Designing & manufacturing a custom shaped & coated mirror

zaidmo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2009
Messages
408
Hi.

I need to design a special shaped mirror to function as an optical component for a tech solution which I'd like to mass manufacture & sell (who wouldn't?). At the moment I've only found 2 global companies that can produce it. The cost of the mirror + shipping is over R10000, which won't make it viable for the consumer market.

The mirror is convex shaped and needs to be a front surface mirror.
Most mirrors are second surface, i.e. the reflective aluminium / silver coating is behind a layer of plastic or glass protective coating. Remove that coating and the mirror can easily be scratched & is subject to oxidisation (which means it will become black over time). I need that coating removed as it created distortions and a ghosting effect to light I bounce off it.
Those overseas companies are using some sort of polymer for protection (unknown to me).

Being an application-background solution architect in SA, how do I go about finding a way to manufacture these mirrors locally. I've asked the 3 big mirror companies in SA and they haven't responded. Could I approach the CSIR?
Is there any labs that can help (I know that there are DIY methods for people to create first surface mirror coatings but I'm unsure of the longetivity & quality of those coatings).

My prototype is working well with a commercial grade second surface mirror but I now need to up the quality for consumer use.

I've got a CompSci/IS background, not engineering/physics/chemistry/manufacturing which is now where I'm trying to operate. Any suggestions?

Thanks
Zaid
 
Last edited:

fritzm

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2007
Messages
125
You might contact the amateur astronomical society for suggestions. Their mirrors are all front coated with either silver or aluminium. They work with concave mirrors, but every time you grind a concave mirror, you also wind up with a convex tool, so they know how to do either.
 

zaidmo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2009
Messages
408
Thanks, I'll look up some of the groups and ask them
 
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