Window film is a highly thin film made from vinyl, polyester, plastic or any other material that allows the light to pass through. Window films are usually installed on the inner side of glass surfaces of windows in homes, offices, hospitals, boats, cars, and airplanes. Among the materials used for window films, polyester is a commonly used material, due to its dimensional stability, tensile strength, clarity, and ability to sustain a number of surface-applied or embedded treatments. Window films come in different colors, thicknesses, grades, and applications such as thermal insulation, heat and glare reduction, UV filtration, privacy, safety and security, and decoration.
Solar control window films primarily offer thermal insulation, heat and glare reduction, and UV filtration. These films can be applied on any glass surface by professional service companies or through DIY kits available. Solar control window films are used in automobiles, commercial and residential buildings, commercial and private boats, and for decorative purposes.
Solar control window films with heat rejection as a primary feature usually provide reduced amount of visible, infrared, and UV radiations entering the windows. These films are usually dyed or metalized (with a metal that can be transparent to visible light), which converts the incoming solar radiations into infrared radiations and send them back to the exterior through the glass. Modern technology has enabled production of ceramic window films that are non-metallic and without dyes that can cause discoloration of the film. Spectrally selective films function by blocking certain wavelengths of infrared radiations from the sun and reject heat without reducing the natural light.
Solar control window films with heat insulation feature are designed in such a way that they restrict the amount of heat transferred through the window glass. A low-emissivity coating is applied to the external surface of windows of a house to prevent the solar heat from entering the house. On the other hand, the inner surface of windows is coated when they are designed to provide heat energy to the inside of the house.
Solar Control Window Films Market: Trends
Regular window films are inexpensive in comparison with ceramic and metallic window films. However, the latter have an advantage of reduced energy transmission by as much as 80% over regular window films. Ceramic window films may cost higher, but they provide better service in terms of blocking of UV-rays and controlled heat transfer.
Solar control window films, as compared to generic window films, are not a subject to rigorous testing. However, standards have been formulated to maintain a quality level in the market. ANSI Standards ASTM D1044-93 and ASTM E903 relate to abrasion resistance and UV/solar transmission property, respectively. Major players operating in the solar control window films market follow these standards so as to ensure the quality of their raw materials and finished products.
Not all films are suitable for all glasses. Several factors are considered along with the type of glass where the film is to be applied before the selection and subsequent application of the window film.
In the recent past, there has been an increased demand for sun control films. It is observed that the demand increased exponentially, due to requirement for these films for architectural purposes in the construction industry (residential and commercial buildings). Development of infrastructure is a major driver for the global solar control window films market. Growing trend of energy-efficient houses is a major factor that has increased the demand for solar control window films, as the use of glass in the construction industry has risen (for example, the number and size of windows is large in open-plan houses).
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Solar Control Window Films Market: Segmentation
Based on product types, the solar control window films market can be segmented into ceramic, metallic, and others.
Based on applications, the market can be divided into automotive, architectural (commercial and residential), marine, decorative, and others.
Solar Control Window Films Market: Region-wise Outlook
Asia Pacific is expected to be the leading market for solar control window films, owing to population size in the region. Increasing demand from the construction industry in the region is also expected to boost the market in the region. The market in Middle East & Africa is likely to witness decent growth, due to rise in construction activities. The global market for solar control window films is projected to witness exponential growth in the near future, due to increasing demand from key industries such as construction, automotive, marine, and aviation.
Solar Control Window Films Market: Key Players
Key players operating in the solar control window films market include 3M, The Window Film Company, Eastman Chemical Company, Garware Suncontrol, SOLAR CONTROL FILMS INC., Purlfrost Ltd., Saint-Gobain, Sun Control, Madico Inc., Polytronix Inc., and Solyx Films SA Pty Ltd.