Definition - What does Reflectance mean?

Reflectance is the ability of a material to reflect the energy incident on its surface. The reflectance of a material is determined when light and solar radiation is incident on the surface of the material. This value can be used to describe the nature of a surface in terms of the surface finish. It is majorly used in radiation and light disciplines.

Petropedia explains Reflectance

The reflectance of a material mostly depends on the surface finish. The texture and color of the substrate controls the value of the reflectance. The angle of view gives different values due to varying wavelengths and intensity of the reflected energy.

The reflectance intensity will depend on the body reflection and the surface reflection. The difference in the reflectance of materials helps a lot in sorting and quality control (the flatness of the surface can be determined). When it comes to light, spectral reflectance measurement is done to determine the material.

Reflectance has been used in testing for optical return loss in fiber optics and in sensors to identify the proximity of an object. The knowledge of diffuse reflectance can also be used on coatings to determine their shielding effect.

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