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2301 Optical Lighting Film

Technical Specification
Effective Date: February 1, 2000

3M Optical Lighting Film (OLF) is a thin, flexible film made of a transparent plastic. It is manufactured by a 3M Company microreplication process which forms very precise prisms on one side and a very smooth finish on the other. This prism structure creates unique optical properties.

Optical Properties
OLF efficiently reflects or transmits light, with up to 99% of the light remaining after each interaction with the film. 2301 OLF is simultaneously reflective or transmissive depending upon the angle at which a light ray strikes the surface of the film. Light rays striking the smooth surface of the film at angles up to about 27.6 of the axis of the prisms will be reflected, while those rays which strike the film at angles greater than 27.6 will be transmitted.
Rays lying within this cone are reflected

OLF is used to transport and distribute light uniformly with extremely high efficiency. In some applications, light from a point source is distributed through a tube creating a linear light source. Other applications create a uniform area light source from either a linear or a point light source. Some applications include: Medium bay lighting Explosion proof rooms Clean rooms Illuminated signs Thin light boxes Pole lights Building highlighting



The following drawing shows the path of a light ray within the film.

2301 OLF is a clear.020 (.508 mm) thick polycarbonate film with 90 prisms running down web on one side and smooth on the other side.

.007" (.178 mm)

.020" (.508 mm)

OLF is available in a 37 inch (953 mm) width on rolls of either 100 feet (30.5 m) or 500 feet (152.4 m) in length. The production process leaves a thin line, called a tooling line, across the film which is repeated approximately every 40 inches (1.0 m).

To o lin g lin e s

4 0 .5 " (1 .0 3 m ) 3 7 .5 " (9 5 3 m m )

As with any precision optical product, care must be taken to prevent scratching or fingerprinting the film. When cutting or handling OLF, the work area should be clean and dust free. OLF should be handled only when wearing soft cotton or nylon gloves to prevent fingerprints. Minimize sliding the film in contact with any surface to avoid prism damage. When working with OLF, use the Tyvek liner underneath to protect the prisms.

Since OLF is a thin plastic film, cutting it to the desired size is quite easy. When cutting perpendicular to the prisms (cutting a length of 2301 OLF), start by laying the film on a smooth, clean surface with the prisms down. Using a straight edge, score the smooth surface of the film with a razor or scoring knife. After scoring, the film will break evenly along the line by bending the film away from the scored side. Cutting in the other direction, along the prisms, requires only a notch to start the cut. The film will then easily tear along the prism.

Physical Properties
Type 2301 Material Caliper Weight Distortion Temperature Fire Resistance Tensile Down Web Break Strength Tensile Cross Web Break Strength Youngs Modulus Haze Bulk Absorptivity Prism Angles Prism Flatness Optical Grade Polycarbonate 0.020 0.003 (0.508 0.076 mm) 0.90 lb/yd 0.15 lb/yd (0.500.02 kg/m) 265 F (129.4 C) Passed 8,000 psi (562 kg/cm), 60% elongation 8,000 psi (562 kg/cm), 8% elongation 240 Kpsi (16,900 kg/cm) <1% <50 dB/m 90 20 minutes arc < 1 Wavelength Light ASTM D-374, D ASTM D-648, 264 PSI U.L. 94H ASTM D-882 ASTM D-882 ASTM D-882

Important Notice to Purchaser: All statements, technical information and recommendations are based on tests we believe to be reliable, but the accuracy of completeness thereof is not guaranteed, and the following is made in lieu of all warrenties, expressed or implied, including the implied warranties of mechantability and fitness for purpose: Sellers and manufacturers only obligation shall be to replace such quantity of the product proved to be defective. Before using, user shall determine the suitability of the product for its intended use, and user assumes all risk and liability whatsoever in connection therewith. NEITHER SELLER NOR MANUFACTURER SHALL BE LIABLE EITHER IN TORT OR IN CONTRACT FOR ANY LOSS OR DAMAGE, DIRECT, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL, ARISING OUT OF THE USE OF OR THE INABILITY TO USE THE PRODUCT. No statement or recommendation not contained herein shall have any force or effect unless in an agreement signed by officers of seller and manufacturer.

Specified Construction Products Department
3M Center, Building 225-4S-08 St. Paul, MN 55144-1000 1-800-480-1704 e-mail:

Printed in U.S.A. 3M 1997 70-0703-7246-4