Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 SOLAS Devices (requirements)
For SOLAS (safety of life at sea), there are two types of devices or applications. Type I devices and Type II devices. Both Type 1 and Type 2 apply to SOLAS applications, but require different characteristics for the tape to meet different "environmental" conditions. It is actually very simple and practical. Below is an excerpt directly from Chapter I - Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security - Subchapter Q - Equipment, Construction, and Materials: Specifications and Approval - Part 164 - Materials - Subpart 164.018 - Retroreflective Material for Lifesaving Equipment
The following types of retroreflective material are approved under this specification:
(a) Type I - Material used on flexible surfaces and rigid surfaces, except rigid surfaces that are continuously exposed.
(b) Type II - Weather resistant material used on continuously exposed rigid surfaces.
ORALITE® IMO/SOLAS FD1404 is compliant with U.S. Department of Transportation specification USCG 46 CFR, section 164.018 and International Maritime Organization (IMO) Resolution A.658 (16) for Type I devices.
ORALITE® IMO/SOLAS FD1403 is compliant with U.S. Department of Transportation specification USCG 46 CFR, section 164.018 and International Maritime Organization (IMO) Resolution A.658 (16) for Type I and Type II devices.
In summary, certain devices such as inflatable life boats and survival suits benefit from a Flexible type tape. However, flexible tapes tend to do better out of the sun and elements. So in the world of SOLAS, a tape that is flexible is only used for surfaces that are not continuously exposed to the weather. Oralite 1404 SOLAS = Type One Devices only.
Other applications do better with tapes that do not stretch and are not reboundable. Hard life boats are an example of this. So tapes like Oralite 1403 SOLAS are used. It is thin, dimensionally stable, and UV resistant. But tapes like 1403 can also be used on Type 1 devices and stored in protected areas. So as a general rule, Oralite 1403 SOLAS can be used in Type 1 (protected and out of the environment) and Type 2 applications (outside in the weather). Oralite 1403 SOLAS - Type I and Type II.
1404 Type 1 Application (below)
1403 Type 2 Application (below)