Switchable Films – Properties and Applications

Switchable Films – Properties and Applications

November 20, 2018 Off By Techinstro

The switchable film is one of the best ways to ensure privacy when you wish, at home or work. Considered as one of the best innovations in recent history, the properties of PDLC film (Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal film) allow its use in widespread applications, but mainly to ensure privacy at offices, at homeplace and even in the bathroom.

Fundamentals of Switchable Film

The switchable film is quite a simple set-up allowing you to control the opacity level of windows and doors, apart from other applications. The entire system consists of liquid crystals which dispersed in a unique polymer solution. It is then inserted between two transparent sheets of PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate). Then, the PDLC film connected to two electrodes from a power source.

In normal conditions, the liquid crystal particles in the polymer appropriately arranged in random directions. However, once an electric current applied to it, the liquid crystal particles begin to get organized uniformly. Hence, when there is a current passing through, the uniform arrangement of liquid crystal allows light to pass through easily, making it completely transparent.

On the other hand, when an electric current is not applied to it, the liquid crystal particles begin to get arranged in a random manner, which blocks the passing of light through the PET sheet. That makes the switchable film completely opaque, allowing you the required privacy.

Along with blocking light by turning opaque, the PDLC film is also able to block heat in the sunlight as well.

Properties of Switchable Film

These are the unique properties of PDLC film which makes it such an excellent widespread product for use:

  • Thinness – Using advanced technology, we can produce extremely thin PDLC film to ensure convenience and reliability at the same time. The thinnest switchable film available for commercial use is only about 250 µm thick. That makes it easier to install on existing glass panels on windows or doors.
  • Completely Opaque – The PDLC film is entirely opaque in normal conditions when there is no electrical current flowing through it. This property allows it the flexibility to be used in numerous other applications and designs too.
  • Fast response – The switchable film can respond fast to your command. Our PDLC film is known to turn opaque from transparent, and vice versa, within just 0.05 seconds. It allows you to control the light and temperature level indoors faster and with better efficiency.
  • Projection surface – The PDLC film is also perfect for use as a surface for projectors. Simply lower the lights in the room and aim your projector on to any surface covered with switchable film and you have a projector screen ready.
  • Energy efficient – Our switchable film designed for optimal conservation of energy use. The film can operate at a significantly low temperature of just 0.00077 W/sq inches.
  • Optimal protection – The PDLC film is designed to effectively block over 99% of dangerous UV (ultraviolet) rays present in sunlight. Apart from this, the sheet is also able to restrict around 65% of infrared rays as well, providing efficient protection to users indoors.

Applications of Switchable Glass

These are the present and potential applications of switchable glass in industries and R&D sector:

Doors / Windows / Curtains/ Blinds / Car Windows/ Skylights / Conservatory Roofs / Room Partitions & Dividers

The switchable film is an excellent choice to replace your conventional transparent/opaque glass. With these, you have only a single choice – between transparent or opaque. However, with the PDLC film, you can now alternate between complete transparency and opacity with a single flick of a button.

This alternative is not only more cost-effective to install but requires almost no maintenance too.

Display cases/Sales counter

Now install PDLC film on display cases holding fragile and light-sensitive items and artifacts. You can now ensure constant maintenance of the product’s color and quality by storing it in a display case covered with switchable film.

Solar panels

It is one of the thinnest human-made materials and is also a high potential for use in advanced solar panels. The ability to control an amount of solar radiation which can be absorbed by such solar panels ensure a more efficient and successful power generation.

Apart from these, Switchable PDLC film also finds applications in monitor rooms, security panels along with doors in banks and ATMs.