FAQ GLOBAL SMART GLASS

Share with you all about smart glass.

Are the only states of PDLC just ON and OFF?

No, the transmittance (level of transparency) of the PDLC can be varied from 0% in the OFF state up to any value you want until you reach the maximum transmittance (normally 70% or 80%). This is done by simply altering the voltage from 0 VAC up to 70VAC, which is typically the maximum recommended voltage. This can be done electrically with a variable isolating transformer, or electronically with a switched-mode smart glass dimmer.

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What is the structure of PDLC glass?

PDLC smart glass is composed of :
Outermost panels of normal float glass (or sometimes acrylic) sandwiched around:
Inner panels of optically clear PET plastic (polyethylene terephthalate), sandwiched around:
ITO (Indium Tin Oxide) which is a transparent conductor, sandwiched around:
a PDLC core comprised of liquid crystal droplets, suspended in a polymer.

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What is the power consumption of smart glass/film?

Smart glass/film consumes less than 5W/sqm.

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Why does PDLC require a polymer?

The polymer allows the liquid crystals to be embedded into a film, which can then be sandwiched between panels of glass or plastic. The polymer has constant optical properties which do not vary across its structure, and hence is considered isotropic.
In contrast, the liquid crystal itself is anisotropic, since its optical characteristics are not constant across its structure, but rather can vary under application of an electric field.

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What are the major reasons for using PDLC smart glass?

Enhanced security (since the glass is shatter-proof thanks to the internal plastic lamination)
Privacy (thanks to the scattering of light, essentially hiding whatever is behind the smart glass)
Glare reduction (again thanks to the scattering effect)
Reduction of the carbon footprint of the building thanks to the solar control, which reduces HVAC needs, both in summer and in winter
Reduced colour fading of interior furnishings and artworks, thanks to the rejection of UV
Creative marketing, since when the PDLC smart glass is off, the scattering effect creates a screen upon which you can project images.

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Does PDLC smart glass conduct electricity?

No, the internal PDLC layer is plastic and does not conduct electricity, since it is electrically insulated. Rather, it behaves more like a capacitor, where the applied signal alternates between positive and negative voltages at the plates of the capacitor, causing an alternating electric field throughout the PDLC dielectric, which is what aligns the liquid crystals with the frequency of the signal (normally 50 Hz or 60 Hz).

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