Blocking UV and IR Radiation

Anyone who’s spent a few minutes in an idle car in the summer knows that shade alone isn’t enough to cool an area. Even if the sun isn’t shining directly into the car, the heat still gets trapped inside and it can become considerably hotter than it is outside. The same thing can happen if you don’t choose the right shade material. You need good air flow for a cool environment. Warm air rises, but if it is trapped by a material that is not breathable, it is forced to linger.

UVR protection and breathability of shade fabricThe sun is constantly emitting radiation. This radiation is in the form of electromagnetic waves. There are all different kinds of radiation: radio waves, microwaves, infrared, visible light, ultraviolet, x rays, and gamma rays. These different radiations affect us in varying ways and to varying extents.

The most obvious radiation from the sun is the light we see. Let’s talk about two forms of radiation we don’t see. Those are Infrared radiation, or IR, and Ultraviolet radiation, or UV. Neither of these forms of radiation can be seen with the human eye. However, they certainly have effects on use. Some we can feel, others we can’t.

Let’s start with IR. The heat you feel from the sun comes from IR radiation. You might think that it’s the sun’s bright light that makes you hot because you see the light on your skin and feel hot at the same time. But it is really this invisible radiation that makes you feel hot. A sail not only blocks visible light, it also blocks IR. When you’re standing under a shade sail, you no longer feel the IR heat, so you are much cooler.

Next let’s talk about UV. This radiation can’t be seen either. And unlike IR, you can’t feel it. Even though you can’t see it or feel it, blocking UV is very important because it is what causes sunburn. Depending on the color, a shade sail will block between 91 and 98.8% of UV radiation.

So, sails keep you cool by blocking IR radiation, and safe by blocking UV radiation.

EVO swim school shade sailsOur shade fabric is knit in a fashion that is designed for strength, stretch, and breathability. This means that hot air is free to pass through it as it rises, leaving the air 10-15 degrees cooler underneath. At the same time, we don’t compromise on UVR protection. We understand that shade is more than just staying cool, and our aim is to provide comfort while shielding you from the harmful ultra violet rays of the sun. All of our colors provide between 91% and 99% UVR blockage. For more fabric information, check out our standard fabric page and fabric spec sheet.

Our shade products are versatile in their applications, and extremely customizable, but one thing that never varies is the shade cloth’s ability to shield the heat and UVR of the sun, while maintaining breathability. This makes for comfortable and safe outdoor living spaces. Every time.