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3M™ Diamond Grade™ Conspicuity Marking: Be Seen Be Safe

Effective 1st January, 2017, the Road Transport Department (JPJ) announced that rear reflective marking were mandatory on all commercial vehicles and the markings must be certified to Malaysian Standard MS828:2011 – Road Vehicle – Rear and Side Marking- Specification.

3M has been providing the transportation industry with its premium series of conspicuity products to support Malaysia’s road safety industry. Following the enforcement, 3M introduced the 3M Diamond Grade Conspicuity Marking that is certified to MS828:2011 by SIRIM Berhad.

Conspicuity is when something is easily seen or readily visible. Imagine driving at night on a poorly lit road at a moderate speed. Suddenly, you notice a bright yellow surface that is reflected from your car headlights. Naturally, you will drive with extra caution assuming that there is some abnormality or hazard ahead. As you get closer, you see a stalled commercial vehicle that is partially obstructing traffic. Thankfully, the truck is equipped with a pair of rear certified conspicuity marking. This conspicuity function has put you on alert, allowing for more reaction time and possibly preventing an accident.

Now imagine the same scenario but in the afternoon. The stranded vehicle under the tree’s shadow provides a low contrast scenario to drivers; hence low conspicuity. 3M says a conspicuity marking certified to MS828:2011 would still be highly conspicuous even in low contrast condition due to the strict requirement of yellow and red colour range, for day and night time. MS828:2011 contains very detailed and stringent requirements to ensure that any conspicuity marking will function in any weather condition.

At night, the human eye perceives only 5 per cent of the information we see during the day. Recognising the risk that this poses to drivers, 3M developed the 3M Diamond Grade Conspicuity Marking that is highly efficient in retroreflective function.

Retroreflection occurs when a surface returns a large portion of directed light beam to its source. The object’s brightness depends on the light intensity striking the object and the materials the object is made of. Therefore, the main feature of a conspicuity marking is to be retroreflective.

With more than 70 years of research and development in the science of retroreflectivity, 3M could produce quality conspicuity markings that return a huge amount of light. This translates to brighter and clearer conspicuity markings that work even at an extreme angle. The challenge is in the viewing angle. Imagine driving on a four-lane highway in the same slow lane (fourth lane) 50m behind a moving truck with a conspicuity marking at night. You can see the marking clearly as your headlight hits it. If you move your vehicle to the third lane, you notice that the conspicuity marking becomes less bright and this becomes much less as you move to the second and first lane. This demonstrates that the larger the angle of the car headlight to the conspicuity marking, the less bright the marking will appear to the driver.

This is one of the major developments 3M has achieved; to produce a highly efficient retroreflective material that could perform at very large viewing angles, to almost 90 degrees from the perpendicular. 3M says its Diamond Grade Conspicuity Marking complies and exceeds the minimum retroreflective requirements of MS828:2011 at normal and wide-angle viewing conditions. Additionally, it features a full cube technology with efficient optics to provide brighter markings for road users compared to non-compliant reflective stickers.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

3M Diamond Grade Conspicuity Marking is designed to last for a minimum of 8 years and 3M provides a 5-year warranty to its retroreflective performance. The vehicle conspicuity markings are available in strong rigid construction for easy adhesion on smooth and even surfaces. Manufactured using materials of highest quality, they are designed with durability in mind, to withstand the weather conditions in Malaysia.


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