Axgard MSR mirrors are the best plastic mirror option available today. These safety mirrors are in a league of their own. Combining unbreakable polymer resilience with a specially formulated, tough, UV protected, scratch-resistant coating, Axgard-MSR holds the key to success for many mirror projects globally.
Very much at home in highly destructive and impact-prone environments, the core strength of Axgard-MSR lies at the heart of it’s success, and the added benefit of tough abrasion resistance and anti-graffiti properties makes it a favourite with specifiers and contractors alike.
Plastic mirror sheets are manufactured is two main thicknesses: 6mm mirrored plastic and 3mm mirrored plastic. The 6mm plastic mirror sheet is the most popular as the extra thickness provides greater rigidity which in turn gives a better reflection quality.
Common mirror applications for Axgard plastic mirrored sheets include hospital ward mirror, prison mirrors and bathroom mirrors.
Fixing is simple; Axgard-MSR can be bonded to any flat substrate, or mechanically fixed. In demanding, high-security applications, a combination of both provides an extra safeguard.
What is Shatter-Proof Mirror?
Shatterproof Mirror is made from Plastic which doesn’t easily break. However, there are different types of plastic mirror sheet, and it’s important to understand the difference. Sometimes you will see someone selling acrylic mirror and claiming it is a shatterproof mirror, which is not exactly the case.
Acrylic mirror is approximately 20 times the strength of glass mirror of the same thickness, and whilst it is a bit safer than glass mirror it actually does break when impacted.
Another problem with acrylic mirror is that if you drill holes in the corners of the mirror to fix the acrylic mirror to the wall, you will often find that the acrylic mirror cracks at the corner which means the whole mirror then has to be thrown away. Also, when you cut acrylic mirror to size you will often find that it cracks as you are cutting it, so you have to be extra careful if you need to cut acrylic mirrors down to size. However, Polycarbonate mirror is approximately 200 times the impact strength of glass mirrors of the same thickness. So, Polycarbonate mirrors are 10 times stronger than acrylic mirrors, and this is why Polycarbonate Mirrors are generally classed as shatterproof mirrors because they are reckoned to be virtually unbreakable.
Why do people buy Acrylic Mirror?
Generally, acrylic mirror is safer than glass mirror as it is a bit stronger, however, they are a lower cost than Polycarbonate Mirrors, and worse still, many people are unaware of the huge benefits of Polycarbonate Mirror, both for ease of cutting to size and drilling, as well as the fact that Polycarbonate Mirrors are truly shatterproof and safe to use, whereas acrylic mirrors will break and won’t last long in high-impact environments.
Acrylic Mirror also looks the same as Polycarbonate Mirror, so it’s really important to make sure you always check to ensure you are buying Polycarbonate Mirror. Axgard-MSR is a Polycarbonate Mirror which is always manufactured from Polycarbonate so that you can always rely on Axgard-MSR being truly shatterproof and virtually unbreakable.
If you have a project which requires plastic mirrors for mental healthcare it is extremely unsafe to use an acrylic mirror, as patients could easily break the mirrors, even unintentionally, and cause harm to themselves. Whereas, with mirrors made from polycarbonate such as Axgard-MSR you can be assured that they are manufactured with the highest possible strength meaning that patients are kept as safe as possible.
If you are looking for a mirror for a gym, or a mirror to suit school changing rooms or public toilets, then we would highly recommend using a plastic mirror made from polycarbonate such as Axgard-MSR, as it won’t crack at the edges, or crack with impact like acrylic mirror will.
Do Plastic Mirrors Scratch?
One of the problems with plastic mirrors is that they scratch. Once Mirrors are scratched it is not easy to remove or repair the scratches. This is why it’s really important to choose a plastic mirror which has a scratch-resistant coating as this will keep the plastic mirror looking great for much longer. This is one of the other key advantages of Axgard-MSR is that it is manufactured with a scratch-resistant coating. Scratch-resistant coating on plastic mirrors is very similar to the scratch-resistant coating you might get offered if you ever go to buy spectacles, and in the same way, as this option means the optical clarity and vision of your glasses will stay great for longer, choosing a plastic mirror with a scratch-resistant coating such as Axgard-MSR will make a big difference to the longevity of your investment.
Unbreakable mirrors made from plastic are often made in more than one thickness. The reason is that this is for strength and rigidity. Whilst polycarbonate mirrors are classed as virtually unbreakable, an unbreakable plastic mirror is never 100% unbreakable, and therefore the thicker the mirror the stronger the mirror will be against forces of accidental or violent impact.
Additionally, with thicker plastic mirrors you also gain additional rigidity which is really important for all mirrors where good reflective quality is required. Where a project budget is limited meaning a thinner plastic mirror is required, you should always ensure that the back wall is completely flat and that the mirror is fixed so that it is held entirely flat. Sometimes a rigid backing board is used to achieve this very-flat surface for the plastic mirror.
Do Plastic Mirrors Look Like Glass Mirrors?
Plastic Mirrors look just like glass mirror and are generally reckoned to have an 80% reflection quality compared to glass mirror. To most people, you would hardly know the difference. However, as plastic mirrors are more flexible than glass mirrors if the mirror is not fixed to a very flat surface, then you will see distortions in the reflection. This is why it is even more important with all plastic mirrors to make sure they are secured entirely flat to the wall or other backboard.
It’s important to understand that if a plastic mirror is slightly curved or bent when installed, the distortions will increase if you are looking at it from a greater distance. Sometimes a very small undulation in the plastic mirror can cause a very large distortion in the reflection if the mirror is being used for long-distance reflection. This is especially important for plastic mirrors used for equestrian centres, or shatterproof mirrors for gyms, for example where the areas are generally greater, sometimes requiring reflection over very large distances. Whereas, for applications such as hospital rooms, sports changing areas, classrooms and healthcare rooms, distances of reflection for plastic mirror will tend to be much less, meaning that undulations causing distortions may be less challenging.
The technical reason for this distortion effect where mirrors are slightly curved is that as the light hits the mirror and bounces back off it can hit the slightly-curved part of the mirror and then reflect off at a tangent. As the distance from the mirror to the person viewing the reflection increases, so does the distance of the tangent. For example, if the mirror was undulating by 0.1mm, then at a 1000mm distance from the plastic mirror the distortion variance is around 1.7mm which you would hardly notice, whereas at a 10,000mm distance from the plastic mirror it would be around 17mm causing a distortion level that would make the reflection look very strange.
Despite the slight challenges mentioned above it is important to remember that for many projects it is completely unsafe to use glass mirrors, so a plastic mirror solution is essential. However, ensuring that you purchase plastic mirrors that are truly shatter-proof as well as making sure they have a scratch-resistant coating, such as Axgard-MSR will make sure you are getting the very best solution for safety and longevity.
Which Plastic Mirror is Best?
Polycarbonate mirrors with a scratch-resistant surface are the best plastic mirrors. Acrylic mirrors tend to crack and break when being drilled or cut to size. Even with a relatively small impact acrylic mirror will break.
Instead, you should choose a polycarbonate mirror which will be much stronger, such as Axgard-MSR. However, when choosing polycarbonate mirrors always ensure that you use a polycarbonate mirror with a scratch resistant surface so that it doesn't easily scratch and you avoid costly replacements.
This means when installing plastic mirrors if you use Axgard-MSR you are unlikely to have any issues with it breaking at the corners where you may have screw holes. And, you can easily cut the Axgard-MSR plastic mirror to size with a fine-tooth jigsaw without it breaking.
This Shatterproof Plastic Mirror option is very rigid, but less than half the weight of a glass mirror of the same thickness. This means this plastic mirror is easy to fix to walls.
The two-fold benefit of this Shatterproof Mirror along with the fact it is also a Scratch-Resistant Plastic Mirror makes Axgard-MSR a great plastic mirror option for many areas.
Some of the applications that Axgard-MSR Plastic Mirrors gets used in include use as safety mirrors for secondary schools, nurseries, hospitals, healthcare, workshops, sheds and mental health institutions. In some of these applications it is simply not safe to use glass mirrors which could break and cause significant hazards.
These almost unbreakable mirrors will withstand impact from many day-to-day activities including sport's balls being thrown at them by accident. off them. Even in situations where they are intentionally impacted, they can withstand an incredible level of impact without breaking which ensure people are kept as safe as possible and that the longevity of the plastic mirrors is maximised.
You should choose a virtually-unbreakable mirror which has a scratch-resistant surface coating for all areas of high risk of impact or vandalism, such as mental health, schools, prisons, and other public buildings. Using glass mirrors could cause a hazard and therefore you should always avoid this.
Food factories or food processing plants are another area where an unbreakable mirror is critical. The danger of a glass mirror breaking and causing shards of glass to contaminate food with severe and even fatal consequences, is not worth the risk. Whereas by using unbreakable mirrors such as Axgard-MSR you can have peace of mind that you have mitigated the risks and provide greater health and safety.
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