Heat shields pro­vide vi­tal UV pro­tec­tion

The Witness - Wheels - - INDUSTRY - — WR.

A TEST con­ducted by the Univer­sity of KwaZulu- Natal con­firms that heat or so­lar shield films dra­mat­i­cally cut the level of cancer- caus­ing ex­po­sure to ul­tra- vi­o­let rays for driv­ers.

Agrom­e­te­o­rol­o­gist Dr Alis­tair Clu­low tested the abil­ity of heat sheets to stop ul­tra- vi­o­let ( UV) rays on both the arms and face of driv­ers.

He con­ducted the tests us­ing two white Polo Clas­sics sup­plied by Barons, while Au­towash sup­plied the heat shield film.

One of the Po­los had a heat shield film, also sold as so­lar film, af­fixed to the wind­screen. The cars were parked fac­ing north at about mid­day on March 24, and the air tem­per­a­ture was mea­sured just above the dash­board.

In his re­port, Clu­low states: “The out­side tem­per­a­ture was ap­prox­i­mately 33° C. Air tem­per­a­tures above the dash­boards in both ve­hi­cles in­creased rapidly when the win­dows were closed but the in­crease in air tem­per­a­ture above the dash­board in the ve­hi­cle with the heat shield was con­sis­tently lower than that with­out a heat shield — 8° C dif­fer­ence af­ter 45 min­utes.

“Af­ter an hour, the win­dows were opened slightly and the ve­hi­cle with heat shield showed a faster re­duc­tion in air tem­per­a­ture above the dash­board, and the in­te­rior of the car.”

To mea­sure the dan­ger­ous UV rays caus­ing skin cancer from con­sis­tent sun on the driver’s arms, he used an SU- 100 Apogee ul­tra- vi­o­let sen­sor with an open win­dow, be­hind plain glass and be­hind plain glass with heat shield, with the sen­sor an­gled di­rectly to­wards the sun.

He said the dan­ger­ous UV rays, which can cause skin cancer, were re­duced by 99,5% with the heat shield.

“We can con­clude from the re­sults that a heat shield re­duces the air tem­per­a­ture di­rectly above a dash­board in a ve­hi­cle and sig­nif­i­cantly re­duces the UV ex­po­sure to the dash­board and oc­cu­pants of the ve­hi­cle. We be­lieve this re­duc­tion in UV ex­po­sure to be par­tic­u­larly rel­e­vant for peo­ple spend­ing a great deal of time in a ve­hi­cle,” said Clu­low.

Sev­eral com­pa­nies in South Africa sell so­lar or heat shields, in­clud­ing So­lar Shield Win­dow Tint­ing, which is the com­pany that spon­sored the Univer­sity of Johannesburg’s so­lar- pow­ered car in the Sa­sol So­lar Chal­lenge 2014.


A thin film of so­lar sheet­ing can cut dra­mat­i­cally the level of ul­tra- vi­o­let ex­po­sure for driv­ers.

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