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Traffolyte, sometimes spelled Traffolite, was a brand name for multi-layered phenolic plastic sheets suitable for engraving. Each layer was a different colour so engraved letters or shapes would be a different colour from the unengraved portions. Thus it could be used for name tags, labels and signs.


The material dates back to 1927, when it was first produced by Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Ltd. at their Trafford Park factory in Manchester, UK for transformer labels. The complete business was sold to De La Rue Insulation Ltd[1] in 1945; De La Rue exited this business in the early 1960s. There are a large number of companies manufacturing bi- and tri-layer phenolic engraving stock and it has become a generic term; no record of its having been a registered trademark in the United States or UK has been found.


Traffolite is manufactured by (among others) PG Bison in Alrode, South Africa:

  • Sizes: 2440x1010x1.5mm
  • Colours:
    • Aluminium/Black/Aluminium,
    • White/Black/White,
    • Yellow/Black/Yellow,
    • Black/White/Black,
    • Red/White/Red,
    • White/Red/White,
    • Blue/White/Blue,
    • Green/White/Green.

Traffolyte signs and labels are cheap to produce, and were very popular in the past. However, phenolic dust is now recognized as a health hazard and so precautions must be taken during label production.


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