The 3M Company relies heavily on state-of-the-art testing
facilities, methods, and equipment for thousands of
products manufactured and sold worldwide. The emphasis
on proper testing and truthful product representation
is why millions of people trust 3M to produce the highest
quality products on the market. 3M window films are no exceptions as
testing accuracy and dependability are key priorities.
Sharing some of the various testing methods used for
3M window films may provide you a better understanding
of the strict quality standards that 3M achieves.
Spectrophotometer: A spectrophotometer is a testing
device that scans the wavelengths of light, from infrared
to ultraviolet, to record the film's transmission and
reflection. This recording is then used to calculate:
- Shading Coefficient
- Ultraviolet Light Reduction
- Visible Light Transmission and Reflectivity
- Solar Transmission and Reflectivity
Weatherometer: A weatherometer is much like a large
oven with an intense light source that accelerates natural
weathering. By cycling the condensation level, light
source, and heat intensity, this device provides the
expected results of long-term weathering in actual use
through a variety of natural environments and climates.
All of the following film characteristics are determined
by the weatherometer:
- Durability (cracking, crazing...)
- Color Stability
- Adhesion (blistering, bubbling...)
- Metal Corrosion
- Any Change in Solar Performance
The weatherometer testing is also coupled with outdoor
testing in Florida and Arizona to obtain the real life
results from humid to dry environments.
Emissometer: An emissometer is a small heat emitting
device that reads the warmth radiating from the film.
This emissivity reading is then used to calculate the
insulating value (U-Value).
Taber Abrader: A taber abrader is used to determine
the levels of durability and hardness provided by the
special abrasion-resistant coating used on 3M films.
In this test, film is placed on a rotating disk with
two abrasive wheels placed over the disk. As the disk
rotates, the wheels abrade the film sample. The performance
of the abrasion-resistant coating is determined by measuring
the change in haze level for a standard number of rotational
cycles, the weight placed on the wheels, and the abrasiveness
of the wheels.