• Cancer Council AustraliaHigh energy efficiency – reduces fuel/energy consumption.
  • U.V. protection – Australia has the highest skin cancer rate in the world.
  • Fade reduction – protects floors, paintings and furnishings.
  • Privacy – Great option for high density living or sitting in your car.
  • Glare reduction – SatNav, TV’s and computer monitors are heavily effected by the sun.

In simple terms, Solar control window film is basically a polyester film, coated with heat rejecting partials designed to reduce heat transmission. The Manufactures add Anti U.V. bodies into the film layers for longevity and apply an adhesive to one side and a hard coating on the other side.

With hundreds of window films available it is a mine-field for the consumer. Automotive Films are very different than Architectural Films that you would have installed on your home. Commercial films are often considered due to the very high energy efficiency they offer, rather than ascetic appearance.

Most people rely heavily on the Tinting business they contact to accurately advise them on the many options available. Films from black to Silver and everything  in between.

Window film is a complex and specifically engineered product that has evolved since 1966 and continues to develop at a rapid pace.

Your Tinting Australia Professional is Well Versed to Advise You on Your Specific Requirements.

The building where 3M was founded

The first known example of window tinting as we know it stems from America around the time of World War II. This was well before window film was invented, so they used spray-on tinting. The result was a dark and usually uneven tint, so when window film was invented in 1966, it changed the window-tinting game for ever.

The first patent for solar control window film was granted to the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (now 3M) in 1966.

Dye Poly Films

Window tinting is made from a polyester base and then coated with materials to block heat, light and UV rays. At first, window film was little more than “colored” polyester. The “colored” polyester film was termed a “dyed poly” film and provided only limited UV, heat and glare protection. The “dye-based,” product would absorb heat into the glass, rather than reflect it away. It also had a tendency of turning purple and bubbly in the sun, and didn’t have a very long lifespan.

Metalised Films

The breakthrough in window film design came in the form of metalised coatings. Metal, usually aluminium is super heated in an electric furnace to form a vapor. The Film is passed over the aluminium vapor and a very thin layer of metal is “deposited” onto the polyester film. This thin metal coating serves to reflect the heat and reduce the temperature inside by reflection.

The next step in the evolution of window tinting film happened when NASA was to send man into space. Window films made using the aluminium deposition process were not up to the extreme conditions of space and NASA was forced to find a better way to protect the astronauts from the heat of the sun. John S. Chapin is credited with inventing the first planar magnetron sputtering source, with a patent filed in 1974.

Silver is one of the best heat “reflectors” and can be deposited onto a polyester film by “sputtering”. However, the sputtering process is not restricted to silver and multiple layers of different metals can be deposited on the polyester film. This means that different metals can be selected for their unique spectral properties and allow truly “smart” films to be made.  Films that will block certain wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum while letting other wavelengths to pass through.  These Smart Films block the heat yet let in the light, so our environment won’t feel dark.

Hybrid Films

Second generation window film emerged in the early nineties. This film was constructed of metal integrated with dye. This “hybrid” film contained dye to absorb heat and metallic particles to reflect the sun’s heat and approached 50% heat reduction. The major drawback with metalised films is interference with the new electronic devices like GPS and some radio wavelengths..

Ceramic Films

The newest edition to the window tinting industry is ceramic films. These are the top of the line Solar Control Window Films. They have a very long lifespan, reject heat and UV rays, and do not interfere with electronics. We have come a long way in the window tinting world, and continue to come up with new and exciting ways to improve our products every day!

Infra Red Films

The New IR (Infrared) Films are the latest in Window Film Technology. Although in its infancy, IR films are just now starting to take the window Film Industry by storm. They work by targeting specific Wavelengths within the light Spectrum. Generally between 750nm ~ 1400nm, an area of light that carries a significant heat payload. Window Film today is a highly engineered product.

Your Tinting Australia professional will be happy to advise you on the film that best suits your specific need. 

With over 50 years of development, Solar control window film is quite an amazing product and not just a black or silver film. It is engineered to have specific solar control properties that professionals in the industry understand. TESR, VLT, G-Value, U-Value are all terms used to describe the efficiency of the specific film.

WERS (window energy rating scheme) gives energy rated films a star rating and is proof of the window films efficiency. WERS Accreditation is the only Government and Industry accepted Skill and Knowledge based proof of an industry professional. All Tint Australia professionals can both answer and prove the data.

With so much Data available it’s little wonder that many people become very confused and look to the experience of the professional to both explain and advise them.

Heat is basically Solar Energy (an Electromagnetic wave.)

Heat blasts it’s way from the sun through the atmosphere in the Solar Spectrum.  In the tinting industry we focus on 3 specific sections of that Solar Spectrum between 320 and 1400 Nm .

Ultra Violet Light that carry only 3% of heat but also the nasty cancer causing UVA light, Visible Light that carries about 44% of heat and Infra Red Light that carries a bit over 50% of heat.

The most accepted method used to measure heat is British Thermal Units (BTU). One BTU is the amount heat necessary to raise the Temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.   The BTU method can used to calculate energy savings when Air Conditioning and energy rates are re consolidated.

The solar spectrum - heat explained


100nm to 280nm Does not reach the earth surface and is blocked by the Atmosphere


280nm to 315nm reached the earth in low intensity


315nm – 400nm and is known to contribute to high levels of skin cancers and carries about 3% of the suns radiant energy

Visible Light

400nm – 780nm Eye responsive colours, purple through to red. Carries roughly 44% of the suns radiant Energy

Near Infrared

780nm – 1400nm Cannot be seen but felt as heat and carries more than 50% of the suns radiant energy

Ultra Violet light Band (UVA) 320Nm -380Nm

This light band is responsible for only 3% of solar energy. Ultra Violet light contributes to about 40% of Fade in floors and furnishings. It is also responsible for the cause of various Medical problems such as skin Cancer. All of the UVC (100Nm-260Nm) and most of the UVB (260Nm-320Nm) light bands do not reach earth through the atmosphere.

 Visible Light Band (VL) 380Nm – 770Nm

This is the only portion of Light Band we see with the eye.  The visible colours are: Violet, Blue, Green, Yellow and Red.  This Light Band carries 44% of the Solar Energy.

Near Infra Red Light Band  (IR)  700Nm -2400Nm

We do not visually see heat in this Light Band but we do feel it. This light band carries 53% of Solar Energy

Total Solar Energy Rejected (TSER)

TESR is an important measurement of the window films ability to reject solar heat in the form of Visual Light (44% of heat) and Infrared Light (53% of heat). Clear glass transmits very high levels of both Visual and Infrared Light. Measured by the ratio of solar energy transmitted directly through the glass.  Expressed as a percentage, it does not include heat re-radiated from energy absorbed in the glass.

Infra Red Rejection (IR)

There is a great deal of work being done in the industry with IR Films, sometimes known as Spectrally Selective films.  As the Infra Red Light Band carries 55% of solar energy, Films targeting that specific Light Bands and becoming readily available .  Some very light VLT films can have high heat rejection.  The IR rejection is a percentage of the IR Solar Energy rejected by the film, however it is important to consider that it is the percentage of the 55% of the total Solar Energy carried in the Infra Red Light Band.

(SIRR) Selective Infra Red Rejection  is the percentage of IR radiation that is not directly transmitted through a glazing system.

(IRER) Infra Red Energy Rejection is the percentage of Near Infrared Energy Rejection as measured between 780-2500nm.

Visual Light Transmittance (VLT)

The percentage of light (380nm -800nm) that is transmitted through the window film when installed.  Clear glass generally has a VLT of about 89% prior to installing any window film.

Shading Coefficient (SC)

Shading Coefficient is the measure of the performance  of the entire glazing system to control solar energy.  The lower the heat gain, the better performance from the glazing system and hence the lower Shading Coefficient number.

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)

Is the measure of solar energy that is absorbed and transmitted directly in to the room through the glass.   The lower the number the better efficiency and performance.

Emissivity (E factor)

Low E films are greatly beneficial to cold climate areas.  Emissivity is the measure of a products ability to reflect radiant heat back in the direction of the source.     For example, if you are heating a room, a Low E window film will direct a higher portion of heat back into the room than other window films.                            The lower the emissivity number the better its ability.

Glare Reduction

Glare is best known as bright light.  It can enter rooms more so in the colder months when the sun is lower in the sky.  It can reduce the ability to see clearly.  Window film can significantly reduce Glare. Glare is measured as a percentage and is determined by the respective visible transmission values glass with and without window film

Ultra Violet Rejection

UVA is the major contributor to fade and Skin Cancers.  Nearly all window film have almost 100% UV block and it is required to prolong the life of the film.

How does Solar Control Window film work?

How does Solar Control Window film work?

Although very complex to manufacture its easy to understand how window film works in the diagram above.  Without window film, solar radiation passes through glass without recognising it as a mass.  It turns to heat when it contacts with a mass such as floors and furnishings.  Window film simply creates a barrier between the glass and your home blocking and rejecting significant portions of solar radiation that turns to heat.

Carbon Negative

Solar control window film is one of the very few products that will save more carbon emissions “by reducing power consumption “that it takes to produce it. It looks good, assists with climate control and is now proven to be environmentally friendly.


The process of heat transfer by the movement of air.  Doors and windows in buildings greatly contribute to this process.


The process of heat transfer through solid material like window frames from warm to cool surfaces.

 More information at Wikipedia

Causes of window tint fading

Fabrics, furnishings, artwork and floor coverings can be damaged and fade simply by allowing daylight to pass through an untreated window. By blocking more than 99% of all UV rays, Solar Control Window films will help preserve the color of your fabrics, furnishings and floor coverings and help protect fine antiques, woods and works of art from discolouration and fading.

Thermal Stress

Thermal breakage occurs when different points within a single piece of glass are heated to different temperatures. This temperature difference creates stresses in glass and can cause breakage if the temperature difference exceeds a certain amount. The break will nearly always start from the edge of the glass because there will be a weak point in the form of a chip or scallop arising from the installation of the glass.  This damage is always behind the frame of the window and undetectable. Laminated Glass is most susceptible to Thermal Breakage and can be somewhat avoided by using low absorption window film.

Your Tint Australia member can advise you in this area.

Toughened Glass – Nickle Sulphide Inclusion

Toughened glass has become a very popular glass type in the building industry for both residential and commercial properties due to the inherent strength of the glass. Toughened glass is made using a heat tempering process that imparts high surface stresses so when the glass breaks the energy is released causing the entire pane to fracture.

During the manufacturing process, Nickle Sulphide is added to reduce the bubbles in the glass. Sometimes very small amounts of Nickle Sulphide remain in the glass during this process. They are not visible to the eye and very difficult to detect. There is no method available to detect it presences in glass or which panes are subject to breakage.