Plastics

Mouldable plastic panes with adjustable transparency for optimisation of building energy consumption

The project partners develop an electrochromic system consisting of seven individual layers as a new technology for production of three-dimensional plastic glazing with integrated transparency adjustment. The technology facilitates a multitude of new applications which allow, in particular in façade engineering, optimisation of the incident natural light and thus of a building's energy requirements. 

Summary

Transparent surfaces in rooms can aid in reducing the heating and artificial lighting requirements. Furthermore, natural light can improve the building users' well-being. The only adverse effects are excessive heating in summer and dazzling. A promising approach for elimination of these drawbacks are electrochromic (EC) glazings that tint automatically.

The project partners combine established processes for production of glass-based planar EC layer systems with the deep-drawing process for moulding transparent plastic blanks ("cells"). This creates an innovative technology for production of three-dimensional plastic glazing with integrated adjustment of optical transmission.

Three-dimensional plastic car-roof modules featuring an EC layer system are produced for demonstration purposes. To do so, processes and technologies first need to be defined. Furthermore, additional potential fields of application as well as the limits of this promising technology are explored.

Results:

  • A polyurethane (PU) electrolyte was successfully developed that displays stable behaviour under thermoforming. By producing cells made of polycarbonate and this PU electrolyte, it was possible for the first time to manufacture a functioning back-injection-moulded EC plastic pane.
  • Thermoforming has only a minor effect on transmission within the visible spectrum.
  • Foils and sheets coated with indium tin oxide possess very good transparent properties as well as a very good electrical conductivity.
  • Dititanium trioxide was applied by means of electron beam vaporisation to act as an ion storage layer.
  • The EC system consists of seven individual layers. The EC layer, the electrolyte and the ion storage layer are located between the outer, transparent electrodes.
  • The coating machine comprises UV/O3 pretreatment, wet coating, an infrared dryer and a joining unit using rollers.

Promotion

Promoting institutions

Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Promotional program

SME Innovative: Energy-Efficiency and Climate Protection

More Project Informations

Project title:  KMU-innovativ - Verbundvorhaben Klimaschutz: Intelligente Kunststoffverscheibung - Innovative Kombination von Technologien zur Herstellung funktionaler 3D-Kunststoff-

Verscheibungen für eine energieeffiziente Nutzung

Project number:  01LY0901A,B

Project period:  2009 - 2012

Project region:  Germany (Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia)

Project contact:

Herr Dipl.-Ing. Giesen

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+49 (0) 561 804 3667

+49 (0) 561 804 3672

Herr Prof. Dr.-Ing. Heim

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+49 (0) 561 804 3670

+49 (0) 561 804 3672

Herr Dipl.-Ing. Gövert

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+49 (0) 5251/ 8792-465

Herr Dr.-Ing. Schnieders

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+49 (0) 5251/ 8792-778

+49 (0) 170 / 45 38 617

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Source: German National Library of Science and Technology Hannover (TIB)