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The 101 on Solar Film

May 11, 2019

As Singapore faces the drastic effects of climate change – namely the rising temperature and thinner ozone layer, it has become increasingly important to protect one’s self against the harmful effects of the sun.

Not only do the ultraviolet rays pose a serious threat to one’s health, the heat and glare from the sun can also cause discomfort and compromise safety on the road.

Many turn to sunscreen to protect themselves from the harsh rays but what more can drivers do to protect themselves and their passengers?

This is where solar film comes into play.

 

What is a solar film?

Solar film is a thin, flexible film that can be adhered to the interior or exterior glass surfaces in automobiles, marine vessels or buildings. When installed, it enhances the ability of a glass surface to block harmful ultraviolet rays, reject high levels of solar heat and reduce glare.

Solar film was originally developed for privacy or aesthetic purposes. However, these films are just as widely used today for the purpose of reducing heat gain and glare and protecting one from harmful UV rays. Not only that, solar films have the added benefit of protecting any vehicle’s interior from degradation and increasing fuel and air-con efficiency!

 

Even if you’re inside your car or house, if you’re sitting next to a window with sunlight streaming in, you’re at risk for UV damage.

 

Types of solar films

There are many types of solar films in the market. Of these, the common ones are nano-ceramic and metallic films.

 

Nano-ceramic films

Nano-ceramic films comprise of two components: ceramic and oxy-nitride. Ceramic is a tough and stable material and oxy-nitride, a transition metal, possesses intrinsic solar selective properties. As such, nano-ceramic solar films offer higher heat rejection and are more durable than other types of window films.

Unlike metallic films, ceramic films won’t corrode or discolour over time.

 

Metallic films

Metallic films are developed by reducing metals into vapour or gas and bonding them to the films. The metal coating on these films aid in reflecting solar heat and reducing glare that comes through the windows. However, metallic films have a tendency to corrode and disrupt radio frequencies and signals.

 

Why is it important to install solar films for your vehicle?

There are numerous benefits to be reaped from installing solar films for your car, which ranges from health and safety to comfort and cost savings.

Health-wise, research has revealed that drivers with left-hand drive develop more skin damage on the left side of the bodies. This is also applicable to those who drive with right-hand drive, as they similarly develop more damage on their right side.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the cause of this is due to the ultraviolet rays that penetrate through the driver-side windows.  Most solar films block 99% of UV rays, which mitigates the risk of contracting skin-related illnesses.

In short, living in a hot and sunny climate such as Singapore makes it necessary for car owners to install solar film.

Having a film installed helps reduce heat gain and makes the journey cooler and more comfortable for both the driver and his passengers. A cooler cabin also helps with increasing the efficiency of the air-conditioner and fuel economy.

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