Polymer Glazing for Silver Mirrors

    Research output: NRELTechnical Report


    This paper reports on our evaluation and modification of polymeric glazings to protect silver mirrors. The mirrors were made using Corning 7809 glass as a substrate onto which a thin silver film is deposited. The modified polymeric films are then cast from solution onto the silver. The mirrors were characterized by measuring the hemispherical reflectance and the specular reflectance at 660 nm andselected acceptance angles (7.5 mrad or 3.5 mrad). The mirrors were exposed to environmental degradation using accelerated weathering devices and outdoor exposure. Empirical evidence has demonstrated that polymethylmethacrylate is a stable polymer in a terrestrial environment, but the polymer does not provide adequate protection for the silver reflector. The crucial role in degradation played byultraviolet (UV) light is shown by several experimental results. We have demonstrated that UV stabilizers added to the polymer improve the weatherability of mirrors. The relative effectiveness of different stabilizers will be discussed in terms of the weathering modes, retention of optical properties, and effectiveness of the additives. The process for silver deposition influences thereflectance of silver mirrors, and the optical properties depend on subtle relationships between the metallization and the dielectric (polymeric) films that are in contact with the silver.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages12
    StatePublished - 1985

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/TP-255-2724


    • polymer glazing
    • reflectance
    • silver deposition
    • silver mirrors
    • UV stabilizers


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