Much like film, refrigerators play an integral role in our lives, yet we take them for granted since they are utilitarian products that happily hum in the background. Whether your refrigerator consists of only condiments and beer or is fully stocked with fresh foods, having a machine that maintains a constant, cool temperature is paramount. So, what exactly is the role of film in a refrigerator?
The most common place you will see film on your refrigerator is right in front of you, before you even open the door. Since we are usually only interested in the food inside our refrigerator, rarely do we think about the face or surface of the refrigerator. Film is used as a surfacing material for many of our refrigerators. Using real stainless steel can be cost prohibitive, making the refrigerator too expensive for the consumer market. The best alternative would be to use a film that simulates stainless steel without the cost. Film you find on a refrigerator can also be engineered to provide an extra layer of protection from scratches and smudges. This is especially important if you have a family that might not necessarily treat your refrigerator with tender care.
While refrigerators and technology are not usually used in the same sentence, film has an important role in next generation refrigerator. Not only are refrigerators becoming more energy efficient, they are also integrating touchscreen displays that act more like a tablet or computer. As we move into the age of “Internet of Things”, we will see more refrigerators using this technology. An important component to these displays are films. Since we only see the end product, rarely do we think about the many layers that make up the display. The touchscreen is made possible by film technology by providing a protective outer layer and a conductive layer.
The use of films in a refrigerator shows the diverse application in one product, ranging from the low-end to the high-end. The next time you are about to open your refrigerator door, pause for a moment and think about the many areas where film has a role in a product we can take for granted.
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