Adding value with automotive tint films - Image Magazine


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Adding value with automotive tint films

Adding value with automotive tint films

Automotive tint films add value by giving vehicles an attractive custom appearance while providing a number of functional benefits.

Not only can vehicles look cool with a range of tones and shades, they can be cool. Automotive window films filter sunlight and heat, reducing the need for air conditioning and saving on fuel. By reducing external glare, they improve driver visibility and make for a safer, more comfortable driving experience.  Tint films protect interior furnishing from sun damage by filtering up to 99% of harmful UV radiation and acting like a sunscreen for drivers and passengers.

Dark tints provide privacy, keeping valuables out of sight and deterring opportunistic break ins. Tint films with safety features can reduce the risk of injury from broken glass caused by projectiles, minor accidents or road debris by holding shattered glass together and make glass stronger and more resistant to breakage from vandalism

There is a wide range of tint films available today providing a variety of durability and performance levels. Not all window tint films are created equal and while your customer may be more focused on the aesthetic benefits and price, you can better sell value and quality if your customer understands the functional benefits different types of tints can offer.

Firstly through, let’s look at one of the main reasons customers’ tint their windows – visual appeal. Car windowing tinting films are measured according to their visible light transmission levels (VLT). The level is given as a percentage of how much visible light can pass through the film, so a VLT of 35 means that 35% of light can pass (65% of light is blocked). The lower the number e.g. a VLT of 5%, the darker the tint.  Laws on what is legal vary depending on where the film is placed (sunroof, front, back or rear windows) and the type of car (passenger or commercial vehicle). There are also different regulations between New Zealand and Australia and within different states. What is also important to consider is if the window is already tinted. You could use a film that is within the legal VLT but if the window already has a factory tint you could easily cross the threshold.

There are five main constructions of tint films ranging in performance from economy to premium. All are polyester based with different ingredients used for blocking light and heat:

1. Dye-based

On the economy scale, dyed window films are attractive to the budget conscious. They consist of a layer of dye to block light.  Dye based films absorb solar heat and while this protects the interior from some heat, it is not a particularly efficient method for heat refraction.

Dyed tint films are the least durable and most sensitive to UV exposure. In harsh environments like Australia and NZ these films rapidly fade or turn from black to purple. Dye based films offer a very short term aesthetic and functional benefit

2. Metalised

Instead of using dye, these films contain metalised particles to block sunlight.  They are much more efficient at keeping interiors cool as they reflect solar heat rather than absorbing it. They are also more resistant to fade from UV and longer lasting.

Because they are metallised and therefore conductive, these films can interfere with radio frequencies, navigation units etc.  The metal particles give the film a shiny reflective appearance which may not be aesthetically appealing to the vehicle owner

3. Hybrid

Utilise both metal and dye. They combine the best features of both, offering efficient light and heat blocking qualities, longer durability and a less reflective appearance. Hybrid films offer enhanced features while also being cost effective. Hybrid films are a good choice for price sensitive applications that still demand good performance.

4.  Carbon

These tint films contain carbon that offers an attractive black finish and are effective at not only blocking light UV radiation and heat but can filter harmful infrared (IR) rays.

5. Nano ceramic

The newest of tint technologies, these films utilise ceramic particles that are nonconductive. Nano ceramic films generally offer premium, lasting colour stability and outstanding heat rejection. As well as blocking 99% of harmful UV, versions are available that also deliver excellent infrared (IR) heat rejection. While one of the more expensive tint options, they are a worthwhile investment for high end car owners or those wanting an efficient long term solution.

The film you choose will depend on your customers’ needs and expectations.. Customers may not fully understand the benefits of different films. Perceived price savings could end up costing the customer more in the long run. If the film doesn’t last, the cost of replacement can be more than having invested in a higher quality film from the start. Not only this, but discolouration, bubbling or other defects would need to be legally removed if they impair a drivers vision in any way. There are also insurance consequences in the event of an accident. 

The right tint film can add significant value to a cars appearance, driver comfort and safety and resale value if the interior is protected. It also offers a great opportunity for sign companies to sell added value to customers investing in wraps and other vehicle branding.


By Denise Kirby

Denise Kirby, has over 25 years experience in the sign industry as a supplier of self-adhesive products. Initially starting out in a family business as a distributor of Mactac products to sign and print companies, Denise then worked for Mactac Europe in a business development and marketing role across Australia and New Zealand and joined Avery Dennison 1.5 years ago when they bought Mactac.  

She is highly passionate about the industry and the brands she represents. Her goal is for convertors to have a good understanding of the products they use to inform their choices on what best fits the application and customer needs. Denise enjoys writing about different applications and opportunities with the hope of inspiring people to explore new creative and functional opportunities with film.


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