ToughSwitch™ Unlocked: everything you need to know

ToughSwitch™ Unlocked: everything you need to know

10th April 2019


ToughSwitch™, everyone keeps asking the same question, what is it?

Over recent years, the capabilities of glass have expanded due to the increasing demands for energy efficiency, privacy, engineering and design requirements. ToughSwitch™, also known as switchable privacy glass, switch glass, intelligent glass or even smart glass is an innovative laminated glass technology that enables the user to control the amount of light that is transmitted through the glass by simply adjusting a dimmer or flicking a switch.

Technology behind ToughSwitch™

The technology involves a film of dispersed liquid crystals in a polymer matrix, more commonly known as PDLC (polymer dispersed liquid crystal) film encapsulated between two sheets of glass. When applying an electrical current to the PDLC film, its molecules align allowing light to pass through. When the electrical current is switched off, the molecules immediately revert to the scattered state for instant privacy.

Switchable Glass Legend

ToughSwitch™ Legend


How does ToughSwitch™ work?

ToughSwitch™ transitions from opaque in its off state (without electrical current), to visually clear in its on state (with electrical current). When you want to open up your space, simply flick the switch on. When you want to create privacy, just another flick of the switch to obscure the panel. It gives you the flexibility of having both frosted and clear glass simultaneously.


Switchable Glass Transformer

The transformer enables power to the ToughSwitch panel.

How is ToughSwitch™ powered?

Each panel of ToughSwitch™ comes with its own power transformer. The transformer needs to be concealed either in a roof or wall cavity within 12 meters of the ToughSwitch™ panels.

The dimensions of the transformer are as follows; Length 180mm x Width 130mm x Height 47mm


What is a busbar and it’s purpose?

ToughSwitch™ requires a small copper strip along one edge or sometimes two edges depending on the size of the panel/s. These small strips are what we call “busbar”. The busbar is approximately 12mm in width and is a critical component as it allows the electricity to pass from the transformer and evenly distribute the current throughout the panel giving it uniform clarity. The busbar location and size will need to be considered before placing an order as it dictates how much coverage is needed in the frame. We do all calculations to determine where the busbar needs to be placed for optimal performance and longevity.

What you need to consider when opting for ToughSwitch™?

Partitioning, windows & doors are the most common applications for ToughSwitch™. Think about the below questions and contact our support team to discuss solutions using the product in your space.

  1. Where are you installing the product?
  2. What are the approximate sizes of the panel/s?
  3. Will the glass be subjected to direct sunlight, high temperatures or high moisture?
  4. Have you allowed enough coverage within the frame to conceal the busbar and wiring?
  5. Is there an appropriate place for the transformer?
  6. Do you require details of a recommended glazier & electrician who will install the job for me?

Important Considerations:

  • If ToughSwitch™ is selected for use in external windows or doors the glass will be required in an IGU (insulated glass unit). When ToughSwitch is exposed to direct sunlight or subjected to temperatures over 40 degrees the product becomes at risk of burning out.
  • Depending on the solution selected for your application lead times will vary from 4-6 weeks from date of order.

Why you should choose ToughSwitch™?

Our team have invested in extensive research and development before offering ToughSwitch™ to the market. Considerations during the process included quality suppliers and materials whilst being able to offer larger panels at a cost competitive price. We have over 10 years combined experience in custom lamination and are able to assist from initial design stage right through to installation.

  • We are able to offer some of the most visually clear and largest operating switchable privacy glass panels worldwide. The clarity  can reach upwards of 85% when using our recommended glass make up.
  • The maximum size we can manufacture to is a staggering 1800mm x 5000mm.
  • ToughSwitch™ can be combined with a large range of glass thicknesses or tints to achieve desired looks or specifications.
  • All ToughSwitch™ panels are manufactured locally and are especially custom made to assist your requirements.
What people are saying!
  • Thank you to you and your team for supplying the urgent mirror to us yesterday. Your service and quality is greatly appreciated.

    By providing this mirror, defect free and in such a short space of time, you have helped ensure another client gets their keys on time.

    Please pass my thanks and appreciation on to your team!

    J.Wakeling from GlassCo Metro
  • Great guys. Best service in WA. Put the so called competition to shame
    R.Walker from Diamond Glass
  • Great Service. Have not seen better service in the glass industry. Great business ethics as well. Whoever you are using as your glass supplier give these guys a shot.
    V.Shah from Granart Splashbacks
  • Always a pleasure to deal with, knowledgeable staff that work with you to meet deadlines and requirements. Pricing competitive with other major suppliers.
    E.Taylor from Refined Exteriors
  • May I just say that your staff at Tough Glass are providing us with excellent service. We have never in all the years experienced such a service. I rang on Wednesday to request a couple of urgent panels for which we collected this morning. That truly is amazing!!

    Everybody should use Tough Glass and I would never use anyone else regardless of pricing like some do. I don’t think we have ever received a bad piece of glass from Tough Glass either. It’s a credit to you and your staff.

    J.Flanagan from WA Pool Fencing