Reflective adhesive film for lasering?

Is there such a thing as CO2 laserable reflective film for vehicles ?
I was asked this yesterday by signmaker friend, and was wondering myself.
He’s making a lot of vehicle chevrons, reflective bits etc and sometimes (depending on vehicle in question) its impossible to find or extremely expensive to find fitting precut kits of this material.

I have security cameras which have a night mode in which the IR filter is retracted and the IR LEDs are activated. They have limited range for “ordinary” surfaces, but for conventional reflective items such as vests, safety markings on public service vehicles and the like, the IR LEDs cause those surfaces to glow as if on fire. Even the smallish reflectors on bike wheels and pedals throw back the IR from the cameras with great results from great distances (10 meters +).

I suspect that one need only find safety-grade reflector material to meet your requirements. The manufacturer 3M has a large product line, some of which is found a https://brilliantreflective.com/ and of course, Amazon. A search for 3M reflective tape will provide many results.

Of course, the CO2 lasers are invisible and the reflected results are also invisible. If the laser is powerful enough, the result could be injurious.

A lot of reflective (mirrored) film is mylar, which I believe is a form of PET. I think that stuff is safe to cut with a laser. Lots of folks cut mylar sheet for solder paste stencils.

https://www.tapplastics.com/product/plastics/plastic_sheets_rolls/mylar_mirrored/256

Maybe i wasnt clear at the beginning - i’m talking “road signs” kind of reflective, not “mirrored”. The stuff for reflecting car lights in the night, visibility in the dark sort of thing.
My friend is buying precut kits for doing up reflective backs on vans, lorry bumpers, “fake” lights etc. Its not beauty stickers, its safety at night thing :smiley:

Hmm. Dunno about that kind of reflective material. There’s holographic film, which is polyester based…
https://www.tapplastics.com/product/plastics/plastic_sheets_rolls/holographic_films/251

Maybe such as these?

https://www.brilliantvinyl.com/Adhesive-Vinyl-by-Type-Style/

https://www.brilliantvinyl.com/Metallic-Vinyl/

Not sure that for a professional that does this on a regular basis it’s such a great idea to laser cut adhesive backed materials. Especially 3M products which is a company that is an expert in adhesives.

There are many normally laserable items such as thin wood laminates that you can purchase that become un-cuttable when the manufacturer adds a layer of peel-off glue on the bottom to attach them to surfaces. Examples include cork tiles, thin wood laminate, acrylic tiles, and paper stickers.
image

Never cut these materials in the laser cutter if they have this backing. The glue will vaporize forming a coating on the lens that will coat it, cloud it, heat it, and then potentially crack the lens. The glue residue is worse than resin, and can’t be removed without risking damage to the lens … requiring a lens replacement.
Now think of that same super sticky residue on your mirrors.

I would not cut using a laser for the aforementioned reasons.

I would use a vinyl cutter it costs about the same as replacing cost for a quality lens and mirror set.

Cheer :beers:

Sasquatch

Yeah, never thought of adhesive in this. Thanks for the tip. Not gonna start ruining optics with glue now :smiley: