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Tempting choices

Tempting choices

As the UK’s largest stockist and distributor of 3M sign and graphics materials, trade-only supplier William Smith offers a host of special effect films.

These range from etched glass-effect and window decorative films through to films developed for LED technology optimisation and Dichroic and DI-NOC films that have become a popular choice of architects and interior designers due to their outstanding décor capabilities.

Etched glass-effect and window decorative films developed by 3M are suitable for application to flat transparent surfaces, such as internal glass partitions, windows, glazed doors and internally illuminated displays. They can be used to create a wide choice of special effects that effectively replicate at a comparatively low cost traditional mechanical or acid etching on glass surfaces.

The optically clear graphic printing film 3M 8150 enables visually striking special effects to be created for applications in which a high level of transparency is required on unprinted areas of the glass substrate. 3M Textured Wall Film IJ8624 has been designed for the production of photographic-quality images that can be applied to textured or slightly curved surfaces as diverse as brick, breeze block, tiles and cement. The film can be used to convert both interior and exterior surfaces that would otherwise appear dull and uninteresting into eye-catching special effect manifestations or advertisements.

Developed to optimise LED lighting technology used in signs and displays are the new 3M Envision 3730 Translucent and Diffuser Films and 3M 3635-100 Light Enhancement Films (LEF), both of which dramatically reduce the number of LED modules required without compromising the level of illumination. Envision 3730 Diffuser Film is available with two levels of light transmission (50 and 60 percent) to manage illumination more efficiently, while the Translucent Film is available in both standard and customised colours and in an inkjet-printable format.

The main characteristic of dichroic glass is an ability to provide both transmitted colour and a completely different reflective colour that shifts and shimmers contingent upon the angle of viewing. Use of the glass can inspire freedom of expression and creativity, but it can also add a considerable cost to any architectural project. With 3M Dichroic Film, however, the same effects can be achieved but at a fraction of the cost.

3M Dichroic Film is available in Chill and Blaze colours for application to glass, plastic or acrylic surfaces as a visual opaque or decorative graphic. The Chill version shifts colours from the transmitted cool tones of blue, magenta and yellow to the reflective colours of gold and blue. The Blaze version shifts colours from the warm tones of cyan, blue and magenta to red and gold. The environment, lighting, viewing angle and mounting surface colour, all influence the colours seen by the viewer from either side of the glass surface.

Depending on the application, users of the film can opt for the DF-Chill and DF-Blaze film-only version or the DF-A Chill and DF-A Blaze version that can also be printed in order to incorporate logos and special effects. Whereas these two products are recommended for use only on plastic or acrylic surfaces, the third product in the range (DF-PA Chill and DF-PA Blaze) can be used on any smooth glass surface. This film is not printable and includes a pressure-sensitive adhesive.

Available in a vast range of different colours and patterns, DI-NOC from 3M is a high-quality self-adhesive laminate film that can be applied to a wide range of commonly used substrates to replicate the appearance of, for example, wood grain, stone, stucco, metal, leather and carbon fibre but at a fraction of the cost. The films, which have been tested to meet IMO flammability requirements, are made from flexible cast PVC and incorporate 3M’s renowned Comply Adhesive Technology. This eliminates familiar application problems such as stretching, bubbling and crazing of the film through the presence of grid-like channels in the adhesive that enable air to escape during application of the film. DI-NOC is also water- and weather-resistant and easy to maintain and to purposely remove as required.

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