PDLC Smart Film: Manufacturing, Benefits, and Features2020-08-20
All That You Need to Know About PDLC Smart Film
Switchable Film often referred to as the Smart Film or the PDLC smart film is a technology that manipulates the light-transmission from completely opaque to transparent. These films have become an imperative part of modern, smart houses.
Once you provide AC power to the film, it would change its states. For instance, if the film is transparent, i.e. you can see outside your window or door after you apply current it would become opaque. In some cases, the film might require constant current in order to perform its function.
However, it most cases, you just need to apply a small voltage once. The film would change it states, after that, you would apply the need to apply current when you want to reverse the state of the smart film. The films even offer several other functionalities including blocking harmful rays, light adjustment, security, and advertisement.
Now that you have a basic understanding of what a PDLC smart film is, it time to get down to the complicated stuff.
PDLC Smart Film: Manufacturing
PDLC smart film consists of several components, however, the main component is the Polymer dispersed Liquid Crystal. This component ccomprises of 2 layers, liquid crystal microdroplets, and the PET sheets. These sheets come coating of ITO. This makes it conductive.
There is a coating of ITO films of the crystal microdroplets. They are present in the center of the film and it is put in the polymer. PDLC film’s natural state means opaqueness. The crystal liquid is arbitrarily arranged. It causes the light wave to scatter. No light would be able to enter through the window.
In order to allow the light to penetrate through the window, you would have to apply the electricity. When you apply the voltage, it would line liquid crystal molecules, this results in the transparent surface.
In most cases, you would need a transformer as there is a need of suitable voltage as most of these films operate under 46/60vac.
Composition of Standard PDLC Film
To prevent the smart film from being scratched, there are two outer protective fil layers. These are kind of the PET film.
2-layer ITO Film
ITO film or formally known as the Indium-Tin Oxide Film allows the voltage to pass via the PDLC material. It has a coating of a conductive material that allows optical clarity bypassing the electrical current.
PDLC Smart Film Core
At the core of the PDLC smart film, you have the liquid-crystal droplets. Suspended in the polymer and they come with a coating of the ITO film. The film permits the current to reach the liquid crystal droplets.
NOTE: In the absence of power, the smart film looks as a private–opaque. This is the natural nature of the film.
When the PDLC core is haphazardly arranged it gives the glass an appearance of the frosted glass. This frosted state offers privacy while allowing a amount of light to pass via the layers.
However, once you turn PDLC film on, it means you supply power to it. The film would become transparent. Do bear in mind that the nature of the technology results in a slight haze in the switchable glass.
This means that the glass is not as clear as the standard glass would be. But it still offers decent transparency. You can apply PDLC smart film to your existing windows. Also, non-adhesive PDLC smart films are effective for the manufacturing of switchable smart glass. Some of these glasses include the following.
Laminated–Switchable Smart Glass
When it comes to switchable glass, the most popular type is the laminated switchable glass. The technology involves laminating switchable layers between two pieces of glass. The glass is toughened to ensure robustness and sturdiness of the switchable glass.
Toughened Switchable Glass
In case, you want a switchable glass that offers additional sturdiness, go with the toughened switchable glass. This type of glass comes with an additional coating of a switchable layer. Thus, there is more firmness and thickness to it.
Double Glazed Switchable Glass
This is a highly effective and energy-efficient solution. The double-glazed switchable glass comes with an integrated PDLC film layer. Although, it would be slightly expensive in comparison to the other films, but the additional benefits that it offers are worth the added money.
Classification of Smart Window Film
The switchable smart film has two main classifications, the non-adhesive film, and the adhesive smart film. Below, we have explained both these types briefly.
Self-Adhesive Smart Switchable Film
Self-adhesive switchable films come with a treated surface. They have a glue attached at their base from the factory. Therefore, it is possible to apply these films to any existing window. The advantage of the film is that you don’t have to substitute the glass.
On the contrary, all you have to do is paste the film onto the existing glass and you are good to go.
Non-adhesive Smart Switchable Film
The Lamination switchable films or the non-adhesive films require special glue to stick to the existing glass. Therefore, it is more popular in producing switchable glass then to be actually applied onto windows.
What are the Benefits?
Like all other smart films, PDLC smart films are highly effective when it comes to offering privacy. They ensure that you enjoy 100% privacy in a sophisticated way.
The films have the ability to prevent harmful UV rays to enter your place. PDLC smart films offer 99.5% of UV resistance. These are the best when it comes to UV resistance.
The benefits of the films are not limited to privacy and UV resistance. On the contrary, these films are effective in making your house energy efficient. They are also anti-glared and are environment friendly.
Usage of Diversity
The great thing about these films is that you can install them on any glass. They are not limited to a certain type of glass. They have become common for residential as well as commercial use. Offices use them for partitions, hotels for bathroom segregations, etc.
You really don’t have to change the entire window glass. On the contrary, all you need is a PDLC smart film, and turn your windows into smart windows. The film installation is extremely easy as well. Most of the time you can do it yourself.
However, for smooth and error-free results, we do recommend reaching out to professional smart glass suppliers.
Long Life Line
Every type of film comes with different life-span. In case, you are looking for something that would last a long time. We recommend you use adhesive privacy films. They would stick to the glass and stay intact for many years to come.
On average, an adhesive film is able to last for almost a decade. With proper care and maintenance, there will be a significant increase in shelf life.