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3M Window Films. What makes them different? Really?

Updated on April 1, 2012

3M Window films+ a disclaimer about me

3M Window films+ a disclaimer about me

3M is the industry leader in residential and commercial window films and storm protection. 3M invented window film! Ron Heifner installed the first piece of 3M window film in 1965. I know Ron, and I work with him. He's still very active in the industry, and has forgotten more about window films than many of us will ever know.

Here are my disclaimers, before you read on: Yes, I'm a salesman, and I sell 3M window films. For the Federal Trade Commission, I have not, nor will I ever be compensated by my employer, 3M, nor any other entity for the contents of this article.

3M has developed a number of industry leading technologies in window films. These range from solar protection, energy savings and protecting furnishings from fading - as well as being accepted as a preventive measure against skin cancer (PREVENTIVE) to industry leading security films. 3M combines both in some of their products, too. 3M offers solar, security, as well as solar/security films. Unlike many types of "energy saving" glass applications, 3M's solar films block UVA and UVB, as well as infra red. UV rays are responsible for the greenhouse effect. To make this simple, UV enters through the unmodified glass, but is weakened as it passes through. Once weakened, the UV rays can't completely escape. This builds heat! Look at a greenhouse - a clear substrate mounted on a frame.

Heat rejection films are normally applied to the interior of flat glass windows to reduce the amount of infrared, visible light (in most cases), and ultraviolet (UV) radiation entering windows.

The thicker window films known as safety and security window film are designed to perform under extreme conditions, and as such there are specific standard criteria these films should meet, such as American standards ANSI Z.97, CPSC 16 CFR 1201, Cat II (400 ft-lb), and the British Standards BS 6206 (Class A, B, C). The European Committee for Standardization offer the EN12600 standard Classification of Resistance of Glazing to Impact. Often, building codes dictate that a film must have a report verifying that it has met at least one of these standards.

3M pioneered the use of nanotechnology in window films. 3M films are comprised of many, many fibers, all smaller than a hair. These tiny components are all layered to make the films, which are hundreds of plys thick.

Although most dealers and installers don't recommend it, the 3M films can even be cleaned with Windex

3M films cannot be sold to the public at large. Only an authorized 3M dealer may purchase them, then their installer installs them. The reason? Most 3M films carry a lifetime warranty in residential applications for as long as you own the dwelling. This warranty is not typically transferable.


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    • James Cox profile image

      James Cox 5 years ago from jacksonville

      Great hub, I wish there was more out there like this.

      I have been a 3M dealer for about 7 years but have been using 3M for about 20 years when I worked for other companies.

      It really is the best window tint you can buy. I was very impressed when I first got the crystalline film and tested it against other films. I couldn't believe the amount of heat it blocks. We have a heat lamp display set up and we can put the crystalline 40 against 2 layers of 5% limo film and still feel more heat than through the crystalline.

      Take a look at our website and let me know what you think. I have put a lot of work in to it and am always looking for suggestions and comments.

      Thanks, James Cox


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