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The Science of Heat Rejection: How Window Tinting Keeps Your Car Cool

The sleek look of a tinted car is appealing for aesthetic reasons to most car owners, but few are aware of how window tinting can keep your car cool. 

With a window tint, you can drastically reduce the temperature of your cabin and work your cooling system less. In this article, you’ll learn the specifics of how the heat rejection works.



The mechanics of heat transfer

Heat transfer is all about radiation, convection, and convection. Of the three, radiation is the most important in the context of window tinting.

Solar radiation is how heat builds up inside your car. The sun’s energy includes UV, infrared rays, and visible light. UV rays are known for their damaging effects on human skin, but the infrared radiation contributes to heat buildup in your car interior.


Many window tint films are comprised of polyester, while others line the upper level of the film with a thin coating of tiny metal fragments and colored dye. The layers of the film block out the sun’s rays while allowing some visible light to pass through.


How window tinting repels heat and keeps your car cool

Automotive window tinting relies on advanced film technology for effective heat rejection and UV protection. 


These films are built with multiple layers that work in harmony to provide superior performance. The outer layer protects against scratches and fading, while the middle layer contains dyes and metals that absorb and reflect solar heat. 


Finally, the inner layer ensures adhesive strength and enhances durability. Together, these layers form a powerful shield that blocks out heat.


How you can tell how effective a car tint is at heat rejection

You can tell how effective a specific tint is by assessing its visible light transmittance (VLT), light absorption (VLA), and light reflection (VLR) ratings. 

For instance, a car with no tint will transmit about 90% of visible light, meaning it will have a VLT percentage of 90. This same glass will have a VLA rating of five, with only 5% absorption. Similarly, the VLR rating will be at five.


You can expect such a car to possess no cooling mechanism except for the built-in conditioning. The capacity of the window tint to effectively cool your car’s interior depends on the technology behind it.


  • Nano-carbon ceramic technology

This process combines carbon and ceramic particles for coloring and heat rejection. The highly durable film allows for increased visibility in all outdoor light shades. This technology reduces heat by up to 95%.


  • Dyed window tints

Dyed window tints are created by adding a dye layer between the adhesive and the polyester film. They’re affordable and provide good heat rejection with good VLA ratings. 


However, their lifespan is limited, and they may not offer the highest IR and UV protection levels. This technology reduces heat by up to 30%.


  • Metalized window tints

Metalized tints comprise a thin layer of metallic particles embedded within the film to reflect solar radiation. These tints are highly effective at reducing heat and blocking UV rays but can interfere with electronic signals, such as GPS, cell phones, and radio reception. This technology reduces heat by up to 50%.


Drive in comfort with the right window tint

Car window tinting is more than a fashion statement; it can block out heat from entering your cabin and reduce the workload on your air conditioning system whenever you’re out driving.


For the best car tinting technology to give you functional and aesthetic results, contact us today. 

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