The AGC Group (AGC) and Kinestral Technologies, a leading US developer of active glass, have formed a partnership to produce active glass capable of quickly switching between clear and dark mode.

This glass will serve the building and transportation (trains) industries.

In its full dark mode, the active glass blocks out sunlight and the associated heat and glare entirely and provides complete privacy.

In clear mode, it lets in natural light affording normal daylight views.

Electrical power is used only during the switching process.

For Jean-Francois Heris, General Manager of the Building Division of AGC, this glass opens up new prospects:

“The trend to nearly zero energy building is reducing the use of glazings in favour of thick opaque walls, or concealing them behind solar shading systems. AGC is committed to remove these constraints”

For AGC the choice of Kinestral Technologies as its partner is based on the excellent optical quality of the glass and its neutral colour, fast and uniform switching speed, and the intermediate modes possible between clear and dark.

All these features combine with intelligent control systems to create a unique user experience: light and heat entering the living or work space can easily match the changing needs and mood of the occupants.

Apart from combining the know-how of respective companies, the partnership is also financial and industrial.

AGC will acquire a financial stake, while the two partners will collaborate in building a large-scale production plant and combining their marketing networks.

For Kinestral Technologies this strategic partnership will speed up the introduction of its technology in the construction industry, in pursuit of greater comfort, energy efficiency and higher environmental performance.

"AGC's worldwide reach and its expertise in advanced glass solutions will make a crucial contribution to this deployment," said Dr Sb Cha, CEO of Kinestral Technologies.