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Complete Guide: Switchable Smart Glass Production Process

lamination finished smart glass lamination process 1

What’s Smart Glass?

Smart glass, also known as switchable glass or privacy glass, is a cutting-edge building material that combines smart film with traditional glass. This innovative laminated glass consists of two layers of tempered glass on the outer sides, with a PDLC smart film and other composite materials sandwiched in between. Through specialized lamination machinery, these layers are securely bonded together. When powered off, the glass appears opaque; when powered on, it becomes transparent in an instant. Additionally, it serves as a safety glass and can function as a smart projection screen. Suitable for various applications like room partitions, curtain walls, and glass doors/windows, it offers both transparency and privacy control.

smar glass structure

Introduction

The high-quality workshop (Dust-free, constant temperature, and low humidity) ensures the durable quality of the switchable film glass. Each procedure must be handled carefully to assure passed quality. Smart glass has no dirt inside, and laminated quality lasts more than 15 years. Following is a basic procedure to know how smart glass is manufactured

Main Process

  • Glass cleaning
  • Glass and materials stacking-up
  • Glass edge sealing with tape
  • Vacuum bag sealing and vacuuming
  • Lamination in the furnace
  • Smart Glass Test
How to laminate smart PDLC film into smart glass #smartglasstech #pdlcfilm #smartfilm

Glass cleaning

– Clean the tempered glass panel and confirm its flatness.

glass cleaing smart glass lamination process
glass cleaning smart glass lamination process

Glass and materials stacking up:

switchable smart glass consists of PDLC film, EVA films, and glass. Normally 5 layers of materials combine as follows:

– Layer 1: Tempered Glass
– Layer 2: EVA Film
– Layer 3: Smart PDLC Film
– Layer 4: EVA Film
– Layer 5: Tempered Glass

stacking up smart glass lamination process 1
stacking up smart glass lamination process 1
stacking up smart glass lamination process 2
stacking up smart glass lamination process 2
stacking up smart glass lamination process 3
stacking up smart glass lamination process 3
stacking up smart glass lamination process 4
stacking up smart glass lamination process 4
stacking up smart glass lamination process 5
stacking up smart glass lamination process 5

Stacking procedure

  • Cut EVA film to match the glass dimension.
  • Confirm the size of the non-adhesive PDLC film.
  • Put the first piece of tempered glass on the stack-up table. Open the light to ensure it’s clean and tidy.
  • Place the EVA film above the glass. And use the cleaning roller to keep it dust-free.
  • Tear off the backing of the PDLC film. Then put it on the EVA film.
  • Put another layer of EVA film on the PDLC film. And check the cleanliness.
  • Place another piece of tempered glass. And align with the first glass panel.
  • Recheck all of the material to be clean. Cut out the extra EVA film.

Note: 

– The PDLC smart film shall be 1mm smaller than each edge of the glass panel.
– The EVA film size is the same as the glass panel.

Edge Sealing with Tape

  • We recommend using high-temperature resist tape for edge sealing.
  • Seal the tape around the glass and press the tape to stick tight. The electrode wires need to be fixed with tape too.
glass edge sealing smart glass lamination process
glass edge sealing smart glass lamination process

Vacuum bag sealing and vacuuming

  • Put the laminated glass into the vacuum bag.
  • Add gauze to it to draw out air evenly. And drill a hole and seal the edge of the vacuum bag.
  • Start to draw out air and check whether the vacuum index is up to standard later.
put in vacuum bag smart glass lamination process
put in vacuum bag smart glass lamination process
vacuum bag edge sealing smart glass lamination process
vacuum bag edge sealing smart glass lamination process
vacuuming in bag smart glass lamination process
vacuuming in bag smart glass lamination process

Lamination in the furnace

  • Put the glass into the furnace and close the furnace door.
  • Set process parameters. Start the equipment and wait for the equipment processing to be ready.
  • It is forbidden to stop during the lamination processing.
  • Lamination in the furnace for about 3 hours.
  • Let the glass cool to below 50 degrees. Then stop the vacuum pump and take out the smart glass.

Important notes

  • The air humidity during the processing should not exceed 50%.
  • Please process according to the switchable glass manufacturer’s technology.
go into furnace smart glass lamination process 1
go into furnace smart glass lamination process 1
go into furnace smart glass lamination process 2
go into furnace smart glass lamination process 2
go into furnace smart glass lamination process 3
go into furnace smart glass lamination process 3
go into furnace smart glass lamination process 4
go into furnace smart glass lamination process 4

Laminated Smart Glass Testing

  • Lamination is finished in the furnace, then take out the smart glass, and check the appearance to see whether there are bubbles or dirt.
  • Connect with electricity to check the smart glass function.
lamination finished smart glass lamination process 1
lamination finished smart glass lamination process 1
lamination finished smart glass lamination process 2
lamination finished smart glass lamination process 2
smart glass test smart glass lamination process
smart glass test smart glass lamination process

FAQ:

Q: What kind of glass can be laminated into smart glass?
A: Basically all glass can be laminated, such as the following:

  • Normal flat glass and tempered glass.
  • Curved glass, the minimum radius is 650mm. But it’s quite expensive, we suggest 1000mm.
  • Insulating glass, 6A~27A intervals.
  • Low-E glass
  • Fireproof glass
  • Grey or other color glass

Q: Can it be drilled holes?
A: Yes, you can cut holes easily using a sharp knife.

Q: Do I need a machine to process the Non-adhesive smart film?
A: Yes, this type of smart film is mainly for lamination factories, which have the lamination machine to do the lamination, if you don’t have the machine, we suggest you choose the self-adhesive smart film.

Q: Can I use PVB film instead of EVA film to do the lamination with your switchable film?
A: No. You can’t. Because in the PVB lamination process, the temperature is much higher than 120 ℃, and when the temperature is higher than 120 degrees, it leads to shrinkage to the switchable film, and then slightly damages the smart film, shortening the smart film’s lifetime. So we don’t suggest using PVB film.

Q: What’s the lamination curve for the lamination of PDLC switchable film?
A: Please see below:

smart glass lamination curve
smart glass lamination curve

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