instructions: unpacking electronic smart film for windows and glass

Please note: If you require pricing for this material, please see our smart film pricing system.

Our electronic glass film material can be instantly switched from its opaque state to a transparent state with a wireless remote. You can also vary the transparency by using a dimmer control. This article explains how to unpack your shipment of smart film.

switched film provides electric control of glass transparency: window in opaque mode   switched film provides electric control of glass transparency: window in transparent mode

This system is compatible with our remote control systems, including the ability to extend control to your phone, tablet, or PC. It uses a relatively safe 12v DC voltage powering an inverter to up-convert the voltage to about 65v AC to apply to the film itself. This is the latest generation product that uses a safe voltage considerably lower than that required by earlier generations.

You will receive your PDLC film in a special heavy duty protective cylinder that is designed to prevent damage that might occur during the shipping process. There are some basic steps that should be followed when you receive your smart film shipment; please read the following sections carefully.

Inspecting The Shipment For Damage

When you receive the shipment from the shipping company, before you sign for it, inspect the container for any sign of damage. If you see anything that looks like it could be shipping damage, please note it on the waybill when you sign it, take a photograph of the damaged area, make the driver aware of the problem, and notify us immediately. Our shipments are fully insured against damage, but we do need supporting evidence presented in a timely manner to process a claim.

Precautions On Handling of Smart Film

Before you open the shipping tube, it is important to understand that the PDLC film can be mis-handled and damaged, and this can happen mainly when it is folded or curved the wrong way. If it is unrolled on a flat surface, you will have no problems with it, as long as you keep it flat.

When you pick it up, hold it by the corners and don't let it fold inward, keep it flat, as per the pictures below. It cannot be used to make a compound curve (eg. like a horse saddle), and it cannot be sharply folded (like a piece of paper).

incorrect handling of smart film, can cause creases incorrect handling of smart film, can cause creases correct handling of smart film, no creases

Note that each side has a thin peel-off protective layer of plastic, so you do not have to worry about fingerprints. If you are using the self-adhesive type, the self-adhesive side is clearly marked, and there is another thicker protective layer that will be removed when you are ready to apply it to your glass surface (a total of 3 protective layers). The non-adhesive type just has the thin peel-off protective layer on each side (2 protective layers).

Once installed, if you need to clean it, use rubbing alcohol, not water and soap, or glass cleaner like Windex.

Unpacking The Switchable Film from the Shipping Tube

switchable smart film is shipped in a very strong tubeThe shipping tube is made of very sturdy cardboard, and you will find that the film itself is packed very carefully inside, with multiple layers of protection.

When you are ready to open the smart film shipping tube, the top of the cylinder can be removed by cutting off the lid with a knife (see picture). Please make sure your knife does not penetrate any further than necessary when removing the lid.

Once the lid has been opened, you can slide the roll of film out of the tube; an easy way to do this is to turn it upside down, keeping the open end on the floor. Then you can slide the shipping tube off from above.

The film is normally shipped with the power transformer/inverter carefully wrapped with bubble-wrap, inside the plastic film tube, so please be careful to inspect the inside of the tube and remove any electronic components.

switchable smart film roll is removed from tube switchable smart film foam wrap removal arrows mark start of cellophane wrapped around smart film switchable smart film exposed after cellophane wrap removed

The next step will be to remove the foam shims at each end by cutting them carefully with a knife; this will expose the full length of the foam wrap. You can then remove the foam wrapping from the tube, exposing the cellophane wrapper around the smart film itself (see the first 3 pictures above).

switchable smart film unrolled, ready for testing Our packing crew marks the cellophane with a grease pen (arrows pointing to the edge of the cellophane), so that you can easily see where the end is to unwrap and remove the cellophane (3rd picture above). This will finally expose the smart film roll itself.

With the cellophane removed, you'll see that the smart film is fastened with some lengths of masking tape (4th picture above), and these can be easily removed, at which point the film will start to unravel.

Please be very careful to lay the film out flat, without bending or creasing it, taking particular care not to damage the copper electrodes and attached wires. The final picture at left shows what it will look like when rolled out flat. Without power applied it will be in its opaque state.

We recommend that you do this on a suitable table or floor where you have enough room to unfurl it; then you can proceed to the next step of testing the smart film.

Articles in this series:

Smart Film - unpacking your shipment (you are here)

Smart Film - testing your smart film

Smart Film - installing your smart film

Smart Film - setting up remote control & phone app

Please note: If you require pricing for this material, please see our smart film pricing system.