - these appear lower in contrast due to the silvery areas.
The 3M™ 3410 vehicle warning marker is quite stiff and has a film thickness of 0.24 mm. The Orafol® 5921 is slightly thicker at 0.28 mm, but still more flexible than the 3M&tarde; 3410 due to its single-layer. The other single-layer metallised warning markings are very thin at 0.2 mm and flexible (bonding over beads and edges possible).
With the 3M™ 3410warning marker, the cut edges, i.e. the sides where the film is cut to length, must be sealed with an edge protection film. The long sides were already sealed during production. If they are not sealed, water and dirt can penetrate, which causes the film to dissolve slowly. This is the great advantage of single-layer warning markings. The durability is influenced by the type of film itself, the application method, the weather conditions and whether the film is cleaned and maintained.
Single-layer products can be cut to size very easily without opening film edges. A precise contour cut is also possible with the single-layer systems. The 3M™ 823i series features the 3M™ Controltac liner. This adhesive, applied in waves, allows the film to be repositioned until it is pressed firmly into place. In addition, air bubbles can be pressed out very easily.
In this category, the single-layer systems are in the lead. The single-layer outline markings can be processed and cleaned with a high-pressure cleaner without any problems while observing the minimum distance and the angle of radiation. With multi-layer systems, direct irradiation with a high-pressure cleaner can lead to opening of the film edges and thus to detachment of the film layers. However, this can be prevented with an edge protection film.
The basis for the price evaluation is the application packages of the individual suppliers. Each application package contains 2 x 9 m (left and right pointing) vehicle warning markings.
This point is of particular interest for leased vehicles or vehicles that only need to be marked temporarily. The 3M™ 3410 Warning Marker is marked as removable. This means that the warning marking can be removed from the vehicle in one piece. Only residues of the adhesive remain on the vehicle, which can be removed with an adhesive residue remover. The other, single-layer systems use a permanent adhesive. Removal can be more difficult here (film eraser, film remover, etc.).