Window Tint Information Glossary

window_tint_information_glossary

This glossary contains nearly all of the most common window film terms and their definitions. This window tint information can be used in all types of situations! Use it to find out what a particular stat or term means when looking at window films specs. Excellent for DIY window film installers. Or, refer your customers to this page if they want to read up on a certain question. For more information on the most common questions, there is lots of window tint information on this FAQ.

Absorbance
The amount of something (in the case of window films, light or heat) that is retained. See also Total Solar Absorbance.
Deposition Process
Physical vapor deposition (PVD) on metal films takes place when it is passed through heated metal and argon gas in a pressurized room. This helps to remove particles that may be on the surface of the film.
Dual-Reflective Film
An interior film that has a silver, reflective finish on the outside and a neutral finish on the inside. This is commonly referred to as “one-way mirror” film, although it comes in lighter shades that do not give as much privacy.
Dyed Film
A film that achieves its color and look by adding a dye to the film’s surface or adhesive. This is commonly done on automotive films. Also known as “Non-Reflective” film.
Emissivity
A measurement of how well a surface either absorbs or reflects infrared light/radiation. A lower number means the surface rejects more and thus insulates better.
Exterior Visible Light Transmission (VLT)
The amount of visible light that is passed through the glass from the outside. This measurement is commonly used on Dual-Reflective Film. See also Interior Visible Light Transmission (VLT).
Glare Reduction
The total amount of visible light that is rejected by a surface. This is typically the inverse of VLT. See also Visible Light Transmission.
Hybrid Film
A film that uses both the processes of a metallized film and a dyed film to achieve its color and look. See also Dyed Film and Metallized Film.
Infrared Light
More commonly referred to as heat, “infra” is the suffix for “below”. Electromagnetic radiation (light) with a wavelength between 0. 7 micrometers (0.0007 millimeters) and 1 millimeter, which is longer than visible light’s waves but shorter than microwaves.
Interior Visible Light Transmission (VLT)
The amount of visible light that is passed through the glass from the inside. This measurement is commonly used on Dual-Reflective Film. See also Exterior Visible Light Transmission (VLT).
Matte Film
Also known as “Frost Film”, these provide excellent privacy with a sand-blasted effect.
Metallized Film
A film that achieves its color and look by adding a metal layer to the film’s surface, either through a Sputtering or Deposition Process. This is commonly done on flat-glass films as well as high-performance automotive films.
Mil
The most common unit of measurement for the thickness of window film. Equal to 1/1000 of an inch (.001″).
Natural Film
Also known as “Neutral Film”, this film generally has a non-reflective look to it. It still contains metal, however.
Polyester Film
The most common base material used in window film. Manufactured from chemical substrates in petroleum.
Pressure-Sensitive Adhesive
An adhesive that is sticky to the touch when the protective liner is removed from the film. This adhesive works to bond much more quickly to glass and is commonly found on automotive films. See also Water-Activated Adhesive.
Reflectance
The amount of something (in the case of window films, light or heat) that is rejected away. See also Total Solar Reflectance.
Safety Film
Films used for increased glass protection. Most standard window films are 1.5 Mil thick, while a safety film is typically 4-Mil thick or greater.
Shading Coefficient
A ratio derived from dividing the amount of solar heat gain passed through the window film by the same amount that occurs through a normal, untinted window. The lower the number, the better the solar properties of the window film.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient
A ratio derived from dividing the amount of solar heat gain passed through the window film by the amount of heat transmitted at normal solar incidence (completely perpendicular to the glass). The lower the number, the better the solar properties of the window film.
Sputtering Process
Physical vapor deposition (PVD) on metal films takes place when metal atoms are bounced off a charged metal disk of ions, which causes the atoms to build up on the polyester film.
Total Solar Absorbance
The amount of heat and light absorbed by the window film. See Absorbance.
Total Solar Energy Rejected
The amount of heat and light rejected by the window film.
Total Solar Reflectance
The amount of heat and light absorbed by the window film. See Reflectance.
Total Solar Transmittance
The amount of heat and light transmitted by the window film. See Transmittance.
Transmittance
The amount of something (in the case of window films, light or heat) that is transmitted through. See also Total Solar Transmittance.
U-Value
How well heat transfers through 1 square foot of window film for each 1° fahrenheit difference in temperature. This value also takes into consideration the local climate that the window is located in (i.e. geographical region, time of year, etc.) The lower this value, the better the glass and film will insulate.
Ultra Violet Light
More commonly referred to as UV rays, these wavelengths are shorter and have higher energy than visible light.
Ultra Violet Radiation Rejected
The percentage of Ultra Violet Light that is rejected by the window film.
Visible Light
The wavelengths in the light spectrum that are visible to the human eye. Ranges from red light (longer wavelengths) to violet light (shorter wavelengths).
Visible Light Transmittance
The amount of visible light that is passed through the glass.
Water-Activated Adhesive
An adhesive that is dry to the touch when the protective liner is removed from the film. This adhesive works to help the film move around on the glass easily during installation and is commonly found on flat-glass films. See also Pressure-Sensitive Adhesives.

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