October 2019

Welcome to the October 2019 issue of Window Film News.

Winter is always a hard slog for tinters, and by all accounts this one was tough. The good news is the market has picked up in many regions across the country, and will of course gain more momentum as the weather heats up. In this issue, we keep you abreast of industry developments and opportunities. If you have comments or suggestions for the next issue, simply email info@wfaanz.org.au.

Simple answer to heat rejection dilemma

The tint industry is awash with different heat rejection claims from manufacturers. While some are helpful, others can be confusing, unlikely, or buried under convoluted technical jargon.

This complicates things for tinters. It makes it near-impossible to succinctly explain solar performance to customers, and it prevents the accurate comparison of films from different suppliers.

The solution is TSER. The message to the customer can be as simple as this – to understand how much heat a window film can block, you need to know its TSER. Here’s why the TSER solution works so well.

Energy from the sun is divided into three categories that each bring heat – ultraviolet, visible light and infrared (IR). Total Solar Energy Rejection (TSER) is a percentage that describes the amount of total heat that’s prevented from passing through the glass. The higher the TSER, the more solar energy rejected.

Some manufacturers focus on IR rejection, some even positioning a product as an ‘IR film’, yet IR values should not be promoted in isolation for two reasons.

Firstly, IR rejection only tells part of the heat rejection story as IR energy is approximately 53% of the sun’s total solar energy (that’s in Australia, this percentage may differ in other international climate zones). This means that when a supplier promotes its film as having “95% IR rejection”, that doesn’t mean it blocks 95% of the heat – it means it rejects a possible 95% of the 53% of IR energy.

Secondly, different companies use different ways to calculate IR values. Some calculate on different wavelength ranges, some provide IRER values, etc. This not only complicates the spiel you give your customer, it also means you can’t effectively compare films from different suppliers when advising the best film to suit their requirements.

To compare films, look at the TSER value of films with the same VLT. Any reputable Australian film supplier, and certainly all WFAANZ distributor members, can provide the TSER value of its films.

What makes TSER values so reliable?

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories (LBNL) administer the International Glazing Database (IGDB), which is tightly controlled and accurate. Measurements determining TSER occur when a film is listed on the IGDB, and LBNL software uses these measurements to calculate a film’s TSER (from the calculated SHGC).

This strictly controlled, independent process of arriving at a TSER is why the values can be trusted, and as every film goes through the same process it means TSER is the perfect way to compare films.

What’s to prevent a manufacturer from ‘fudging’ a TSER value?

In theory, a supplier can inflate TSER values when promoting a film, which is the same as making false claims and misleading the public, serious offences. If you’re dubious of a supplier’s TSER claims, simply ask them for an LBNL Window Report or contact WFAANZ and we can refer to the IGDB for you.

We don’t want to confuse the building or car owner when they’re considering window film, or bog down the conversation in technical lingo that could scare them off film altogether. To help explain TSER to your customers in the simplest way possible, we designed a fact sheet that can be downloaded here.

Glass shower exposes need for safety film

Glass fragments fell 30 floors to the footpath when a glass balcony pane at Epic Apartments in Southbank, Melbourne, suddenly shattered earlier this month. A council investigation into the imported glass is currently underway.

In a 7NEWS story reporting on the glass breakage, the building manager indicated it was unclear why the panel suddenly shattered. The signs clearly point towards another case of spontaneous glass breakage.

This incident highlights the role safety film can play to counteract the risks posed by ‘sudden glass breakage’. Glass is fragile and can break for many reasons, but in many cases is thought to be the result of nickel sulphide inclusion. WFAANZ points its members to the procedure document relating to this issue, which was released earlier this year. Contact ally@acpublicrelations.com.au for more info.

The need to keep it legal

It’s undeniable that reducing the VLT limit to 20% on rear windows in every State and Territory (15% in the NT) has been a positive move for the Aussie tint industry. Unfortunately, some rogue tinters still spread misinformation, telling customers 20% is accepted on all windows in passenger vehicles.

To counteract confusion, WFAANZ released a fact sheet entitled Keeping It Legal. This is one of our most downloaded fact sheets to date, with the Facebook announcement reaching over 10,300 different people.

The popularity of the fact sheet highlights the need for simple, reliable, trustworthy information that once and for all explains to the car owner how dark they can go – and why they should keep within the limits.

Check out the Fact Sheets page of the WFAANZ website to download this and other resources, all re designed to support your communication with customers. Send ideas for fact sheet topics to ally@acpublicrelations.com.au.

No tint zone

When it comes to auto film, the other grey area sparking numerous enquiries regards the windscreen. “Can I coat the windscreen?” “How about clear film?” “I received some info from a manufacturer that claims its product is legal, is that true?” The answer is no.

The regulations are crystal clear – it’s not legal to apply window film or any coating to the greater part of the windscreen. This includes optically clear film, as even that will alter the VLT to some degree. Film is only ever permitted on the top 10% of the windscreen, or above the arc of the windscreen wiper.

40 stories of energy savings

Residents of Chicago’s 40-story Hawthorne House enjoy an unobstructed view of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline, with each of the 455 apartments boasting expansive windows. The common areas, including a fitness centre, have over 150 windows that are each about 7.4 square meters.

When glare and heat problems in the public spaces, especially the gym, was negatively impacting the residents’ experience, building management was forced to consider its options.

 New windows on all 40 stories would be too expensive, and it would have taken decades to recover the cost. So solar control film was installed on all windows in the building to reduce heat and glare.

With an estimated 58,000 square feet of glass at Hawthorne House, the potential annual savings is more than $100,000. This figure was calculated using a method devised by the United States Navy. When investigating the energy reduction benefits of solar control window film, the Navy calculated that window film saves (on average) 17.32 kWh per year for every square foot installed on west facing windows with a shading coefficient of 24. At .10 cents a kWh, a low average cost in the US, this means window film may save $1.73 per square foot a year.

The facility management team tracked their progress by measuring various areas to determine temperature gradients, and noted as much as a 20-degree delta (or reduction) in temperatures of different surfaces.

The other benefits of the film was protection from fading, and the uniform appearance of the building façade.

Laura McMahon, Hawthorne House asset manager, said, “Now on hot summer days, the HVAC system can easily handle the cooling load while maintaining electrical consumption, and the building now has extra cooling capacity”.

Read the full story on FacilityExecutive.com.

The IWFA’s take on energy saving

Studies by the International Window Film Association show that window film, when professionally-installed on structurally sound single or double-pane windows, may reduce energy consumption by as much as 30%, while the installation cost may be 91.5% less than the cost of adding new windows.

Mandatory energy disclosure

WERS For Film was established in Australia to ensure a government endorsed energy rating program was in place to represent window film when initiatives like mandatory disclosure were introduced.

The Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) program is currently under review. An initiative of the Council of Australian Government (COAG), it requires energy efficiency information – such as a WERS For Film certificate – be provided in most cases when commercial office space of 1000 square metres or more is offered for sale or lease.

The review is underway to gauge whether the program has improved the energy efficiency of commercial office buildings and its possible expansion to other buildings such as hotels, data centres and shopping centres. The CBD review is conducting a public consultation. For more info please click here.

FEATURE ARTICLE

The catnap trap

This media release was prepared for member Brendan Mates, South Side Tinting. On a recent job, his customer stated the reason for film was to “protect the house cats from UV exposure”. It made for an interesting article for pet owners. The story can be downloaded from the Media page of the WFAANZ website. It’s a great example of how WFAANZ uses case studies to create free promotional opportunities for our members, while promoting the benefits of window film.

It’s undeniable that house cats love sunbaking in a slice of sunshine in front of a glass door or window. But as cats can be as prone to skin cancer as their owners, lazing in front of a window may not be as harmless as it appears, especially as the weather heats up.

Prolonged sun exposure can increase the risk of skin cancer in cats and dogs. The University of Melbourne reports skin cancers account for a one quarter of tumours found in cats and a third in dogs. Over half of those tumours found in cats (50 – 65%) are malignant and can spread throughout the body[1].

For this reason, vets advise cats and dogs with white fur shouldn’t be outdoors during the hottest parts of the day. But what about the UV radiation coming through untreated glass doors and windows inside a home?

To stop the UV and still enjoy the view and light afforded by glass, pet owners have the option of installing solar control window film. While all films have different performance levels, they can block as much as 99% UV radiation, 80% total solar energy and 90% glare.

Ally Cronan, President of the Window Film Association of Australia and New Zealand (WFAANZ), comments, “It’s a neat solution. Hiring a professional to install window film in your home means you not only protect your pets and family from UV, you will also control your home’s temperature, which will cut electricity bills and improve comfort. A WFAANZ member should be consulted to provide recommendations as to the type of film that’d work best in your home.”

One such WFAANZ member is Brendan Mates from South Side Tinting, NSW, who recently installed solar control film at a Carringbah home with four cats.

Brendan said, “When the client contacted me to discuss installing window film, they made it clear their main reason was to protect their cats from the sun. This resonated with me because two years ago my cat, Sarah, was diagnosed with skin cancer on her head. Thankfully, she’s OK today but it was a scare, and the cost of radiation and medication does add up.”

South Side Tinting installed a dual reflective 35% VLT window film on a north-facing glass door and six-pane window in the living room – a favourite haunt of the four cats.

Brendan adds, “To demonstrate how effective film is, during the installation I had the homeowner stand in front of an untreated glass door, and then in front of one I’d just tinted. The results are immediate and noticeable. The client was so impressed I’ve been asked to go back to tint the bedroom windows.”

If you’re considering window film, WFAANZ recommends talking to a professional window film installer with the experience and credentials to ensure you get the most from the job. WFAANZ members abide by a strict code of practice and uphold the highest industry standards.

[1] University of Melbourne, ‘Skin cancer in pets’, https://www.u-vet.com.au/news/skin-cancer-in-pets

ASK AWAY

Has AS1288 5.1 been amended recently? The requirement used to be that film could be applied to 3mm glass up to 2m2, but I’ve heard talk that’s gone down to 0.8m2 – have you heard about this at all?

The maximum areas for organic safety coatings have not changed. Assuming the glass is supported on all four sides, the requirement that a safety film (compliant to AS/NZS 2208) can be applied to 3mm glass up to 2m2 is still current as per Table 5.1 of AS 1288. There has been no change to this requirement since the last amendment (Amendment No. 3) of AS 1288, released February 2016.

Australian Standards is looking into an application to review both AS1288 and AS2208. WFAANZ has a representative on the Australian Standards glass safety committee so we will be well informed of any changes to the standards.

 

Comment on Facebook: The problem is that most manufacturers and distributors do not tell the truth about TSER, is that true?

The beauty of TSER values is that, unlike IR rejection claims, they can be verified by a third party. If you’re dubious of a supplier’s TSER claims, ask them for an LBNL Window Report. If you still have concerns, contact WFAANZ.

The reason TSER values can be trusted is they’re determined using Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories (LBNL) software. TSER is measured across the entire UV, VL, Near IR spectrum, and the measurements occur when a film is listed on the International Glazing Database (IGDB). These processes are tightly controlled and accurate.

Do you have any information on tinting to laminated glass? I’m aware that some tints cause thermal cracks and was wondering if there was any information regarding this.

Here is an extract from our thermal stress technical bulletin:

“Laminated annealed glass is common in residential and commercial windows where safety glass is required. Low to medium absorption films will work on these windows, but care must be taken with typically darker films. The best options are generally energy reflecting films over energy absorbing films, as the absorption is what leads to thermal stress. If the glass is tinted, the risk of thermal stress increases. This greatly reduces the types of films you can use as tinted glass is usually a high heat absorber and poor energy reflector. ‘Normal’ thickness and sized glass has been assumed here. Unusually thick glass or large panes are excluded from this generalisation, as the risk of stress increases with the dimensions of the glass.”

WFAANZ distributor members often get asked to conduct thermal stress checks, where they take the specific information and recommend particular films to suit those conditions.

WFAANZ member who would like a copy of the WFAANZ technical bulletin on thermal stress, can email  ally@acpublicrelations.com.au.

Do you have any information on how to remove window film from glass with a low-E coating?

WFAANZ does not recommend either installing film to the Low E coated surface of the glass OR removing film from it. We do not have any official documentation with advice about this process as we don’t recommend or endorse this process. If you must remove film from the Low E coated surface of the glass…

  • Know what glue is used CDA glue is really hard to remove
  • Black marks can appear when you use a scraper. This is because the coated surface is actually tougher than the scraper, and the black marks are metal deposits from the scraper
  • Black marks can be removed with a hydrochloric acid solution as diluted as 5% acid, 95% water
  • Use the regular tricks, i.e. spray with glue remover and then put film liner over the top to prevent the glue remover from drying up – let soak for at least ten minutes and clean off glue using a non abrasive scrubbie pad, repeat the process as needed

Refer to the Viridian fact sheet about cleaning Comfort Plus for more information.

Group bargaining power shaves insurance premiums

Every tint business is unique – auto, flat glass, commercial, residential, workshop, mobile, one man band or a team of staff. The variables make it hard to find the right insurance cover, and brokers don’t always understand our industry.

WFAANZ has partnered with HWA Insurance Brokers to offer our members an insurance solution. By banding together as an industry, HWA can negotiate the best rates that will potentially shave hundreds off your annual premiums.

Since launching the membership offer in August, HWA has been asked by 13 WFAANZ members for an insurance review. In every instance, HWA could quote significant savings on their yearly premiums. One member saved over $2,000. Two members used the HWA quote to negotiate reduced rates with their existing insurer.

WFAANZ members are eligible for a free insurance review conducted by HWA. You’ll get advice on the suitability of your current package and an obligation-free quote.

For more information call the dedicated HWA account manager Renee Jackson on 03 9559 3306 or email renee@hwainsurance.com.au.

Committee life

Any WFAANZ installer member can nominate themselves to be part of the WFAANZ executive committee. It’s a great way to have a say in the direction of the association, and every vote has equal value, be they installers or distributors – in fact, installer committee member votes outnumber distributor votes. The committee meets four times a year, twice via teleconference and twice face to face in Sydney. Here’s long-time committee member Aaron from TintFX attending a teleconference meeting in September while on a scaffold, while tinting, while drinking coffee. Multitasking at its finest.

Once in a lifetime tint business opportunity

In the tint industry for over 44 years, Car Tint in Ringwood, Melbourne, is one of Australia’s most well established window film businesses. Respected industry stalwart Rob Tait is retiring, creating a unique business opportunity for a tinter keen to set up their own business or amalgamate. Massive clientele of repeat customers in the auto and commercial and domestic flat glass sectors. Great location, modern factory, large film stock, equipment, website, phone numbers, “Tinter” car plates, etc. Call Rob on 0417 755 537 for a confidential chat or meeting.

On a personal note, I’d like to thank Rob for all the wisdom he’s shared with me over the years. You’re a legend of the industry Rob.

Workplace relations advice is part of your membership

A member had a problem with an employee recently, and hired a workplace relations firm for advice on handling the situation. He didn’t realise that as a WFAANZ member, he’s entitled to free advice from Employsure.

Employsure is a provider of employment regulations and work health and safety advice. WFAANZ members can receive free advice from Employsure, gaining clarity around employee absenteeism, leave, redundancy, dismissal and much more.

Call 1300 798 990 and quote reference number: ERA0909.

Reliable source of info

WFAANZ has released numerous fact sheets this year, each one designed to back up your communication with customers. 

To download a fact sheet, please visit the WFAANZ website here.

If you’re interesting in joining WFAANZ, please contact Deb for more information, or fill in the registration form here and email info@wfaanz.org.au.