FAQ

Popular questions

Which silicone can be used to seal the edges of switchable foils or glasses?

We advise you to seal the edges only with acid-free / neutrally cross-linked silicone (recommended: Dow Corning 799) after the foils have been successfully installed. This ensures that moisture or dirt cannot damage the foils or glasses in the future and that there is no direct contact between the foils and the frame elements.

When using “non” neutrally crosslinking silicone, there is a risk of so-called “delamination” of the foils (or glasses) – delaminated foils or glasses are “irreparably” broken and must be replaced with new ones!

If you have any questions, please contact your specialist dealer.

Can the film also be stuck to curved panes?

Our ultra-thin, switchable film with a thickness of only 0.12 mm can also be glued onto multi-dimensional curved panes. For this purpose, the film is cut to size and shaped with hot air. Particularly suitable for use in cars, buses, trains, trains, trams, gondolas, ships, etc.

If you have any questions, please contact your specialist dealer.

Which adhesive can also be used to secure the foils?

In principle, only “NEUTRAL” crosslinking adhesives and adhesives may be used on the switchable foils or switchable glasses for connection, fastening, etc. Otherwise, delamination can occur (warranty disclaimer).

If you would like to secure the edges of our foils against detachment with an adhesive, you can use the following component adhesives.

– Dow Corning 7091
– General Electrics GE381

Inclusions in the insulating glass with photochromic film

Are insulating glasses e.g. Produced on layer 2 with a photochromic film/coating, the smallest inclusions can become visible? These do not come from dust or dirt particles, but from any unevenness or the smallest defects in the glass (elevations, depressions) and become visible after the photochromic layer has been applied – these inclusions (one to two per square meter) do not constitute a warranty claim.

Milky foils or glasses – how high is the transparency?

In the case of switchable adhesive films that are subsequently glued to existing glasses, as well as switchable laminated glasses, it must be taken into account that they have a so-called haze effect. That means, depending on the viewing angle of the glass or the foils (when switched, transparent) a slightly milky veil can be seen.

This is normal with PDLC products and cannot be eliminated. Light sources (spots on the ceiling or high-performance spotlights or direct sunlight) can also influence this effect due to the different refraction of light. Furthermore, the larger the total area (film or glass), the stronger this effect is since the viewing angle can increase accordingly!

As a rule, the possible light transmission is around 80 – 85% with a residual haze of around 5 – 6%. This circumstance does not represent a warranty claim!

How are switchable glasses delivered?

In general, after production and quality inspection, our switchable glasses are safely packed for transport and then delivered to the customer. Each glass has at least 2 connections in the form of copper strips (copper mesh) on one or two sides.

*All glasses are fully coated with the scratch protection film.

*Cables and transformers are always packed and delivered separately from the glasses – cables are not connected to the glasses (this has to be done by the customer after installation!)

The exact connection can be found in the circuit diagram supplied (or request it from your specialist dealer!).

Installation of switchable glasses in insulating glass – what should be considered!

If the switchable glass is built into an insulating glass composite (double or triple) – regardless of where it is (layer), it is imperative to ensure that the edges of the switchable glass do not interfere with the adhesive materials such as e.g. Butyl or polysulphide come into contact as this would lead to delamination over a longer period of time and thus the destruction of the switchable glasses!

It is essential to ensure that the edges of the switchable glasses do not come into contact with substances containing acid or vinegar (glue, silicone, etc.), as this can lead to delamination of the glass.

ATTENTION: If you install switchable glass in an insulating glass composite, then please cover the edges with appropriate tapes (fabric tapes, etc.) or make sure that no glue gets onto the edges of the switchable glasses during production.

Delaminations after installation in insulating glass are not recognized as a warranty reason!

A black point can be seen in the switchable film – what should be done?

Basically, always before gluing / processing switchable foils (but also switchable glasses), they should be checked carefully for defects and functionality. Should you find that e.g. there is a black point inside the foil or inside the glass – please do not process this foil/glass any further, but inform your specialist dealer directly. This will decide together with you what the next step should be.

Black points within a switchable film are actually points that are “broken” – these are either caused by an excessively high operating voltage or a production-related fault in the base material. These foils/glasses are basically not to be put into operation (de-energize!) And must be exchanged for new ones!

36/45/48/65 volt transformer – which one is the right one?

Basically, always use the transformer specified by the manufacturer/supplier for the respective product (switchable glass or switchable film). Ultimately, however, it is crucial that the power of the transformer corresponds to the consumption of the product – in most cases, this is approx. 3-6 watt / h / m2.

If you use your own transformers, it is essential to ensure that you do not damage the products. If the power of the transformer is too low, this is noticeable at most through not so high transparency. If the output is too high, either the connections, contact points, or the foil/laminate itself can be destroyed – this may be noticeable through black points in the laminate/foil or charred connections!

Alignment of the edges with switchable glass – 100% straight?

The alignment of the switchable laminate in switchable glasses is not 100% at the same distance from the edge of the glass or can differ slightly. The reason for this is that the production of switchable glasses is still largely carried out by hand. In particular, the alignment of the individual foils (up to 5 in a switchable glass) which are called so. Sandwiches stacked on top of each other must be done manually This can (does not have to be!) The consequence that the edge of the switchable film is not 100% parallel to the glass edge.

Ie. a slight deviation may not be avoidable and therefore does not count as a warranty claim!

Dust inclusions in films (sun protection film)

Especially when sun protection films are mounted on the outside of the panes, it is almost impossible to prevent dust inclusions. That is why we consider a small number of dust inclusions that do not significantly affect the overall appearance of the films (approx. 3% / m2) as normal and possibly a possible fact

This number of dust inclusions cannot be avoided under certain circumstances and therefore does not count as a warranty claim!

The edges of the switchable glass are slightly frayed.

Basically, the larger the glasses, the worse the overall distribution of pressure during the lamination process. Ie. that in the case of very large switchable glasses, the pressure at the edges may be somewhat greater and therefore the edges of the switchable laminates may not be exactly straight but maybe slightly frayed.

Ie. a slight fraying of the edges is possibly unavoidable and therefore does not count as a warranty claim!

In which sizes can the film and the switchable glass be supplied?

Our switchable foils are produced in rolls of different sizes.

Self-adhesive, switchable film (0.38mm)
+ 1200 x 5000mm
+ 1200 x 10000mm
+ 1500 x 5000mm
+ 1500 x 10000mm
+ 1800 x 5000mm (only on request!)

Photochromic sun protection film
+ 1500 x 10000 mm
+ 1500 x 30000 mm
+ 1500 x 60000 mm

Switchable laminated glass (4 + 4 to max 15 + 15mm)
+ 1800 x 4200mm

We also deliver the foils made to measure! To do this, we need a measurement and information on where the connections are to be pre-assembled. We cut the foils to millimeter precision, pre-assemble the connections, and deliver the foils to the customer for self-installation.

Are there different colors of the foils?

Yes, we can deliver the standard foil with a thickness of 0.38mm in several colors. It is important to know that the color of the film does not change when switching from opaque/transparent!

How is the power busbar made to the smartfilm?

As a rule, the preparations necessary for the voltage connection are carried out by the Smartfilmplus service team before the film is delivered. Two copper strips are attached to a chosen location. After installing the foil on the glass, the supplied power cables are carefully soldered onto the copper strips.

ATTENTION: The supplied power cables should only be soldered on after the foil has been glued – for this reason, foils are always delivered “WITHOUT” soldered power cables!

Adhesive behavior of the switchable foils

PDLC foils are usually about 0.3-0.4mm thick and consist of high-quality PET (plastic) on the two outer sides (front and back) which can only be used with especially suitable cutting devices (double roll cutter, cold laser … .) can be cut to the appropriate quality – without creating a so-called degree of cutting. After gluing, this would lift the edge off the glass and create a 1mm wide, non-adhesive edge.

If the PDLC film is cut to size with the appropriate equipment, it can also be assumed that the film can be glued off at the edge (100%) without creating a visible, non-adhesive frame. But also dirt, poorly cleaned surfaces, or other residues such as liquids or the like. can be responsible for the fact that the foils do not stick 100% off-edge!
After gluing, the edges of the foils must be covered or tied accordingly (silicone, cover strips, adhesive tapes, etc.).

Please also note:
The switchable film is processed in the so-called “dry adhesive process”. Ie. no liquid (water, soapy water, etc.) may be applied to the glass surface prior to assembly in order to subsequently glue the film. The film is delivered coated with a special “glass adhesive” and can be glued immediately (with the appropriate equipment and after the appropriate preparatory work).

In order to avoid air inclusions as much as possible, it is very important to clean the glass surface accordingly before installing the film (dust-free). We recommend using cleaning agents that have very high alcohol content.

During assembly, special care must be taken to ensure that NO dust or dirt particles adhere to the glass surface – each of these particles causes a “visible” inclusion of air between the film and the glass surface. It has also proven to be advantageous to glue the glass surface “standing” and not lying down.

In some cases, however, there are bumps or impurities on the surface of the glass, which can also lead to air inclusions. Ie. it cannot be 100% ruled out that air or dust pockets are present after the film has been installed. One to two inclusions per m2 are therefore normal and do not fall under “Exchange under warranty”.

IMPORTANT: Before you begin gluing, check the glass surface with a suitable “glass blade” for unevenness or small faulty areas.

What kind of cable/wire is to use for PDLC

Basically, PDLC films or glasses can be connected with wires 0,5 / 0,75mm2 to the SmartTrafo.

Important: If there are some special local rools for electricion connection please check that first and be sure to realize your project according them.

How do connect the SmartTrafo to the Power-Network

The connection of the SmartTrafo to the local power network must be carried out by an electrician. The power network must be secured in accordance with local regulations and ensure that all regulations for the use of electrical systems are met.

Partial switchable PDLC film

In PDLC film, freehand shapes can be cut with laser technology in such a way that they can be individually connected with voltage and switched on / off seperate.

For this purpose, templates are required from the customer according to which the cuts are made. Due to the technology used, the actual, cut-out and individually switchable patterns may differ slightly from the values shown. This is due to technology and does not represent a warranty claim.

Switchable glass – outdoor installation

Basically, switchable glass certified according to IP56 can also be installed and operated outdoors.

However, the following must be observed here:
+ The connections of the glasses must be made at the top
+ The glass must be finished with a corresponding profile on all four edges
+ The profile must be sealed with a suitable (neutrally cross-linking) silicone
+ The operating temperature range specified in the material description must be observed

EVA adhesive film with a very high UV filter is used in the production of the switchable glass. This protects the built-in laminate against “aging” (the surface of the laminate consists of a very high percentage of PET – this ages under UV / IR influence). Over time and depending on the intensity of the sunlight on the glass, the laminate (glass) begins to yellow. This effect is due to the material and does not represent a warranty case.

In order to protect switchable glass that is to be installed outdoors even better against the weather, it is recommended to use it to produce triple insulating glass. VSG glasses with EVA (high UV protection) are installed on both outer sides.

Troubleshooting – switchable film (resistance measurement)

In order to determine whether a film is free of short circuits or fault current sources (connection to frame elements or other electrically conductive parts), the total resistance of the film can be measured or checked.

To do this, please close the foil from the transformer (make sure to turn it off before starting work!) And then measure with an ohmmeter at both connection points (silver or copper strips on the foil). The value of the total resistance should be in the range of approx. 200 – 500 ohms. At this value, the film is functional and has no short circuits, etc. If the value is significantly higher or lower (approaching zero!) There is an error in this area.

Outdoor / Wetroom Installation

Basically, PDLC films or glasses are not suitable for use in wet rooms or outdoors! The use of our switchable films or glasses in wet rooms or outdoor areas is not allowed and entails a loss of warranty claims.

For privacy cases in wetroom or outdoor areas we produce special, IP56 certified switchable glasses – please ask your reseller about that!

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