Understanding Ceramic Window Film Performance

Hey, my name is Ralph. I'm with Flexfilm. In this video, I'm going to talk about how misleading automotive window film specs can be sometimes. There are two methods that almost everybody uses, every day, that are almost always misleading. There are two more methods that we hardly ever use, that are never misleading.

Before we go any further, I want to talk about one spec that's very important, okay? Total solar energy rejection, also known as TSER. Let's break that down for a minute, okay? Total, that means everything. Solar energy, that means visible light, infrared radiation and ultraviolet rays. And then finally rejection, to me that means to send away.

Let me show you why TSER can be misleading and why you can't rely on that spec alone. Total solar energy rejection can only demonstrate what is happening on only one side of the glass. It absolutely shows nothing about what's happening on the other side of the glass, where the customer is. For something like flat glass film that is designed to reflect solar energy, TSER might be a good spec to look at it. But for automotive film, which is designed to absorb solar energy, TSER is not completely applicable because it does not consider absorption.

Introducing the graph. On the Y axis, we have transmitted solar energy. On the X axis, we have the solar spectrum. It starts with ultraviolet, goes to visible light, then to near infrared radiation. I like to think of the specs on the graph as a horse race. Let's look at three different film technologies, which are dye film, carbon film and ceramic film and let's see what they do on the graph. Notice where the race stopped.

Listen, if you take a snapshot right here at 1,000 nanometers to determine what the IR performance is it can be misleading. This is where everybody is taking a snapshot of your window film and publishing what the IR performance is, but they're robbing you of the whole picture when they do this. You can make any window film look like anything you want when you take a snapshot around this point. The only way that we can accurately evaluate the performance of automotive window film that's not misleading is with a graph because we can see the whole picture. We don't have to guess. We don't have to predict and we don't have to mislead.

We haven't finished the race yet, so let's see what happens with these three different technologies. Okay, what happened? These three films that look very similar at the beginning are actually quite different when we see the whole picture on a graph. This demonstrates how taking snapshots anywhere on the spectrum can be misleading.

Okay what I want to show you now is the graph, with three different technologies on the graph and how they look beside each other. I especially want you to pay attention to what they do after the 1,000 nanometer line. The first one is the dyed film. That's what it looks like. The second one is a carbon film and that's what it looks like. The third one is a carbon ceramic film and that's what it looks like. Isn't amazing what the difference is? You know, there's a whole new story after the 1,000 nanometer line. They paint a whole new picture of performance. And trust me, what you're seeing on this graph separates the men from the boys in how these films work.

So what you're seeing on the graph that I want you to notice is that in the beginning, that all three look similar. They all block out the same amount of UV and they all seem to be about the same shade. But after the 1,000 nanometer mark, look what the dyed film does. It almost lets all the energy through, so it shoots straight to the top. The carbon blocks out about half the energy, but lets the other half through, so it's in the middle. The carbon ceramic shoots straight to the bottom because it almost blocks out everything.

In conclusion, we've proved a couple of things. We know we can't depend on total solar energy rejection alone, okay? We also know that we can't depend on snapshot specs, okay? These are never accurate because we have to know who wins the race or if anybody finishes the race. There's just not enough data at that point to make a decision on what the performance is of our window film.

Listen, I know all this stuff sounds confusing. It's even overwhelming, but there's always one thing you can do that's real simple. You can take your hand and you can always put it in front of a heat lamp demonstration with whatever film you're testing and your hand will never lie to you. Whatever your hand feels will always match the graph.