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How Mirrors Are Made And How Do They Work?

how mirrors are made

We’ve had a few customers asking how mirrors are made.

Mirrored glass, mirror glass or silvered glass is a type of float glass, regular or tinted, manufactured with a silver and copper reflective coating on the back surface. One or two layers of protective paint are applied to coat the glass. After processing, a backing is applied to improve impact safety and give added moisture protection.

The Process

Silver mirror glass is simply a sheet of glass manufactured by coating the back surface with silver and copper. This process is called ‘silvering’. First the mirror must be thoroughly polished and cleaned to eliminate imperfections. Next the back of the glass is sprayed with a thin layer of silver. This surface is then painted which protects the mirror from scratches and gives a solid colour to the reverse which ensures the image is bold and clear. Finally, a protective safety backing is applied. This ensures that should the mirror get broken, it will not shatter and cause harm to anyone.

How Mirrors Work

So now we know how mirrors are made, we can explore how mirrors work. It’s first helpful to know that light is made up of tiny particles called photons. When photons, aka a ray of light, travel from on object, such as your face, they strike against the silver backing.

The emitted photon, which cannot pass through the rear of the mirror due to the protective coating, returns back along the original path in nearly the same way, thereby causing a reflection to take place. This is how mirrors are made to reflect light from the object. This yields a sharp and clear image of the object, with nearly all physical characteristics intact.

The key is that the surface is very smooth and polished, rough surfaces will reflect images as the photons cannot pass though them But rough surfaces such as textiles simply absorb the photons.

This is how the mirrors in our mirror doors are made and how they show your reflection. There are other ways to make mirrors, but this is by far the most common for furniture and home. Please contact us if you need any more information