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What are Different Types of Window Film?

Window films were originally applied to keep windows from getting too too hot or too cold due to sun or climate.
Window-tint laws vary from state to state, but typically the windshield must be clear.
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  • Written By: Shannon Kietzman
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 21 October 2014
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Window film is a special type of material that is created with polyester substrate, which makes it resistant to scratching and absorbs outside heat. One side of the window film contains an adhesive layer in order to stick to a window. This side is covered with a protective release liner that is removed when the window film is applied to the interior side of a window.

Window film may be applied to a window for a variety of reasons. The most common reason for tinted window film is to provide protection from the glaring sun. In fact, the original purpose of window film was to prevent windows from becoming too hot or too cold in response to the climate and the glare of the sun. Today, window film can also serve as a safety barrier to prevent the glass from being broken into shards should it endure trauma of some sort.

Window film is also used to accentuate the architecture of a building or the overall look of a vehicle. As such, it is available in an array of colors. Colors most commonly found include gold, bronze, amber, and gray. Although all window film is made in essentially the same way, there are several different types of window film. These include window film created for use with automobiles, window film for residential purposes, window film for commercial use, and window film for security purposes.

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Automotive window film helps block out ultraviolet radiation, which protects the skin of the individuals inside and prevents the vehicle's interior from fading and cracking. Automotive window film also reduces the amount of heat inside the car, thereby increasing the efficiency of the air conditioner and improving the comfort of the occupants. In addition, automotive window film reduces the amount of glare from the sun, which decreases the potential for eye fatigue and makes it easier for the driver to see and to drive safely. Commercial and residential window film can help maintain proper climate control in a home or building. Not only does this increase the comfort of the occupants, but it also improves the efficiency of heating and air units.

Safety window film acts as an invisible shield over the window. As such, it does not necessarily have a tint. Instead, this window film holds all of the pieces of a window together if the window is broken and prevents shards from spraying onto the floor or otherwise injuring occupants. This is beneficial in severe weather and can also act as a deterrent against crime.

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