What Is a Metallized Windshield?

by William Vandemark
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Metallized windshields are also known as metal oxide windshields. Metal particles in the glass reduce the amount of visible light, infrared and ultraviolet radiation entering vehicles.


Metallized windshields protect the interiors of vehicles against harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun. They also keep interiors cooler by reflecting the infrared heat of the sun. Another benefit these windshields provide is reduced glare while driving. Some car manufacturers use the electrically conductive property of these windshields to aid in defrosting and deicing. Some manufacturers use the metallized windshields in place of radio antennas.


Metallized windshields are manufactured by adding a 1- to 2-micron layer of metal oxide to the glass. The metal oxide can be composed of tin, zinc and indium. Metallized film can also be installed directly onto windshields by professionals or by car owners with do-it-yourself kits.


Windshields with metal particles can interfere with radio waves. Interior tollway transponders, dash-mount satellite radio receivers, and GPS receivers may become unreliable. In vehicles with metallized windshields, external transmitters and receivers may be required.


The amount of tint allowed in a windshield varies. The State Window Tinting Rules & Laws Chart (see Resources) lists specific information by state.

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