Making Reflective Window Film – What to Know

Window films are great additions for a home to maintain the coolness within and increase privacy. Window Films are amazing additions to the home and office, particularly for the fact that they can help reduce HVAC costs dramatically. Ever wondered what goes into making a window film? If so, let’s find out together! Here are the four steps of creating a reflective window film:

How Reflective Window Films Are Made

Window films start as pellets. The pellets, which are Polyethylene Terephthalate pellets, are melted together. PET, known for its strength and clarity, is used in the making of window films. As they are melted together, the material is stretched into a polyester sheet. During this process, the production team adds UV blockers that help cool your home.

1 – Dyeing Vs. Metallizing

Following this process is adding dyes or metals to the sheet. The type of material added depends on how strong the manufacturer wants the film to be. While dyed films absorb much heat, metalized films reflect heat. Dyed films are commonly used on automobiles, while reflective films are used on residential windows.

1.1 – Dyeing

Dyeing is achieved by coating the film with dyes and letting it cure in a hot oven. The heat embeds the pigments into the film. After that, the colour of the film becomes permanent.

1.2 – Metallizing

Metallizing can be achieved in three different ways. The first way is called evaporative coating. In this process, metal, usually aluminium, is melted into a gas cloud. The film is then placed in a chamber where it is pumped full of metal gas. As soon as the film cools, the metal particles become bonded with the film. The second method is electron beam coating. This process is very similar to evaporative coating.

The only difference is that a very powerful electron beam is directed at the metal to heat it. The metal vaporizes, forming a cloud of gas that deposits onto the film. The final method is called sputtering. Here, electrically-charged gas is aimed at a metal which causes the molecules to separate from the metal.

The particles then layer very precisely and thinly on the window film. The coating itself is so tight that the water sprayed to install the film cannot evaporate. However, after a few weeks of curing, the hazy look will disappear.

2 – Scratch-Resistant Coating

After the dyeing or metalizing process, a scratch-resistant coating is applied to the surface that faces into the home. It protects the film and window from any dust, debris, or anything that will touch the film. The better the coating, the longer the film will last.

3 – Applying the Adhesive

After that, an adhesive is applied to the side that faces the window. The stronger the resin, the longer the film will last as well. A good glue will stop a film from bubbling and peeling off as it ages. Films applied to automobiles are usually sticky (pressure sensitive), while films used on residential homes can only have its adhesive activated with water.

4 – Protecting with A Liner 

A protective liner (peeled off later during application) will be applied to the film that acts as a safeguard against dust and debris. The more the coating, the more durable it gets.

PFD Films is Australia’s largest wholesaler of window films stocking brands like Avery Dennison, 3M, SolarGard and more, contact our consultants to help pick the right film for your next job, or set up a new reliable supplier.