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Technologies Review | April 26, 2019

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How Does Technology for Glassless Mirrors Work?

Cassy Johnson

When you think about a mirror what do you reckon is the most important element in it? Without any glass it won’t work at all, will it? Well, having a mirror without any glass sounds a lot like having a waterless shower or a foodless fridge but strangely enough there are actually a couple of different types of glassless mirrors around these days.

Apparently they are popular in dance studios but since I haven’t seen inside one of them since Fame sadly ended I will have to take someone’s word for it. Popular places of use also include gyms and schools. They are shatterproof of course and they also have a number of other benefits which are worth investigating.

It certainly looks as though taking the glass out of bathroom mirrors is one way of making sure that we get a fine mirror without having to worry about breaking it, and as I have smashed, chipped or shattered a number of these things in my life I feel that this can only be a good thing. This leaves me with just one question; how are they made?

Acrylic

These mirrors are made of acrylic and given a surface which is highly reflective. These are a lot lighter and safer than conventional mirrors but somewhat surprisingly they are also brighter. They also tend to be cheaper than glass mirrors and easy to hang.  On top of the acrylic goes acrylic polymer paint and then polyurethane, to make the whole thing rigid and durable.

Reflective Metal

This type of glassless mirror is made by vacuum stretching a reflective metal film over a frame which is made of aluminium. The core is made of polyurethane foam and there is a space left between this core and the reflective film. These glassless mirrors are incredibly light and are softer and less rigid than the ones we looked at above. They come in a wide variety of sizes and aren’t going to cause you a major problem if they are damaged.

As we can see, there are a number of different advantages to choosing a mirror which has no glass in it. I don’t intend to take up ballroom dancing or spin aerobics anytime soon but perhaps I could find some other reasons for using one of these. For example, my little girl loves looking at herself in the mirror and always tries to grab it as well. This has already caused a few near accidents and I now keep her as far away from the mirrors in our house as I can. However, with one of these safe alternatives she can still admire herself without any danger of causing any sort of damage or cutting herself if her little fingers let her down.

Flexible LED Screens

And when we say glassless mirrors we should also consider the new OMLED flexible screens that could change the way we interact with mirrors and screens in everyday life. Can you imagine an led display screen as your mirror – so your morning shave could incorporate watching the news or checking the infamous facebook? What the future holds, waits to be seen, but it will be remarkable that’s for sure.