clhs sciblog

Musings on current happenings in science from our little slice of the world.

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How it’s Made – Mirrors

May 24th, 2021 by sarwanc · 2 Comments · General Science

The video goes in-depth on the steps and processes that are put in place to successfully mass produce millions of quality mirrors every year. The mirror first starts out as a piece of glass. Firstly, the glass gets washed with brushes that use water and cerium oxide before being rinsed with hot demineralized water to avoid damaging the metals that are added next. Because silver doesn’t stick to glass, a layer of liquified tin is added before the liquified silver is applied. After the silver backing hardens, copper and paint are added to protect the silver in the long term. Following the application of both layers of paint, the mirror is heated in an oven and undergoes an acid wash to remove any residue. Finally, the mirror is inspected and cut into the desired size.

I found the process fascinating, especially due to how simple it is with modern-day technology. To see how chemistry plays a role in an everyday product really shows the underappreciation of something that is necessary for the way we conduct our everyday lives.

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • demeteee

    I had never thought about how mirrors were made. It had just never crossed my mind. Its crazy how complex it is to make with adding silver and oils and things. The more you know.

  • quirogfj

    I’ve always wondered how mirrors are made, but I never would have thought that the use different types of metals, coat them with paint, and acid wash them. I also didn’t know that they needed demineralized water so that it doesn’t mess up the mirror.

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