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3M Ceramic Window Film in San Antonio

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San Antonio 3M Ceramic Window Film


Window film technology has come a long way. The days of purple bubbling window film are virtually gone. Automotive window film in San Antonio is the number one aftermarket accessory, but there are lots of choices out there. So how do you choose the right automotive window film? Is Ceramic IR window film a smart choice? This page takes a detailed look at automotive window film in San Antonio and what types of films are available.


Automotive window film first made its appearance in the 1940’s, Initially, window tinting was only available through the auto manufacturers. This made it difficult for the average consumer to enjoy the reprieve from the sun. However, it did not stop many from trying. DIY window tinting eventually cropped up. The results, though, were often dark and splotchy. DIY spray-on tinting was also difficult to apply and prone to streaking.

At around the same time that spray-on tinting became a thing, dye-based films were introduced. Dye based window film was basically vinyl with dye applied to the film or the adhesive. These films offered very low heat rejection and tended to turn purple in the sun and to bubble in intense heat.

Overtime, due to the demand window film technology began to move away from 100% dye based window film. Despite the challenges that came with DIY tinting, the demand for more affordable and accessible film was there.


Bubbled up dye based window film

In the late 1960s, 3M — a manufacturer best known for its development of Scotch Tape — finally unlocked the key to affordable and effective sun control. Its innovation involved adding metallic coatings to clear polyester film to create a sunblock that blocked a majority of the sun’s UV rays and heat. Three years later, in 1969, it introduced clear security film that was designed to hold broken shards of glass in place. This feature is still a standard of window films today.



Though dark tint proved to be great for privacy, it wasn’t so great for visibility. By the early 1980s, this became clear, and so states began to implement their own laws regarding to what degree automobile windows could be tinted. In response to this, window film manufacturers began to think of ways they could continue to block the UV rays and heat without interfering with a driver’s visibility. Eventually, one innovative manufacturer came up with a “hybrid” film that used a combination of both metals and dyes. The metal served to reflect the sun’s rays while the dyes absorbed the heat.

The hybrid film proved to be the answer vehicle owners sought. That is, until smartphones, GPS systems and other forms of technology became ever-present. The metal in the film often interfered with electronic devices, and so manufacturers had to go back to the drawing board. What they came up with was a ceramic/dye hybrid. This combination lasts far longer than the metal/dye combination, rejects UV rays and heat better and does not interfere with electronics. It’s the combination today’s window tinting companies still use today.

Eventually however, ceramic films began to lose the addition of dye in the film. True ceramic films today contain no dye or metal. These types of films perform the best as they target high percentages of infrared heat, which is most of the heat that is transmitted through the glass.

The pie chart below breaks down the heat that is transmitted through glass. Near Infrared (NIS) accounts for 53% of the heat, while Visible Light (VIS) only accounts for 44%. So films that target infrared heat are more effective at keeping your car cool. Even in light shades they outperform darker non ceramic films.

chart showing break down of heat that is transmitted through glass.


San Antonio is the home to some great tint shops. However, not all ceramic window film is created equally. Ceramic film is an amazing product which has a fascinating history. Having been developed over many years, ceramic film now proves to be one of the highest quality window film products available.


As the original patent holder in the window film industry, 3M continues to lead the way with innovative products like 3M Crystalline and 3M Ceramic Ir. Today, 3M is the only manufacturer that produces its own polyesters, adhesives, metals, and scratch-resistant coatings. This means that 3M can control all factors of quality control, allowing them to provide their customers with the best quality window films backed by a comprehensive warranty with a company you can trust.


Don't be fooled. some ceramic window film companies don't make their own film

Did you know that not all window film companies manufacture their own window film? You might be shocked to know that some companies simply re-box window film under their own brand name. In other words, with some companies you might be paying a premium for a generic window film that is manufactured for a variety of companies. These films may not be subject to the same strict testing and quality control as a company which manufactures its own window film. It’s important that you purchase window film from a reputable manufacturer that will stand behind their product. Always make sure that you get a written warranty from the manufacturer that clearly states the film installed and the warranty period.


Purchasing the right film is important, but an expert installation is just as important. 3M Ceramic window film is a fantastic product, and requires a highly trained technician to expertly install it. Picking the right 3M ceramic film window film dealer in San Antonio is critical.

Some things to look for when choosing a 3M window film dealer in San Antonio

  • Customer Reviews – Review sites like Google Reviews, BBB, Facebook can be a great way to see what other customers are saying about the window film dealer. Sites like YELP actually filter out reviews and tend to feature businesses that pay to advertise with them, so it’s important that the reviews are real and not just featured advertisers.
  • Years Established – Be sure that the 3M dealer that you choose has been in business for a long time. Experience and knowledge of the window business is an important indicator of a company that can most likely provide you with an expert installation.
  • Manufacturer Certifications – It is a great sign when the 3M shop you choose has certified installers performing your installation. 3M certified installers have passed rigorous training and have attained a high level of expertise to be certified by 3M. These installers are experts at installing 3M ceramic window film and the shops that employ these certified installers have invested in their training and expertise.

Consider Getting 3M Ceramic Film Installed

It is obvious that there are some great benefits that 3M ceramic film offers. Ceramic film doesn’t fade over time, so it is incredibly durable. Ceramic film is also glare resistant. This is because it actually absorbs light rays and therefore cancels out a fair amount reflection and glare.

To get the most benefit out of ceramic film, make sure that you get it installed by a professional and 3M certified. At Fletch Window Tint, our installers are 3M certified and highly skilled to provide you with a great installation.

green pick up truck that had 3M ceramic film installed
Fletch Window Tint Van

Get Started Today On Your Next Ceramic Window Tint Installation