Window tinting providers can help you with lowering heating and cooling costs in your home. It can also provide you with privacy in your car and in your home. But did you know there are different types of window film? When you hear about window film, chances are that you may think that there is only one type of film available.
But the truth is that there are a variety of different kinds of window film that you can choose from. Even though all of them are different, they all contain polyester film. How deep the film is will vary from 2-7 millimeters. Some film types come with thin layers that are stacked to create the film. On the inside, the film’s fitted with a pressure sensitive or water-activated coating along with a scratch-resistant, and a hard finish is put on the outside surface.
The film has special ultra violet blockers added to it so that UV radiation is prevented. This is what makes up most window films that are used for UV protection and shatter resistance.
After the film’s created, there are three other technologies that are used for bringing out the unique characteristics and features in the completed product.
Dyed Window Film
This type of window film has a layer of dye that absorbs heat into the regular mix. This type of window tint is the most economical, but you lose some functionality that other films might offer because of the price. The dye added to the film allows it to block UV rays coming in.
The other type of film has a reflecting coating that include metal particles that are either achieved by advanced metalizing (which is a sputtering technology) or a metalizing/vacuum coating. With this type of film, another film’s layer is added so that the reflective coating has protection. Those metallic particles will resist heat because it reflects the heat away prior to it reaching the glass. Windows that are bleglazed will restrict movement in between the planes. Therefore, if your windows are thermal, it won’t be able to use this type of window film.
Throughout the process of deposition, a tank that holds the metal ingots (usually aluminum or nickel chrome, and sometimes copper) will be fed with the film and pressurized so that a vacuum is created. Argon gas is then pumped into that tank, which heats up the ingots and makes the metal particles come up, covering the surface of the film. The final metal concentration in this process will be determined on the length of time that the film will go through the chamber of the tank.
This film method will produce good results and the cost is relatively low, but it’s only usable for certain applications. Since the size of the metal particles is a lot larger when compared with the film, that coating has to be thickly spread on the surface. This means the tint is darker and more reflective.
Please note – there aren’t a lot of metals that are suitable to use for deposition, so the selection between the products are very limited.
Sputtered Window Film
When you compare this with deposited film, there are more than 25 distinct films that can be used for sputtering, and its film is a lot lighter. Its metal layer’s are very fine (1/100 of human hair’s thickness) and based on the metals that are used, it’s very effective when it comes to blocking some of the radiation bands coming from the direct sunlight. The manufacturing cost for making this type of film is very high, so you are going to pay a lot more than other types when you choose sputtered film. The basic components that are found in this type of film are polyester layers with adhesive, scratch-resistant coatings, and metalized. This process of this type of technology is very complex, and just like deposition, it is done in a specialized vacuum chamber. But the difference is that the metalizing is done by way of atomic manipulation. This means that electromagnetic fields are propelling the ions to the metal inside a gas that is chemically inert, like Argon. Called ‘atomic billiards’, it dislodges atom groups in brief spurts and then spreads the ions evenly across the surface of the film.
Even though metallic and dyed films will be used in various situations, there are some similarities in between the two. For example, the metallic films are not completely heatproof. This is because the metal particles will attract the natural heat, while the dyed films absorb heat and reflect it.
This contains dyes and metals. When these two great ingredients are blended, each ingredient’s best qualities are achieved and there a fewer negatives. One good example is combining titanium and grey dye. When grey dye’s used alone, it would dramatically darken the film and the titanium’s going to give your film a mirrored appearance. But if you combine the two together, you have a less reflective and much more bright film.
With the hybrid films, it no longer is the case that the darker films are going to be more resistant to heat. The majority of people who are choosing the dark films do so because they provide greater privacy.
These are the types of window films that you can choose from when you are looking at window film. They all have their benefits, though some of them are more expensive than others. When you are thinking about window film, think about the different things that each offers and the cost involved. Then you’ll be able to choose the one that is best for your needs.
Matthew Sandherr is the owner of Naples Tint Co. A native of Pennsylvania, he’s worked as a window tinting specialist since 2000. Servicing many areas of Southwest Florida including Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, and Marco Island.