Use this SimpleSpecs specification template to specify switchable glass for privacy and solar control applications.
What is it?
Switchable glass, also known as smart glass or privacy glass, is a type of glass that can change its transparency or opacity based on an applied electrical current, light, or heat. This technology is widely used in architectural, automotive, and aerospace applications for its ability to control the amount of light and privacy in a space.
PDLC (Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal) is a common technology used in switchable glass. It consists of a layer of liquid crystal polymer particles dispersed in a polymer matrix that is sandwiched between two glass sheets. When a voltage is applied to the glass, the liquid crystals align, causing the glass to become transparent. When the voltage is turned off, the liquid crystals become randomly oriented, causing the glass to become opaque.
PDLC – New Glass
The main difference between PDLC interlayer bonded to both glass surfaces and PDLC film applied to on-site glass is in the manufacturing process. PDLC interlayer bonded to both glass surfaces is manufactured by bonding a layer of PDLC film to each side of a glass sheet. This results in a more uniform appearance and better optical clarity compared to PDLC film applied on-site.
PDLC – Existing Glass
PDLC film applied on-site involves applying a layer of PDLC film to an existing glass surface using an adhesive. This method is often used for retrofitting existing windows or when the glass needs to be curved or shaped in a certain way.
The main difference between PDLC interlayer bonded to both glass surfaces and PDLC film applied on-site is in the manufacturing process and resulting appearance and clarity of the glass.
Switchable glass is available in two types:
- Factory laminated glass with a PDLC interlayer bonded to both glass surfaces.
- A PDLC film field-applied to glass. This film can be applied to existing glass as well as new.
- Some manufacturers offer switchable glass that can use smart glass dimmers to vary the opacity of the unit.
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