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#### lovicodo

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##### how to turn glass into a mirror
« on: October 18, 2018, 07:43:13 AM »

Hello,
i have some questions about glass silvering;
i found this procedure:
1) make a solution (A) with 1.4 gr silver nitrate + 17gr water
then, add to the solution 1.2gr of ammonia 26% solution

2) make a solution (B) with 9.2 gr potassium bitartrate + 4gr sodium carbonate + 17gr water

3) make a solution (C) made of 5gr (A) + 5gr (B) + 100gr water

4) put a very clean glass sheet (*) in solution (C) , and leave it in the solution until the glass silvering is done.

(*) the glass must be very clean before silvering :
to clean it, wash it with a 6% tin chloride solution,
then rinse it with hot water.

The author claims that with this procedure is possible to silver also plastic with very smooth surfaces.

The questions are:

1) Do you think that this procedure can really work also for plastics?

2) How can i make the plastic surface clean (and smooth)?
do you think that the 6% tin chloride solution is suitable also for plastics, or does need another cleaner?

I am interested in plastics such as PLA,ABS,PETG; i have read somewhere that PETG is more suitable than the others...

P.S: this is my first post in this forum,
i am sorry if i have posted the question in a wrong forum section, in this case i ask to moderator  to move it in the right place...

Thank you!
Lodovico
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 10:28:13 AM by lovicodo »
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#### lovicodo

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##### Re: how to turn glass into a mirror
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2018, 12:40:50 AM »

let me know, thanks!
L.
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#### billnotgatez

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##### Re: how to turn glass into a mirror
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2018, 12:55:14 AM »

@lovicodo
From the forum rules
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... If you can see no reason why you have not attracted a response in 48 hours, "use the report to moderator" function, and the moderation team should be able to help you improve your post or move it to a different sub-forum if appropriate.  ...

Also most people click on the link
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Show unread posts since last visit.
So they see all posts titles no mater what sub forum

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#### P

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##### Re: how to turn glass into a mirror
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2018, 02:56:42 AM »

It might also be the case that no one knows. We could speculate based on our scientific knowledge and experiences, but if you want a comment from a professional maker of mirrored surfaces or someone that has done it before then there just might not be one here - it is quite specialist/specific your request.

Just a point of interest - I accidently mirrored a glass jar the other week when I melted some Gallium in it. Is that a viable way to mirror a surface? Let molten metal run over it so it adheres? I would think most liquid metals would crack most sheets of glass and most polymers would melt. idk. If you had an alloy that had a very low melting point then maybe. Ag/Ga alloy maybe?
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Tonight I’m going to party like it’s on sale for $19.99! - Apu Nahasapeemapetilon #### billnotgatez • Global Moderator • Sr. Member • Mole Snacks: +205/-55 • Offline • Gender: • Posts: 3722 ##### Re: how to turn glass into a mirror « Reply #4 on: October 19, 2018, 03:49:05 AM » It also might be that the specific technique mentioned in the Original post might not be the one anyone who recently visited here has used and therefore no one had previously commented. It is interesting that the WIKI on silvering states https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silvering Quote In modern aluminum silvering, a sheet of glass is placed in a vacuum chamber with electrically heated nichrome coils that can evaporate aluminum. In a vacuum, the hot aluminum atoms travel in straight lines. When they hit the surface of the mirror, they cool and stick. I notice that there is no shortage of hits when doing a GOOGLE on Quote mirror silvering kit As to Quote I am interested in plastics such as PLA,ABS,PETG one wonders if the chemical composition of the plastics would be a factor in what silvering techniques can be used as compared to glass. Logged #### P • Full Member • Mole Snacks: +62/-15 • Offline • Gender: • Posts: 625 • I am what I am ##### Re: how to turn glass into a mirror « Reply #5 on: October 19, 2018, 03:54:16 AM » It is interesting that the WIKI on silvering states https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silvering Quote In modern aluminum silvering, a sheet of glass is placed in a vacuum chamber with electrically heated nichrome coils that can evaporate aluminum. In a vacuum, the hot aluminum atoms travel in straight lines. When they hit the surface of the mirror, they cool and stick. Isn't that just called Vacuum Deposition? one wonders if the chemical composition of the plastics would be a factor in what silvering techniques can be used as compared to glass. Shouldn't be too hard to put a few different plastics into a vacuum deposition chamber to see which ones the metal sticks to. Wouldn't take long at all. You could do some rubbing tests to check the adhesion afterwards. Logged Tonight I’m going to party like it’s on sale for$19.99!

- Apu Nahasapeemapetilon

#### Enthalpy

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##### Re: how to turn glass into a mirror
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2018, 03:16:51 AM »

The vacuum deposition of aluminium tends to work easily on varied substrates, including polymers. It's done the big way on polyester films to produce so-called space blankets, and on other polymers to make headlight reflectors for instance.

The semiconductor industry deposits varied metals by evaporation or by sputtering on semiconductors, metals, ceramics and polymers. Adhesion is rarely a big worry, but in that job, the underlying surfaces are clean for real.

My guess is that a clean polymer surface should suffice for vacuum deposition of metal. Also, silver tarnishes in real life, so it would demand some protective layer on top, while aluminium is as good a reflector as silver for most uses and doesn't tarnish. Both get scratches easily.
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