Reflective Display Demonstrators for Advertising

15 May 2013

Two objectives were set; firstly for tiled adjustable solar control plastic film partly covering the inner skin of a small size ETFE cushion and secondly to demonstrate low resolution monochrome reflective display on plastic which can be attached to window glazing.

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One of the fastest growing sectors in advertising is Digital out of home” where buildings are used to carry advertising messages. There is a constant need for the advertising industry to innovate in reaching consumers. Current digital signage solutions like LED consume large amounts of energy, are expensive, relatively thick, rigid and opaque so have severe limitations on where they can be sited. The process of getting content onto these screens is slow and expensive and generally involves a number of organisations. There is a significant business opportunity that could be realised by streamlining that process. In addition, architects and developers have long sought to create buildings that communicate their use or purpose and have a positive aesthetic impact on the built environment.

The incorporation of a colour changing reflective skin” for buildings could also be used to change the reflectivity of a building, e.g. from transparent to white, and thus control solar gain and reduce cooling load in the warmer months.

The approach to producing the demonstrators was in effect putting a mini supply chain into action where DTF supplied PET base material to CPI who contributed to the project through provision of R2R sputter coated substrate material as well as patterning of electrodes using both photolithography and laser ablation process routes. Timsons developed R2R flexo printed metal grid process to improve the uniformity of the display; Dow Corning developed and supplied novel liquid crystal material to Cambridge University who integrated the components with driver circuitry and ETFE material with the assistance of end user Vector Foiltec; Soda devised the content management for the digital demonstrator.


  • The Centre for Process Innovation
  • DuPont Teijin Films
  • Timsons
  • University of Cambridge
  • Dow Corning
  • Soda
  • Vector Foiltec
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