The industry has noted the increasing worldwide demand for wider PDLC (Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal) film products for switchable glass projects and is continually striving to match these market demands. The desire is to be able to offer single extra wide switchable privacy glass panel solutions for hotel glass partitions between bathroom and bedroom.
Switchglass has already taken delivery of 1820mm wide PDLC film to manufacture extra wide glass panels of Switchable Privacy Glass for the Australian market and is fielding calls from architects who were unaware of the progress being made in this direction. This extra wide Switchable Privacy Glass is also good news for projection applications: wider size, wider screen. One large privacy glass office partition panel can play multiple roles in your office or control centre.
Does size matter? For most of us the answer will be a resounding ‘YES’. Less joins, greater clarity and greater economy.
Haze is a core feature of PDLC film. Low haze in its clear state is crucial for all its applications. Every manufacturer wishes to make PDLC film with the lowest possible haze value and will use different ways of measuring this. When the PDLC film is laminated between two panels of glass, a number of other factors contribute to the total haze value too, such as:
The temperature at which the privacy glass is laminated.
The type of glass used.
Whether the glass is heat treated or toughened.
The pressure in the auto-clave and the quality of the PVB used.
It is the combination of all these factors which determine the final haze value.
Over the last few years Switchglass has carried out extensive comparison tests between product from Ireland, USA, Poland, Russia, Japan and China. Currently, all PDLC Film/Glass suppliers here in Australia are offering product with a similar haze value, there being little to differentiate one from another. Most are using what is termed 3rd Generation PDLC film.
A 4th Generation film has been developed with a better, lower haze value, however, its superior clarity in the ‘on’ state is reciprocated in the ‘off’ state with the result that its opacity is diminished, compromising the ‘privacy’ factor. Also it is currently only available in a maximum size of 990mm x 2700mm. We believe both these factors will improve as scientists continue to grapple with PDLC film improvement.