What is an athermal film on the car window

Athermal film, good or bad.

Athermal tinting is applied with the purpose of protection from the sun and heat, which the former gives in incommensurable quantities. Tinting “chameleon” – it’s just a kind of athermal film, and it differs in that it has the property to automatically change the light transmission depending on the brightness of the sun. To what extent do both types of tinting comply with the laws, GOSTs and other things, and are they allowed?

Let’s start with the fact that there is no GOST for athermal tinting as well as tinting in general – there is a technical regulation, according to which the light transmission of the windshield and the front side windows should meet the norm of 70%. It means that these windows must transmit 70% of all light that comes through them from the outside into the car. And so (for the traffic police inspector) makes absolutely no difference, whether you have a toning or not, athermal it or not, type “chameleon” or not, in general, it is transparent, black, green, blue or purple, and so on.

And here lies one trouble: in everyday life you will not find glass, light transmission which reaches 100%, and absolutely all car windows even from the factory are even less transparent than, for example, the glass window frames. This depends on the model of the particular car, but as a rule, the light transmission of the car glass is about 80-90%. And if you are going to glue an athermal film on the windows of your car, you know that even a little less light transmission in this athermal toning and even less in tinting “chameleon”.

As a result, we obtain that in most cases the athermal film on the windshield and the front side windows will not provide sufficient light transmission under the GOST of 70%. Speaking of GOST – the norms of light transmission of the front half of the car windows are still governed by GOST, and it all appears the same 70%. GOST is called “GOST 32565-2013. Interstate Standard. Safety glass for land transport. General technical conditions.”, and the paragraph itself reads as follows:

The light transmittance of glasses ensuring visibility to the driver in front shall be not less than 70 % for windshields and for glasses that are not windshields but ensure visibility to the driver in front and behind. If two exterior rear-view mirrors are installed on the vehicle, the light transmission of the windows that provide the driver with a view to the rear is not regulated.

There are only two points about this GOST: firstly, it is more related (guided by it) to the manufacturers of wind and side windows; and secondly, the penalty for driving a car with athermal toning not in accordance with GOST (Article of the Administrative Code) is provided not for violation of GOST as such, but for violation of the “Technical Regulations of the Customs Union TR CU 018/2011 “On safety of wheeled vehicles”, paragraph 4.3 of which states:

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4.3 The light transmission of the windshield and windows, through which the front visibility to the driver is provided, must be at least 70%.

(As of the date of writing this article, this TR Customs Union abolished the previous document, which contained a similar prohibition – “Technical Regulations on the Safety of Wheeled Vehicles”, but the CAO has not yet been amended).

So, what is the answer to the main question arising from the reader: whether athermal or chameleon toning is allowed – will it pass the test by the device of traffic police inspector for transmittance of not less than 70%? You have understood that the answer to this question is individual for everyone and depends on the original light transmission of the windows, set by the manufacturer of your car, as well as the brand of athermal toning film – or rather, its light transmission. Even more difficult is the case with the toning “chameleon” – there is an opinion (it is not confirmed by measurements) that the transmittance after measuring by the device of the employee of the traffic police such a film can always be different depending on the level of illumination on the street and place of measurement.

And here, perhaps the best solution to the question of the legality of athermal toning can be measuring with your own efforts. You can find or buy a device for measuring the transmittance of windows, or even before tinting your car ask for a piece of such film from the tinting specialist, go to the traffic police post and there desperately ask to try to measure this film on your windshield – and see if they will refuse. The only condition: you will need to glue this piece of athermal toning on your windshield, because otherwise its loose fit to the glass will show unreliable data about light transmittance. Then don’t forget to peel off this tinting.

There is one more important point – athermal and chameleon films are quite strong “mirror” – especially for “Dubai” tinting, which is actually a mirror, and mirror tinting is not allowed for cars at all (here we are talking about a total ban on “mirror”, not the norm of 70% light transmission). In theory, in case of the athermal film, which is slightly mirror-like, there will be nothing according to the law, as the concept of “mirror” toning is not reflected in any normative-legal act and therefore, according to article 1.5 of the Administrative Code, “Irremovable doubts in guilt of the person brought to administrative responsibility are interpreted in favor of this person. That is, as long as the concept of mirror tinting is unknown and the criteria of such “mirror” are not defined, the person cannot be brought to punishment for it. However, in practice there is such “iron” argument in the courts, as the all-seeing and impartial eye of the traffic police inspector, who establishes himself, whether you have mirror tinting or not. However, attracting drivers with athermal tinting and with the film “chameleon” exactly because of their mirror is a fairly rare occurrence today.

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Car tinting with athermal film

Tinting with athermal film

The athermal tinting of glasses is gaining more and more popularity among the car owners – a new method of salvation from the heat in the cabin. It is the perfect coating with lots of useful properties, gives the glass a slight greenish or bluish tint. But it should not be considered as a full-fledged tinting – this material does not darken the glass.

Tinting automobile windows with an athermal film

Athermal film for cars today is the most commonly used. The cost of the material is low and it is realistic to install it yourself or at the service station. Before you begin, you should familiarize yourself with what is athermal toning, its main characteristics and why it is needed.

Athermal film

Athermal Film for Cars

Who believes that the athermal layer on the car only changes the appearance and has no functions, is deeply mistaken. Tinting your car with an athermal film has a number of advantages:

  • Reflects ultraviolet rays, protecting the driver and the interior from dangerous radiation.
  • Delays heat penetration into the cabin by 50%, normalizes the temperature regime.
  • Doesn’t worsen the view.
  • It saves money – the film prevents from heating up the salon, and accordingly the use of air conditioner is minimal.

In other words, it has many advantages over conventional toning.

GOST and athermal toning

Tinting with athermal film is not forbidden by the State Standard, because the glass is not darkened. The light transmission index is up to 90%, so the darkening of the salon is out of the question. The case with the film type “chameleon” is somewhat ambiguous – because of the color change, so it is better to consult a specialist. In general, tinting your car this way, you can not fear any problems from the traffic police.

Tinting of the car

Car Tinting According to the State Standard

All You Need to Know About Athermal Tinting

A film, applied to the glass surface, is a coating, the main function of which is reflection of ultraviolet rays. As a consequence, the sun does not penetrate into the cabin and the optimal temperature is preserved, even if the car has been standing in the heat all day. The material also has protective properties, preventing such damages as chips and micro-scratches on the glass.

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The film is made of graphite, which is arranged in several thin layers. In the manufacturing process, a calibration technique is used. It allows unobstructed transmission of light rays, but perfectly reflects ultraviolet light. Thus, visibility remains excellent and the level of harmful rays is reduced.

The type of athermal film depends on the manufacturing technology. They may differ in price and quality.

On sale, you can find the following:

  • Metallized. The film perfectly reflects the light and creates a beautiful appearance of the car. The peculiarity is a double process in the manufacture: a thin layer of metal is applied on one of the layers, but not necessarily on the top.
  • Painted. The cheapest kind of material. The technology involves the application of several layers of polymer. The first layers are transparent, and the next ones are colored to match the color of the film. The range of colors is vast, and the material is inexpensive.

Metallized athermal film

Metallized Athermal Film for Cars

  • Spattered. The toughest material, but also the most expensive. The technology involves the use of ion exchange technology, which makes the coating strong.
  • Sputter-metallized. A novelty in the field of car tinting. The material is expensive, but keeps the best qualities of all the previous types of films: excellent protection from the sun, transparency and beautiful appearance.

As for the color, it can vary depending on the choice of material and its strength. There is a special kind – “chameleon” – presents a wide range of shades at the same time.

Advantages of athermal film and its differences from black

Speaking of the advantages of this material, we should highlight the following:

  • UV protection. 99% protection level – driver and passengers are not affected by the dangerous effects of the sun, their skin and eyes are not affected.
  • Visibility does not depend on time of day. Driving even in the dark is no problem. Compared to the black film, the athermal coating does not affect visibility.
  • Protection from burnout. The film allows from 33 to 50% of light penetration into the saloon, depending on the type of material.

Athermal film doesn't let in the ultraviolet

Athermal film protects from burnout

  • Protection from heating. It is especially needed in summer, when the temperature is going off-scale. Inside the saloon with an athermal coating it is possible to keep the optimum temperature mode, while the black film attracts heat and the temperature inside the saloon increases several times.
  • Economy. In cars equipped with air conditioning, on hot days the climate control is constantly active to normalize the temperature. The activity of the system is reflected in the amount of fuel used, and the natural thermoregulation due to the use of tinting reduces the load on the air conditioner.
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If you compare the two types of glass coating, the athermal film significantly wins in all respects, except cost. The black film is more budget variant, but does not fulfill the functions described above.

Are there any disadvantages of the athermal film?

Athermal toning of the car has a number of disadvantages, you should pay special attention to them:

  • Price. Compared to conventional coating, the athermal film costs twice as much.
  • There is just a huge number of fakes, so it is better to buy the material in certified outlets.
  • There is no dimming function. Some drivers are not suitable for this method of tinting, because there is no complete darkening of the glass.

However, the positive qualities of such material are much more.

Athermal film

Athermal film protects from heating

Is it worth tinting the front semi-circle of a car with an athermal film

The technical regulations do not forbid tinting the front semi-circle. Concerning the windshield we may say the following: the majority of drivers tend to think that tinting is obligatory here, because when the sun beats into the eyes, there is no comfort at all. Moreover, it may lead to an accident situation. After coating the windshield view of the driver is not impaired, at the same time the cabin is protected from overheating and the effects of UV rays.

Transmittance of glass and film together

The combined transmittance of glass and film is assessed as follows:

  • New glass has a standard transmittance of 90%;
  • a car that has been in active service for about 5 years has glass permeability of about 80-70%;
  • According to the Technical Regulations, the light transmission of the windshield and the two front side windows must be not less than 70%.

It is possible to determine the legality of toning in the following way: first you need to measure the permeability of the glass, add this figure with the permeability of the film and divide the sum by two.

It is worth mentioning that the older your car is, the more damage is done to the window surface and the worse is the permeability of the windows.


Chameleon” Athermal Film for Car

What is the attraction of the Chameleon Film?

Coated with the athermal film “chameleon” becomes more and more popular. It is immediately clear – the peculiarity of this material is its color. Although all kinds of athermal films can change their shades, but the primacy belongs to the “chameleon”. Color gamma changes not only from viewing angle, but also from intensity of light beams. The appearance of the car becomes bright, colorful and unusual.

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Chameleon Film Properties

In addition to its interesting appearance, the film “chameleon” demonstrates a number of other useful properties for the car. Athermal film on the car is made by special technology using magnetron sputtering. The coating consists of 20 layers, most of which are metallic. The color changes with changing weather conditions, but always remains beautiful and bright. The advantages of using this type of film:

  • Due to the high strength of the film, the safety of the driver and passengers increases (in case of an accident, the glass will not break into small pieces, because the film will hold it).
  • The coating has a protective function, which prevents the formation of minor damages, scratches and chips.
  • Once the film is applied, the glass is easier to clean.
  • Having a primary color – violet – the film shimmers in the sun, which looks very attractive.
  • The coating will last a long time.
  • In addition to protection from sunlight, the film protects the driver’s eyes from the light of halogen headlights.

The peculiarity of this method of toning is its durability, moreover, the car stands out advantageously on the road.

Mystique Athermal Chameleon Film

Athermal Mystique Chameleon Film 90-93% with red and violet tint


Those who want to tint their car, many questions arise at once: how to properly glue the film, can they be fined for tinting and, finally, how to remove the tint from the glass.

General recommendations for users:

  • Only quality materials should be chosen.
  • If the driver is not confident in his own abilities, it is better to use the services of specialists.
  • After applying the film, it is not recommended to wash the car within a week, later to clean the glass you need to use special detergents.
  • Tinting the side windows is as important as the windshield. The procedure will minimize the penetration of UV rays and keep the optimal temperature in the cabin.
  • Removing the film is very easy – you can perform this operation with or without heating.

How to remove the adhesive from the tinting without damaging the surface? Soap solution or degreasing agents will work great.

For car owners who can afford expensive vehicle care procedures, we recommend considering the “electric tinting” service. This is an innovation in the automotive field, which is characterized by the way the coating is applied, durability and long-term use. The main advantage of such tinting is that the driver can choose the level of shading independently. But, to apply electric tinting should only be in a specialized salon.

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