If you care about your car, you keep it in tip-top shape, you get all of your regularly scheduled maintenance, and you do everything you can to make sure it stays looking new. We understand. We care about our cars with the same care too. Yet, with shrinking government budgets, road maintenance is not what it used to be. That means more potholes, more debris on the road, and more rocks that could get kicked up and sail right into your car’s finish. So, how can you keep your car’s finish from succumbing to sun damage, road debris, and scuff? The answer is simple – paint protection film.
What is so marvelous about paint protection film installed by a professional is that the film is “self healing.” While that may seem like something out of science fiction, “self healing” paint protection film is what makes the film such a valuable investment.
This article will talk about how paint protection film can be “self-healing” and how the paint protection film specialists at Tint Tech install the film for maximum results. Remember that Tint Tech professionals have the training and experience to ensure that the paint protection film installed on your car is done flawlessly the first time. Call us at Tint Tech, Calgary’s paint protection film leaders, at 403-968-8468.
Good Enough for the Military, Good Enough for Your Car
As a quick refresher from one of our previous blogs, let’s talk about what paint protection film is. Paint protection film is a durable, transparent, extremely thin urethane film. It is only millimeters thick, just slightly thicker than a strand of human hair. It is usually applied to the front fender of a car (which is why many people in the industry call it “clear bra”), sometimes it is also applied to the front hood and front part of the side view mirrors. Less frequently, some customers choose to have paint protection film on the entire car.
Paint protection film was initially invented during the Vietnam War to protect helicopter blades that were being destroyed by debris in the challenging Vietnam woods. The urethane film was remarkable in protecting the helicopter blades, saving a significant amount of helicopter repairs. The film was then repurposed for racecars, to protect the sponsor logos on the racecars, and to help hold a car together in a crash.
Finally, paint protection film hit the consumer market in the 1990s. After two decades on the market, the current trends indicate that paint protection film is more popular than ever. In fact, projections show that protection film will soon be one of the most popular aftermarket automotive products in the industry, with many of the big auto film players such as Xpel, SunTek, and LLumar introducing innovative new types of paint protection films into the market.
What About Its “Self-Healing” Properties?
The technology is truly amazing when it comes to the “self-healing” part of paint protection film. Here is how it works. First, the paint protection film is made up of not one, but three, layers.
The first layer is an aggressive adhesive so the film sticks to the car’s surface. The second layer, the thickest layer, is a polyurethane that absorbs and mitigates the damage from road debris and other outside forces. The third layer is a clear coat, ensuring that the polyurethane does not get discolored.
Now, about the “self-healing,” the polyurethane layer has a flexible quality to it, which allows the surface to absorb – and evenly distribute – an impact on the car’s surface. That alone helps avoid debris from chipping a car’s paint job. Moreover, even when something scrapes the surface of the car and leaves a visible scratch, the polyurethane will “rearrange” itself so the surface returns to a smooth – non-scratched – state with the application of a little heat.
Said another way, the polyurethane surface after being scratched will, in a sense, become flexible enough to smooth itself out – miraculously removing the scratch – when the surface is heated. You can think of it being similar to ice. Imagine a smooth ice cube. Then put a scratch the surface. Next, put just a little heat on the ice cube so the very top layer melts a bit. When the cube cools again, the ice is smooth and the scratch is gone. While polyurethane does not actually melt, the effect is similar.
In fact, Tint Tech specialists will be happy to demonstrate how the self-healing aspect of paint protection film works so you can see it for yourself. Our Tint Tech staff will use a heat gun to show how a little heat will “heal” any scratches on a car so they disappear. In real world conditions, however, all you need is the heat of the sun to activate the “healing” properties of the paint protection film. In sum, if you get a scratch on your car protected with the film, all you need to do is park your car outside during the day so the paint protection film can do its “healing” thing.
Can You Apply Paint Protection Film Yourself?
It is highly recommended that you have a professional installer apply paint protection film to your car. In fact, some products do not come in a “do it yourself” fashion, and require the film to only be applied by people who have been trained to do it because it is such an intricate process.
We at Tint Tech have authorized, trained installers who have been doing the application process for years. Truly, you would want the application to be done by a professional because you want your film to be invisible and last for the life of your car. If the film is not applied properly, you will see bubbles or it may peel, which of course ruins the look that you are going for.
Tint Tech professional installers take a great deal of care to make sure that the parts of your car that you want treated get the maximum protection of the paint protection film while not being visible to the eye. Notably, paint protection film is not only for your car. You can have it applied to motorcycles, vans, trucks, and other vehicles. Call us today at 403-968-8468 to learn more.
Window tint for your car, home, and office are gaining in popularity, and the reason is not purely aesthetic. In fact, looks have very little to do with the rise in the use of window tinting film.
The Increasing Popularity of Window Tint: It Ain’t Just For Looks Anymore
What is driving customers to tinting shops all over Canada and the United States today is energy savings, and ultimately cost savings. In a world where climate change is a reality, we all want to do our part to lessen the pressure on the environment, and enjoy the added benefit of lessening the pressure on our wallets as well.
Accordingly, with the ever-increasing interest in window tinting film and its reach into markets beyond hobbyists and “do-it-yourselfers,” it has become clear to us at Tint Tech, Calgary’s windowing tinting experts, that customers want to learn more about how the “sausage is made.” In other words, customers have a natural curiosity about how window tinting film is manufactured and how it functions.
This article is meant to satisfy that curiosity. Accordingly, we will take this opportunity to discuss in some detail the major aspects of what goes into making window tinting film. Trust us, the process is fascinating.
If, after you have read this article, you wish to get more details about the intriguing process of window tint, our professionals at Tint Tech are ready to help. Tint Tech employs only the “best of the best” of window tinting specialists in Canada. Take advantage of their incredibly deep knowledge on the industry, and call us for a consultation. We are always happy to get into the weeds with our Tint Tech customers about the subject we love the most – window tinting. So, call us today at 403-968-8468.
Reflective Window Film – How It’s Made
Although there are many types of window tinting films in the market, most if not all window films start as small pellets of a material called polyethylene terephthalate, or PET. That material is used because it has marvelous optical clarity and strength.
- Phase 1 – Creating the Window Film
The pellets are first melted down into a semi-liquid state. Once in that form, the material is stretched into polyester sheets. The process is done by pulling the material length-wise and width-wise. Other chemicals and materials that block ultraviolet (UV) light are typically added during this stretching process.
- Phase 2 – Adding Metal or Dye to the Film
Next, dyes or metals are added to the polyester sheeting. Whether a dye or metal is added depends upon the intended type, quality, and function of the film. Films that use dye are typically used for automotive windows, because dyes absorb a lot of heat, which allows the auto tint to keep the interior of a car cooler in the summer.
Films using metal, in contrast to dyes, reject heat rather than absorb it. Metal-based films are more often used for flat windows, typically home and office windows.
What is most fascinating about the dyeing or metallizing process is how it is applied to the polyester film. With dyeing, the dye is coated onto the polyester sheet and then cured in an oven. The heat from the oven fuses the pigments of the dye into the polyester sheet. That fusing process ensures that the color of the dye stays in the film and never washes off.
With metallizing, the metal can be bonded to the polyester film in three different ways.
- First, “evaporative coating” is the process of heating metal in a crucible to such high temperatures that the metal melts and forms a gas cloud. The film is then introduced into the gas cloud and the metal bonds with the film as soon as both cool. Aluminum is typically the metal used because of its low melting point.
- Second, “electron beam coating” is the process by which the metal is heated through a beam of high-energy electrons aimed at the metal. Once heated, the coating process is the same as evaporative coating.
- Third, “sputtering” is the process by which electrically charged gas is focused on the metal, freeing the metal’s molecules. The molecules are then placed on the film in a side-by-side pattern, resulting in a remarkably thin and precise coating. The process is so precise that water is trapped on the film during the process. It takes a few weeks of curing for the water to ultimately evaporate.
- Phase 3 – Final Touches
Once the film is fused with the metal or dye, a scratch-resistant layer is applied to the film on the side that faces the interior of the home or office. This layer is meant to protect the window film from anything that may hit or scrape the window. It provides that added protection so that the film can last for a long time, and is not marred by a minor scratch.
Finally, an industrial strength adhesive is applied to the window film for longevity and to make sure that it does not peel or bubble. Sticky adhesives are typically used for automotive window films. Clear, dry adhesives, using a gel activated by water, are typically used for flat home or office windows.
At Tint Tech, Calgary’s premier auto tinting, protective coating, and home and office window tinting specialists, know how to make sure our customers are 100% satisfied. We understand how important a professionally applied window tint is for you.
We also can consult with you about the extraordinary energy savings, UV protection, infrared protection, and privacy benefits of window tinting – for either your car or home. Call us today for a consultation about your needs, and for an estimate of a job that you are looking to do for your home. We recently have started handling many home window jobs because of the increase in demand for clear, or virtually clear, window tinting film. Learn more by calling us at 403-968-8468. At Tint Tech, we combine affordable pricing and top-notch customer service.
Can window tinting save the world? Well, let’s not get crazy, but a good argument can be made that residential window tinting film can help you conserve energy, which may ultimately help the planet. Conserving energy may only have a small positive impact on your overall carbon footprint, every little bit counts.
We all know that windows in the home are the places where heat escapes most freely in the winter, and cool air escapes in the summer. Indeed, home windows are most vulnerable to the elements. Residential window tinting film can help reduce that vulnerability. Our specialists at Calgary’s premier window tinting shop, Tint Tech, can provide you with all the latest information you need to know on what residential window film could work for you.
Given the most recent developments in the world of climate science, we will take a moment to delve into the newest in window film technology, which may actually help save energy in the long run. Again, while putting insulating window tint on your windows may only save a little energy for one home, imagine the impact it could have on the environment if every homeowner conserved energy by taking advantage of the latest in window film technology.
Recent United Nations Report – We May Need to Save Energy Sooner and Smarter
The topic of climate change has recently hit the news in a major way recently. A landmark report from a United Nations scientific panel indicates that we, as a planet, must move a lot faster to preserve our environment. Specifically, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports that if we do not change our emissions patterns, then we could have major food shortages, wildfires, and elimination of coral reefs as soon as 2040 – a little over 20 years from now.
The report was written and edited by 91 scientists from 40 countries who analyzed more than 6,000 scientific studies. It essentially states that we need to reverse emissions trends and turn the world economy around right away. The report recommends that coal as an electricity source would need to drop by 40% by 2050, and renewable energy, such as wind and solar, would need to increase by about 67%.
In sum, the picture is dire for the future of the planet without immediate action. In order to avoid higher overall temperatures and more violent weather, the world needs to take notice and take action.
What Part Does Residential Window Tinting Play in Reversing Climate Change?
Of course, there are myriad ways in which all countries need to change their energy and transportation habits to have a shot at addressing the growing climate crisis. Renewable sources of energy like wind and solar are important ways in which to create energy with little or no carbon emissions. Another approach to incorporate, however, is to harness the energy we already have.
That is where residential window tint comes into play. Any opportunity to save energy, no matter how small, can make a difference. Further, the technology for window tinting film has become so advanced that energy savings has become a primary driver of customers’ demand for residential window tint. In fact, the premium, higher-priced window tint treatments are popular because they provide better energy savings. Here are a few examples.
- Infrared Rejecting & TSER Window Films
The heat, or solar energy, that might come through a residential window has several components:
- Infrared Rays,
- Visible Light, and
- Ultraviolet Light.
All three make up what is called “total solar energy” or TSER. Specifically, infrared rays make up about 53% of the solar energy; visible light, 44%; and ultraviolet light, 3%.
While most window tinting film eliminates virtually all ultraviolet rays, newer window films now eliminate the heat from infrared rays as well. In addition, some films are designed to block heat from all three types of sunlight rays. That window film is called TSER window film.
Just because TSER window film blocks out all types of rays does not necessarily mean that it is better than window film that blocks only infrared light. Depending on the quality, some infrared rejecting window film could block more heat than a TSER film. It all depends on the measure of visible light transmission, or VLT.
- Low-E or “Four Season” Films
Intelligent low-e window film technology is the newest in residential window film, made for regions that experience all four seasons. For years, low-e film was used in places with extreme temperatures. Yet, now it is used in places with moderate weather patterns. The purpose of the film is to keep the winter heat in, and the summer heat out.
These state-of-the-art films couple insulating properties with heat-rejecting properties to maintain a comfortable indoor environment and save on energy bills all year round. “Low-e” stands for low emissivity, but you can think of the “e” as energy, because using the film results in saving tons of energy in trying to keep you home cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
In fact, the energy savings from low-e residential window film could be a smart and less expensive alternative to replacing your windows entirely.
When it comes to dealing with climate change, and reducing emissions, everyone can play a part. It only takes everyone making small changes in our own lives to make a huge difference the overall impact on the planet. The way to begin to contribute is to conserve the energy in your own home by installing residential window tinting film on your windows.
Remember, getting residential window film installed does not mean that you have to have dark-tinted windows. The demand is so strong for insulating, infrared rejecting, TSER, or Low-e window film for the sole purpose of conserving energy that consumers have a marvelous choice of options – ranging from clear window film to reflective, almost opaque window film.
If you want to join the many people taking advantage of the energy savings that comes with residential window film, and do your part for the environment, call Tint Tech, Calgary’s window tinting specialists, today. Our expert tinting consultants can give you all the information you need to know to make sure that you get the residential window tint that works for your budget. Call 403-968-8468 today.
Mom’s advice is always good advice. You probably can still hear her say, “I’ll get you what you want, as long as you promise to take care of it.” From a very early age we learn that it is a good thing to take care of things that are valuable to us. When it comes to protecting the investment you made on automotive tinted windows, Mom’s advice rings true even today.
When you get your car windows tinted at Tint Tech, you are getting top-of-the-line service. Without question, it is an investment. At Tint Tech, we love to work with, advise, and problem solve with our customers. Time and again, our professional technicians learn how to better serve our clients by connecting on a personal level and learning what concerns customers most.
We not only provide great products and services, but we are here to counsel you on all of the options available to you when it comes to window tinting. We frequently field important, useful questions from our customers. One of the most frequent questions we get from our customers is – how do I keep my car’s window tint looking fresh and new? So, we thought we would write an article to help all you window tinting fans get informed on how to care for and clean your car’s tinted windows.
What Is In Window Film?
Learning how to clean your tinted windows requires a little information about how windows are tinted in the first place. Tint Tech has been tinting windows for decades and has established itself as the leading auto window tinting shop in Calgary. So, we can advise you about window tinting as experts in the field.
Window tint, as you likely already know, is installed on the inside surface of your car windows. The tint film is made of a material that is resistant to scratches. That is why the tint remains in perfect condition even when the window slides up and down inside the car door.
Of course, if there is something out of place in your window mechanism in the door, then the surface of the window film can get scratched. That is something you need to address right away, so the window film does not get scratched to the point that the tinting process needs to be redone. While the window film is made to resist scratches, it is not indestructible.
In addition, the window tint film is bonded to the glass with pressure-sensitive adhesive. Once installed, the window tint can last for the life of the car. But, any scratch or other abrasion that might harm the adhesive bond could lead to the film cracking or bubbling. That is why cleaning your tinted windows on a regular basis is so important.
Using the Right Cleaner
Once you have window tint, just any glass cleaner won’t do. You must be careful to avoid using cleansers that may deteriorate the adhesive on the window film. Certain chemicals can be the culprits in degrading the adhesive bond, which leads to bubbling or peeling.
It would not be possible to discuss every type of glass cleaner individually. But, as a general rule, you should avoid glass cleaners that contain ammonia. Ammonia is one of the primary chemicals that can ruin a quality window tint job. Ammonia gets into the window film and can break down the adhesive that keeps the tint bonded to the glass.
Thus, make sure you look for ammonia free cleaners. Be careful that you read the label on any cleaner. If it does not specify “ammonia free,” then you should avoid using it on your tinted windows.
One thing to keep in mind of your windows are particularly dirty, from excessive mud or grime, is to clean the windows first with simple soap (dish soap) and water. Before using any kind of special window cleaner, you should get any serious dirt off your tinted windows first.
Using the Right Cloth
The best cloth to use for cleaning tinted windows is a soft microfiber towel. Why? Because they absorb more cleaning solution, which in turn allows any dirt particles to sink into the fibers and away from the surface of the window film.
Keeping dirt particles away from the window film is key because, in cleaning the window, you may inadvertently spread harmful particles around the window. In other words, you could do damage by dragging dirt particles across the window film’s surface as you wipe it down.
That is why we do not recommend using paper towels. Paper towels are fine for other surfaces, and non-tinted windows. But, unlike microfiber towels, paper towels do not absorb as much cleaning solution and are too thin to absorb dirt particles away from the tinted window surface.
In sum, a little extra “TLC” is required to keep those tinted windows looking like new. Be sure to use an ammonia free cleaning solution and soft microfiber towels.
Tint Tech is Here to Help
There are a lot of choices when it comes to getting your car windows tinted. But Tint Tech distinguishes itself from the rest by employing the most qualified window tint technicians, and making sure that each and every customer is completely satisfied. In addition, we at Tint Tech enjoy answering clients’ questions to make sure they get the most out of the products and services Tint Tech provides.
Learn more about how we can help maintain your car’s great look far into the future. Call Tint Tech, Calgary’s window tint specialists, today. Call us at 1-403-968-8468.
Remember, just like Mom used to say – make sure to take care of the things that are most valuable to you, so they last longer. Well, window tinting is a great investment for a host of reasons, beyond just the aesthetics of your car. Those benefits will last for the life of your car if you take the care to clean your windows properly.
Science and technology can do wonders for business. Think of the advent of the computer – the productivity of corporations through the 80s and 90s went through the roof. Think of the advent of the internet – people can now serve their clients or employers from anywhere in the world. Think of robots – the answer to efficiency far into the future. Indeed, there are millions of examples, from the cotton gin to the smart phone, in which science and technology ultimately led to great products and services for consumers today. The same is true in the automotive window tinting business, and Tint Tech – Calgary’s window tinting specialists – has its fingers on the pulse of the latest technological trends in window tinting.
Keep it Dark: Window Tinting of the Past
Window tinting came into the marketplace essentially for aesthetic reasons. Having darkened windows completed the sleek look of a car. The darkened windows emphasized and provided contrast to the attractive curves and shape of the car. The more sporty the car, the better the tinted windows accentuated the car’s overall look.
- Simpler Technology
In those days, the technology for window tinting was rather simple. Using dyes with an adhesive-type film achieved the modest goal of darkening your windows.
Of course, when the products were in their infancy, issues of bubbling, cracking, fading, and yellowing of edges were prevalent. So, that started to push producers to find solutions that allowed window tinting to last for the life of the car, and maintain the same look as when first installed.
- Law Enforcement’s Watchful Eye
Also prominent in the history of window tinting technology is the role of law enforcement. As window tinting started to become popular, the dangers of window tinting started to catch the attention of government institutions in towns, states, and provinces. The low visibility that a driver would experience at night, and the inability for police to see a driver through the window, due to window tinting became issues that law enforcement needed to address.
Accordingly, laws were put in place to minimize the dangers of window tinting, while still trying to allow people to enjoy the product. The general compromise of most jurisdictions – although the laws from state to state, and province to province vary – is that tinting the rear windows and the top part of the front windshield is permissible. But, tinting front side windows and most of the windshield is prohibited.
The Only Constant Is Change: The Newest Trends in Window Tinting Tech
The fascinating aspect of window tinting is that consumers began to realize that there were tangential benefits to window tinting that went beyond good looks. Over time, as more and more consumers saw the alternative benefits to tinting, those benefits began to drive the window tinting technology forward.
- Noticing the Benefits Beyond Looks
Drivers noticed that having window tinting film on their car windows miraculously kept the interior of the car cooler. Simply reducing the sun’s rays had a significant effect on the inside temperature of the car. The fact that there was less heat coming in meant that the car’s air conditioning system did not have to work so hard. In turn, that meant a little gas savings overall.
In addition to the fuel savings, drivers also realized that the interior fabrics and surfaces of the car (dashboard, interior wood paneling, upholstery) were better preserved. By minimizing the sun’s rays coming into the car, less bleaching and discoloring of the car’s interior was the result.
We know all too well – being car lovers ourselves – that keeping the car looking cool on the outside, feeling cool on the inside, and keeping the interior looking new is a winning combination.
- A Happy Accident Becomes Driving Force for Tint Technology
What were once tangential benefits of window tinting have, more and more, become the driving forces behind the newest technology in window tinting. Indeed, the benefits of interior heat reduction, and preservation of a car’s interior, were “happy accidents” that coincided with tinting your vehicle. Now, those happy accidents are the primary reason people have after-market tinting applied to their cars.
The advent of virtually clear window tint, that barely changes the look of the windows, is proof positive that tinting is really not just for looks anymore. To be specific, some of the benefits of window tinting that have nothing to do with aesthetics include:
- Reducing interior temperature
- Preserving interior fabrics and surfaces
- Eliminating 99% of harmful UV rays
- Added privacy (with darker tints) to dissuade would-be burglars
- Reducing sun glare
- Latest Technology in Window Tinting
As we follow the evolution of window tinting, it is clear that automotive window tinting is one of the top after-market products in the automotive industry. As such, the technology has gotten much better over the years. The window tinting films currently being produced perform far better than the window films of the past.
Longevity. The current manufacturers not only include improved colors and shades to match the car’s factory tinted windows, but also they have made great strides in the durability of the product. Quality tinting films do not bubble, crack or yellow at all, and many brands come with a lifetime warranty.
Infrared Reducing. The newest ceramic films, which contain small ceramic particles that are neither conductive nor metallic, are the highest quality out there. Ceramic films reduce sunlight, thereby removing infrared light, by at least 45% to 50%.
Clear Technology. The window tinting industry is constantly adapting to accommodate the ever-changing laws related to automotive window tinting. The hottest product right now is clear tint, which matches the factory tint but still has all of the benefits listed above, like glare reduction, UV reduction, and added window insulation.
The popularity of auto window tinting shows no signs of slowing down. Tint Tech, your Calgary window tinting professionals, are making sure that consumers have access to the latest, most advanced, window tinting technology. If you are considering window tinting film for your car, but still have questions, call Tint Tech in Calgary today at 403-968-8468.