Mirror Manufacturing and Composition
Virtually all mirrors for interior use are manufactured by the conveyor,
wet deposition method. Annealed or fully tempered glass is thoroughly
cleaned by the application of cleaners and passing contact with
oscillating scrub brush units. After the glass is cleaned and rinsed, the
surface of the glass is sensitized with a diluted solution of tin
chloride. This surface treatment allows for the deposition of silver.
Silver nitrate is sprayed onto the sensitized surface of the glass along
with other chemical configurations. The final outcome is the formation of
a uniform silver layer on the glass.
Once the silver layer is formed on the
glass, methods to protect the silver layer from oxidation are employed. A
layer of copper is then deposited directly onto the silver. Copper can be
applied in two ways: chemically or galvanically. Recent technological
advances have lead to the development of copper free protective films,
which also prevent silver oxidation.
Once the metal layers are attached to the
glass, they are covered by a protective mirror backing paint. The mirror
backing paint protects the metal layers from corrosion and from mechanical
scratching. The paint can be applied either by passing the glass through a
curtain of paint or by passing glass in contact with a roller paint
coater. There are many mirror backing paint products available from a
number of suppliers. They offer paint systems that are applied as a single
coat or double coat. Both coating systems are effective.
Tinted mirrors are produced using the methods described above. The silver
coating is applied to one of the various tinted glass substrates available
on the market. Tinted mirrors are generally used in decorative
applications where color and diminished light reflection are desirable.
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