Types of Window Tint Film and What They Do

  • When a home or reflective film​ owner begins to research their tinting options, quite often they are a bit bowled over by the terminology used regarding the film itself. This article will go over the various types of film and in what conditions they can offer the greatest benefit. This extra bit of information can help you navigate through the various offers and packages available through both local and national window tinting companies.

    All films begin their life in the same way - as regular plastic. This plastic is melted and stretched until it is thin enough for any window tinting application. They are all treated with chemical ultra-violet blockers as well as coating to make the film more scratch resistant. This is considered a basic tinting film and can be used with no problem if the customer simply wants a film that will block UV rays.|

    Dyed films are the most common and these are the kinds of films many people imagine when they think about tinted windows. The tinting film is further treated with colored dyes which absorb heat. This film is installed on the interior of the window and the heat absorbed is kept on the glass which is then reabsorbed outside. A small percentage of the absorbed heat does leak into the interior but this is negligible, especially when you consider it against the amount of heat absorbed by a vehicle with untreated windows. Because of its absorption qualities this kind of film is most commonly used on cars, boats and other outdoor or recreational vehicles.

    Reflective Material are created by drawing the film through a tank in order to treat it with metal. Typically aluminum or nickel-chrome is used though some companies do offer deposited films treated with copper. These metallic particles actually repel heat and also works as a kind of insulation. This type of film is used primarily in office buildings since the film is typically made to be a bit thicker than dyed films in order to accommodate the metals. The end result is a darker, more reflective film which many companies use to 'outshine' other buildings. The types of metals which can be used in this process is fairly short and so deposited films often don't offer the same kind of variety as far as colors and patters as other tint film variations.

    Sputtered film is similar to deposited films in that they both use various metals in order to produce a film which repels heat. Sputtered films differ in the manner in which they are made, however, which means more options for the customer. Sputtered films are created in a vacuum chamber and use a chemically inert gas to bombard the film with ions of metal which scatter across the surface of the film uniformly. Because of this technique the number of metals which can be used in its creation is much longer than that of deposited films and the end result is a film lighter in color and with a low reflectivity rate. This allows for a greater variation in colors and patterns and this kind of film is the top choice for homeowners.

    Hybrid films are exactly what they sound like - a combination film which incorporated both reflective and non-reflective metals in order to achieve the benefits of each film type. A prime example of this is a film treated with grey dye and titanium coating. The dye version alone would result in a very dark tint film and the titanium coating on its own would result in a highly reflective finish. But when the two are combined, each component softens the other and the end result is a film with lessened darkness and a reflectivity that doesn't glare.
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