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Mirror Coatings.

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Posted by Robert May on July 16, 2004 17:25:55 UTC

The basic answer is no. The house mirrors are all second surface mirrors and the coatings are generally silver with a copper overcoat followed by paint of some color, usually black these days.
The coating on a telescope mirror is generally done in a vacuum chamber to a fairly thin thickness and generally aluminum is used as the oxide of aluminum is transparent and won't affect the reflectivity of the surface.
Chemical silvering processes can do a good job of coating a mirror but the coating will need to be replaced on a regular basis, depending upon the tarnishing rate of silver in your area. Placing of overcoatings on silver really haven't been successful as the thickness of the coatings generally are too thick to do a decent job of letting the light reflect properly off of the silver.
Please also remember that you have done a mirror that is within something like 1/10 or better of the wavelength of light in accuracy to the parabolic shape and you need to be able to place a coating over that surface that will maintain that accuracy of surface shape.

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