Man-made mirrors exist ever since ancient times. Sheets of polished metals were the first materials used. The upper or the ruling classes are the ones who can afford to have one during old times. Materials technology greatly affects the quality of a mirror. Surfaces must be non-diffusive, smooth, and opaque, not transparent for light to be reflected best.
The manufacturing of mirrors is directed toward flattening the glass surface and applying metal coatings of uniform thickness. Uneven thickness causes distorted images and irregularities make you look thinner or wider. You can see through the mirror if the coating is very thin.
One of the raw materials in making mirrors is glass, which is the main component. Even if it’s a poor reflector but it has the property of unevenness UNZIPE Irregular Wall Mirror Brass Framed or uniformity. It is an efficient base for a reflective layer of metal. Glass can be easily molded into different shapes for specialty mirrors.
The glass must be coated. Metallic coatings like gold, silver, and chrome are commonly used. Silver is the most common way back hundred years ago leading to the coinage “silvering”. But the most popular metal coating used today is aluminum.
The most important design characteristic of mirrors is surface regularity. The mirror design requires the frame shape, the thickness and the type of coating to be used. Surfaces must be evenly smooth. The coating material is selected depending on the desired durability and reflectivity and the purpose of the mirror.
The first step in manufacturing includes cutting and shaping the glass blanks. A saw with diamond dust on its tip does the cutting. Then the optical grinding machines refine the blanks giving them a smooth finish. After that, they are coated with a reflective material using an evaporator. Finally, after coating, the mirror is packed in a shock-resistant package ready for sale.