Research and Development


3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material technology

  • Scotchlite Technology

    Advantages of glass beaded reflective material:

    • Highly reflective​
    • Hard wearing and easy to inspect for continuing performance​
    • Flexible, smooth fabric-like feel​
    • Wide range of products (sew on and heat transfer)​
    • Flame resistant available​
    • Industrial wash products available​
    • Comfort-enhancing stretchable & segmented options available

Inspired reflective thinking

3M has built a reputation as an innovative company that applies proven science to solving real-world problems. This approach has been fundamental to the creation and development of 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Materials over the last 80 years. ​ ​

There is a core R&D team at St. Paul in the USA that is dedicated to evolving the products and technologies relating to reflective textile markets. Their innovative thinking has led to the launch of 7 new products into the European market over the last 3 years - 9925, 563x, 569x, 8932, C790, 5410 and 9945.​ ​

The R&D team keeps close ties with the global production plant for reflective materials at Brownwood (USA). This allows for a smooth transition from laboratory to production when new products are introduced, with R&D engineers on-hand to make the appropriate adjustments if required. ​ ​

3M Brownwood is a leading manufacturing plant of reflective sheeting for different industries around the world. Key to the success of the products manufactured at Brownwood is that all stages of the production chain are undertaken on site – from the use of 3M’s own glassbeads, to vapour coating, coating and curing through to product testing. Each lot of 3M Scotchlite Reflective Material produced is evaluated for performance before release for sale; and depending on the product, these tests can include retroreflectivity, washing, dry cleaning, colour, vertical flame and heat soak.

Key facts for 3M Brownwood

  • Manufacturing since 1965
  • Plant size 85,000m²
  • Site size 163 acres
  • Reflective volumes produced per annum 10,45 Million sqm (based on 2010 – 2018 data)
  • 3M Plant
  • 3M Plant

Globally connected

For the European market there is a converting facility in Wroclaw (Poland) that increase the flexibility for European customers.

  • Globally connected

    3M Reflective Science Lab facilities:
    3M US, 3M Germany, 3M China, 3M Taiwan

    3M Lab Services Support Locations:
    3M Australia, 3M Canada, 3M Brazil and beyond

    Global production facilities:
    3M Reflective Converting Partners around the world Reflective material plants in North America and Europe

Ask our experts to help you!