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About Acrylic Mirror

Mirrored acrylic is made from extruded acrylic sheet, and its reflective surface is protected by a highly resilient backing on the mirrored sheets. The reflective surface is achieved by vacuum metallising with aluminum. Gold mirror is also available.

Acrylic mirror is best fixed via placing into a frame or by drilling through the material. The use of adhesives is commonplace with acrylic mirror; however, some may contain solvents such as toluene, ketones and hexane that can attack the back coat. Adhesives with solvents of 5% or more are not recommended. Acrylic mirror is not suited to outdoor situations.

The front of the acrylic mirror is acrylic, which is also known as Plexiglas®. Acrylic is a transparent thermoplastic that is 17 times stronger than glass. Plexiglas® is a registered trademark of Evonik Industries.

History

1893 – Acrylic acid is synthesised by French chemist Charles Moureau.
1928 – Acrylic glass, known chemically as PMMA (polymerised methyl methacrylate), is first developed in the laboratory.
1933 – PMMA is brought to market as Plexiglas® by Rohm and Haas.
1936 – The first commercially viable acrylic safety glass is manufactured. It would be used in World War II for windshields, canopies and periscopes. Uses of acrylic would expand significantly throughout the 1950s and 60s.

Applications

Acrylic is one of the world’s most popular plastics due to a favourable combination of properties, which include being chemically safe, less than half the weight of glass, a better thermal insulator and more transparent, allowing 92% of visible light to pass through unabsorbed. It can be brittle under extreme loads and high-impact force, and scratches more easily than glass. It can however be polished to restore visual clarity. It is used for the following:

  • Glass Substitute: Glaziers use acrylic as an affordable alternative to glass
  • Signage: Sign-writers use it for large signs, fixing clear or coloured vinyl with digitally printed images over the sheet surface
  • Fencing: Acrylic is an affordable choice for pool fencing, animal enclosures, vegetable gardens, and home decking
  • Aquariums: Acrylic is a popular choice for aquariums as it is shatter resistant and easily moulded into any number of shapes

Acrylic is also used for skylights, protective covers for computers, briefcases, jewellery displays, book stands and brochure holders, lighting fixtures, motorbike helmet visors, safety shields at sporting venues, modern furniture, and many other applications.

Key Properties of Extruded Acrylic Mirror

Components
Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) 97.9%
Methyl methacrylate (MMA) 0.5%
Aluminum 0.1%
Paint 1.5%

General
Reflectivity (over the 400–700 nanometer visual light spectrum) 85-90%
Continuous Service Temperature 71°C (160°F)
Heat Distortion Temperature 87°C (190°F)

Key Properties

General
Density relative to water (=1) 1.219
Water absorption (24 hrs) 0.03%

Thermal
Continuous Service Temperature 85°C (185°F)
Melting point 160°C (320°F)

Mechanical
Tensile Strength at Break 70 Mpa
Elongation at Break 4%
Flexural Strength 114 Mpa
Impact Strength, Notched Izod @ 23°C 0.21 J/cm (0.4 ft-lbs/in)