Illuminating material

From: Chris Sutcliffe (
Date: Wed May 24 2000 - 19:45:03 EEST


Dear Steve and list

Following my enquiry about illuminating material and Steve Stewarts question to the list just now below is a list of all the contacts sent to me an the subject of materials which are illuminate with applied voltage.



Dr. Chris. Sutcliffe
Rapid Prototyping and Micromanufacture Research
Department of Engineering
3 Brownlow St.
Liverpool L69 3GL

(0151) 794 8022 Direct
(0151) 794 7729 Mobile
(0151) 794 8021 Secretary


I don't know what the material is called but they are using it in appliance applications and back lighting. I suggest you try an old copy of Appliance Manufacture magazine. They may be available on the web. If you don't find anything let me know and I will get a contact for you but he doesn't use much e-mail.

Hope it helps

Carl Dekker
Dear Chris,
What wavelength(s) are you working with ?

What is the flexibility of the material required for your project ?
Can it be rigid ?

Best regards,

Eric King


3M made (makes) such a material. It was used in residential and commercial
windows as a means of providing privacy. The material was a liquid crystal based
polymeric film. when a bias voltage was applied, the film was transparent. When
removed, the film became opaque, a sort of milky white color. We can produce the
material in large formats as you might expect a picture window would require. I
believe the power supply required to drive the film as about 30 volts.

I am somewhat unceertain of the specifics of the material as I had only a
tangential association with it. If this is what your looking for, I'll find the
correct contact in 3M for you.

     Pat McGuire
     3M Company


These folks have an Electro-luminescent Mylar film product:

Micronics Technologies Inc. (612) 417-0690 for Scott or Gary.

Good Luck,

Josh Barbee
Design Engineering Technician
Yakima Racks Model Shop


Dear Chris,
It's called EL-foil (Electronic Luminance Foil). In Holland you have two manufacturers of it, I'm sure that there are some in your country.
It is a thin foil-like material (about 0,6mm. thick) and you can become it in all kinds of shapes and luminating colours. When you apply a voltage to it it brightens up very well!. You can run it from 6 Volts (with some electronics) to 220 Volt straight. I believe the lifetime of the foil is about 15.000 hours. It's now about 3-4 years in the market, and is more-and-more applied for industrial use. I know it's also quite affordable for as we did a development with this kind of product.
(for instance that nice blue shining dashboard of the new Volkswagen Golf is also EL-foil)
Jorn Berends
JB Ventures BV
Bedrijvenpark Twente 165c
7602 KE Almelo
(31)-(0) 546 - 578 499

We use an electroluminescent sheet for our lighting needs here at CGI. It is
fairly inexpensive and can be cut into any shape you wish. The manufacturer
will custom stamp shapes as you request.

The company that we used is called Metro-Mark. they are located right here
in Minneapolis and can be reached at (952) 935-8844.

We have had good luck with their lighting products.

Good luck.

Craig Crump


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