New Window Film Technology Introduced at WDMA Conference

July 5th, 2012 | Category: Featured Content

by Erica Terrini, eterrini@glass.com

New window film technology was a topic of discussion at the recent Window and Door Manufacturers Association’s (WDMA) Technical Conference, held last week in Bloomington, Minn., where experts from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) associated research organizations addressed energy-saving technologies and strategies for windows. The discussion was part of a session titled “Windows Technology Roadmapping Workshop.”

“The purpose of the meeting was to present the latest information on the program’s goals, research agenda and current R&D activities, while receiving feedback from stakeholders on program needs and priorities,” said Walt Zalis, market transformation lead for Energetics Inc.

One of the new technologies featured was 3M’s Polymeric Multilayer Infrared Reflecting Film Development Project, which is intended to develop a polymeric multilayer infrared reflecting film that is clear and colorless in the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectra (with visible light transmission of about 89 percent). The film would reflect 90-95 percent of the infrared energy in the 850 nm to 1830 nm specified spectra, according to 3M representatives.

The total amount of the project that is federally funded is 55 percent ($1,966,611) versus a non-federally funded or private share portion of 45 percent ($1,609,045). 3M representatives also said the company has tracked portions of the project that are complete including modeling resins systems and layer constructions and modeling IR reflecting film in multiple window or glass constructions nearly finished.

The next phase of the project includes “optimizing the 7-11 system performance for maximum solar heat gain performance and additionally to demonstrate optimized 7-11 system performance on large-scale equipment,” said 3M representatives.

Solutia was also introducing the company’s new Low-Emissivity Energy-Control Retrofit Window Film Project. Steve DeBusk, Solutia’s global energy solutions manager, said that prior to this project the best window film emissivity was 0.33 Suspended films that are used mostly for new construction and not retrofit achieved 0.03 emissivity and glass coatings could reach 0.013 emissivity, but the same coatings were not viable on flexible window films. Additionally, he said glass coatings limited environmental exposure inside a sealed unit and retrofit window film needs corrosion resistance and abrasion resistance.

The technology development required for the project included “flexible metal and/or metal oxide coatings, improved corrosion resistance (compared to glass coatings) and abrasion resistant coating, to protect low-e coating, which is nearly invisible in the far-IR.”

The project scope included development of two products including “a medium visible light transmission, low SHGC product for use in cooling dominated climates, mainly for use in commercial buildings and a high visible light transmission, low reflectance, medium SHGC product for residential and commercial use in all climates, but particularly for heating-dominated climate zones,” said DeBusk.

The financial details of the project included a DOE Grant of $357,000 and internal costs of $291,000. Solutia officials confirmed that there is no additional work planned.

2 comments
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  1. 3M’s Polymeric Multilayer Infrared Reflecting Film should be great and i’m really looking forward to seeing what it can do.

  2. This is great news! The performance is impressive (89% visible light and 95% UV reflection) and the fact that it’s 55% federally funded is the icing on the cake.

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