A Little Spark: Testing Electrochromic Glass for Material Characterization and More

Have you flown in a newer plane lately and noticed that there are no longer any window shades to pull up and down? The shades have been replaced by a button which allow you to control how dark or clear your window is. Do you want to let light in or keep it out as you travel to your destination? This new technology is known as electrochromic glass.

What is Electrochromic Glass?

Electrochromic Glass, also known as smart glass, is a newer technology which allows users to turn glass opaque when needed, and clear when not. This technology functions by passing low-voltage electrical charges across an electrochromic coating on the surface of the glass.  When activated, the electrochromic layer changes from clear to opaque, maintaining this opaque color until the user reverses the change. This type of glass is being introduced on airplanes, is used on corporate buildings, or inside offices to name a few applications.

Electrochromic Glass

One advantage of this technology is the energy savings it can provide. For example, during the summer, high infrared waves through windows can cause an increase in temperature, which would then require more electricity to keep cool.  Another perk to this technology is that when used on car mirrors, it can protect the driver from being blinded by high lights, which improves road safety.

Electrochromic Glass Testing and Analysis at EAG

At Eurofins EAG Laboratories (EAG), scientists utilize various techniques to solve customer questions pertaining to electrochromic glass. Microscopy, Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS), and sometimes X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) are utilized to characterize the film coating, determine if one sample is different from the other, or determine the cause if the sample isn’t turning dark enough.

SIMS Closeup

EAG has unmatched expertise in glass analysis, research and investigation. Today there is more glass in use than ever before. Glass is a critical design component encompassing environmental protection, appearance, safety, light transmission, and thermal management. The increasing importance and sophistication of glass means that more advanced analyses are needed to address manufacturing issues. Contact EAG today to learn how we can partner with you to overcome any manufacturing challenges you may be faced with as it pertains to Electrochromic Glass.

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