Kyusyu Nanotec Optics Co., Ltd. (hereafter Kyusyu Nanotec Optics; head office: Hayami District, Oita; President & Representative Director: Junichi Baba) and Toppan Printing Co., Ltd. (hereafter Toppan Printing; head office: Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo; President & Representative Director: Shingo Kaneko) have reached an agreement on cooperation in the field of liquid crystal light control film*.
*Liquid crystal light control film is film that can control light travelling through the liquid crystal, switching instantly between transparent and opaque with the switching on and off of electrical power.
In this collaboration, Toppan Printing has obtained sales rights and an exclusive license for manufacturing Kyushu Nanotec Optics’ liquid crystal light control film. Toppan will start sales in May 2016 and launch volume production in the first half of fiscal 2017, building new manufacturing lines based on technological support and licenses from Kyushu Nanotec Optics.
Kyushu Nanotec Optics has also become the world’s first company to develop a new type of liquid crystal light control film (reverse mode), and will launch sales in September 2016. This new type is transparent when power supply is off and opaque when power supply is on, which will make it suitable for a wide range of uses prioritizing safety, such as automobiles and other means of transportation. Toppan Printing will undertake volume production and sales of this new product as well.
Toppan Printing intends to expand this business globally by utilizing the sales channels of its display-related, décor materials, and marketing and promotion businesses. The company will target total sales of 20 billion yen in fiscal 2020 for light control film-related business. The companies will also combine Toppan’s display-related and surface treatment technologies with Kyushu Nanotec Optics’ liquid crystal light control technologies to develop competitive products and secure a dominant share in the light control film market.
Liquid crystal light control film is a film that can control light travelling through the liquid crystal, switching instantly between transparent and opaque with the switching on and off of electrical power. The film has light blocking as well as infrared/UV resistance properties and can also function as an image projection screen.
In the future, liquid crystal light control film is expected to be used in the construction of offices and public facilities around the world, responding to energy saving needs. In summer, heat shielding or cutting functions can suppress rises in room temperatures, while in winter, energy bills could be reduced by providing natural light. In addition, the film can be used as a projection screen or signage for commercial facilities, etc. and contribute to visual/spatial presentation using glass windows. The new type (reverse mode), which is transparent when the power supply is turned off, is expected to serve increasing needs for energy saving and safety, especially in the automotive and aerospace industries.
-Features of liquid crystal light control film
1）World’s first liquid crystal light control film which is transparent when power supply is off has been developed.
In addition to the normal mode of transparent when power is on, a reverse mode of transparent when power is off has been developed. This new type will support automobiles and other means of transportation by contributing to safety.
2）Easy to apply to curved surfaces or glass
Ultra thin film of 0.1mm has been produced and can be applied to curved surfaces or glass.
3）Gradation from opaque to transparent possible
Gradation from opaque to transparent based on changes in voltage has been achieved. This has not been possible with other types of light control film.
4）Energy saving function
85% of infrared light is cut when the film is in its opaque state, enabling outstanding energy saving.
5）Low voltage / energy consumption
With a driving voltage of 12—60V, lower voltage and energy consumption than other light control films has been achieved.
6）More options in terms of design
As a film, it can be cut into any shape using scissors or cutters, and slits or holes can also be made easily. A wide range of color variations, including black, are under development.
7）Large sizes available
A width of 1,200mm is possible, and the film can be shipped in roll form to respond to needs for larger sizes.
-Example of use
・Windows and sunroofs of automobiles and aircraft
・Windows and partitions for housing, offices, and public facilities
・Projection screens and signage for commercial facilities, shops, and event venues
-About Kyushu Nanotec Optics
Kyushu Nanotec Optics was established in 2004 centered on liquid crystal light control technologies.
The company manufactures and sells industry-leading liquid crystal light control film with excellent heat shielding properties, speedy response, low voltage requirements, and high-precision optical screen functions. The company is now garnering attention for its superior technologies, and for successfully developing and commencing volume production of the world’s first “reverse mode” liquid crystal light control film (transparent when power is off).
*The information in this press release is current as of the date of publication and is subject to change without notice.