With the market value of switchable glass windows expected to reach 5.81 billion USD by 2020, the technology is clearly soaring in demand. Undoubtedly a key driver behind this due growth is the incredible environmental benefits the glass can offer, dramatically increasing energy efficiency. However, another key driver of this rapid market growth is the numerous possibilities for customisation.
Switchable privacy glass can be designed and manufactured specifically to meet your project’s requirements. The level of customisation that switchable glass can offer continues to evolve so we have explored 7 of the many creative ways that you can choose to customise switchable glass solutions.
The shape of switchable glass can easily be customized for any project. During the manufacturing process, any holes or notches required are seamlessly removed from the glass sheets and a range of shapes can be chosen from. It is even possible to create curved smart glass panels, like those used to create the transparent car showcased on the Top Gear finale in 2010. Smartglass International assisted the BBC by creating the exterior of the car, which was comprised solely of curved switchable privacy glass panels. The show-stopping end result wowed the entire audience.
When switchable smart glass is in the opaque mode, white is the typical default colour. While this compliments every design, as can be seen from the switchable glass door installations in The Brew House Hotel, the glass can be manufactured so that the opaque mode displays a specific colour to suit your project. Currently, the glass tints available include blues, greens, greys and bronze. However, because the manufacturing process of solar switchable transparent glass is slightly different, it can only be supplied in a blue tint.
Etched glass is a design trend that has seen countless applications in commercial, residential and corporate spaces. Everything from branding logos to messaging can even be etched onto switchable smart glass panels without affecting its ability to turn from transparent to opaque. Since the etching only applies to the outer layers of glass, the switchable glass technology, which is sandwiched between two panes of glass, is not affected.
4. Rear Projection
Switchable glass technology provides the perfect canvas for rear projection. The glass can be customised so that when the opaque mode is selected, a projector can display images on the glass which are visible from both sides. This makes it ideal for advertising in window spaces as the transparent mode can be selected to highlight a store’s products or space during the day, while the opaque mode of the switchable projection glass allows advertising clips to be shown when the store is closed.
Switchable glass can also be customised for use in office presentations or even to increase the creativity of a corporate space as can be observed in this video of rear projection smart glass in action.
Electronic switchable glass is often used to increase the privacy of a space, but it can also improve the safety and security of a property. The glass can be customised so that it is also classified as security glass. During the manufacturing process, the glass has a polycarbonate protective shield applied. This protects the panels from penetration by sharp objects and allows it to withstand repeated blows without cracking. In the unlikely case the glass does break, the protective film also prevents it from completely shattering and the small shards from becoming dangerous projectiles.
Switchable glass is available in a range of sizes, though this depends on what type of the glass is needed. The largest single pane of glass available for LC switchable smart glass is currently 1,450 mm by 3,200 mm while the maximum size available for SPD solar smart glass is 1,000mm by 3,000mm. However, if required multiple panes can be incorporated into discrete frames, to allow a complete glass façade to be constructed, like that of The Globe of Science and Innovation, CERN.
Electric switchable glass is designed to enhance your company’s image, which is why it can be specifically branded with company logos. The logo or motto can be etched into the glass so that it’s visible in both the opaque and transparent modes or can be incorporated as a pattern so that it is only visible when the glass is in the privacy mode. Company colours can also be incorporated into the glass, though only specific colours are currently available.
Want to explore the applications of switchable smart glass technology?
For more information on how switchable smart glass can be customised for your project, or to ensure about switchable glass costs, contact Smartglass International today.