What Materials Are Used In Smart Glass?

Curious what materials give smart glass and film their switchable effect? Read this article to discover how Smart Glass Country’s advanced manufacturing and stringent quality control create high-performance smart glass products.

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Smart Glass technology has revolutionized the way we think about windows and glass doors, walls and partitions, offering dynamic control over light and privacy. There are two main forms of smart glass: switchable smart glass and switchable smart film. Both variants come with unique advantages, but their core technology and materials share similarities. In this post, we delve into the composition of these products, the special conditions necessary for their production, and how they function.

What Is Smart Window Film?

Switchable smart film, also known as privacy window film, PDLC film or smart tint, is a technology that allows for the adjustment of light transmission through a power source, making the glass go from clear to frosted. The active component in smart film is PDLC, which consists of liquid crystal micro droplets suspended in a polymer matrix. 

Composition of Switchable Film

1. Outer Protective Layers: The outermost layers are made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a clear, protective film that ensures the durability and optical clarity of the product.

2. Conductive ITO Layer: Beneath the PET layers lies a 350-micron layer of Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) film. This conductive layer allows electrical current to pass through the PDLC core safely, maintaining high optical transparency.

3. PDLC Core: The central layer, about 100 microns thick, contains liquid crystal droplets dispersed in a polymer. When no electrical current is applied, the PDLC molecules are randomly oriented, scattering light and making the glass appear frosted. When an electrical current is applied, the liquid crystals align, allowing light to pass through and rendering the glass clear.

How Switchable Film Works

Without an electrical current, the PDLC molecules scatter light, giving the glass a frosted appearance and blocking around one third of the light. When the electrical current is switched on, the liquid crystals align, allowing light to pass through and making the glass appear clear. This switchable nature is not entirely optically clear due to a slight haze, especially when viewed from an angle, but it significantly enhances privacy and light control.

Types of Switchable Smart Glass

Smart film can be applied to various glass types to create different switchable glass products, each suited for specific applications:

1. Switchable Laminated Glass: Ideal for high-traffic areas, bathrooms, and hospitals, this type incorporates the switchable layer fully encased between two pieces of glass, enhancing durability and safety.

2. Insulated Smart Glass: Insulated glass units (IGUs) provide superior thermal performance and insulation. Insulated smart glass is simply an IGU made with switchable glass rather than regular glass.

3. Any Type of Glass: Virtually any type of glass can be made switchable through the lamination process, because smart glass is essentially smart film sandwiched between two pieces of laminated and tempered glass. If you require bullet-resistant glass, hurricane grade glass or another special type of glass it can be done!

Self-Adhesive Switchable Film

Our smart film is self-adhesive and features a cling layer on one side, enabling easy retrofit to existing transparent surfaces without the need for professional installation for small projects. Any window tint specialist can install smart film for larger projects.

Manufacturing Process and Quality Control

The production of switchable smart glass requires stringent quality control and advanced manufacturing facilities. Smart Glass Country, a leader in this field, ensures that all their products are manufactured in a clean room environment to minimize imperfections. Our facilities include:

- Double Glazed Units (DGU) Production Bay: Ensuring high-quality production of energy-efficient units.

- Product Testing Environments: Rigorous testing to ensure reliability and performance.

- Crating and Shipping Services: Robust packaging for safe international transit.

Switchable glass and film represent cutting-edge innovations in material science, providing versatile and dynamic solutions for modern architectural needs. Whether for privacy, energy efficiency, or aesthetic appeal, these products utilize advanced materials like PET, ITO, and PDLC to deliver impressive performance. Smart Glass Country’s commitment to quality and innovation ensures that these products meet the highest standards, offering reliable and effective solutions for customers worldwide.

Looking for an estimate for smart glass or smart film? Ready to get started on your project? Contact Smart Glass Country today.

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