How are aluminum framed mirrors made?

If you have read our other blogs, you might know aluminum framed mirrors are made from aluminum alloy, but how precisely is this done?

Crafting an aluminum-framed mirror follows a step-by-step process, similar to other glass/mirror manufacturing procedures. The production primarily involves two separate manufacturing processes: creating the mirror itself and crafting the aluminum frame. We’ll explore the mirror-making process in a separate blog. Today, let’s uncover the process of making an aluminum frame from aluminum alloy.

Furnace Heating:

Aluminum alloy is placed into a furnace and heated until it reaches its melting point, which is typically around 660.3°C (1220.5°F) for standard aluminum. Manufacturers select specific aluminum alloys for mirror frames based on how well they balance strength, weight, and ease of use. These alloys often contain additional constituents such as silicon or magnesium.

Melting:

As the temperature increases, the aluminum alloy begins to melt. It’s crucial to precisely control the temperature during this stage to ensure uniform melting and prevent overheating, which could potentially damage the material’s properties.

Once the metal melts, it becomes ready for further processing.

Casting or Extrusion:

The molten aluminum is poured into pre-made molds with the desired shape, and once it cools and solidifies, it takes on the shape of the mold. The aluminum can be cast into molds for specific frame shapes or extruded to create continuous lengths of the frame profile.

Extrusion is a special technique for the production of aluminum-framed mirrors to create continuous lengths of material with a uniform shape. In this process, the molten aluminum is transferred to a large machine known as an extrusion press. This press typically consists of several components, including a barrel, a ram (which acts as a powerful plunger), and a die.

During extrusion, the ram applies significant pressure to the molten aluminum, compelling it to flow through the opening of the die. You can think of this process similar to squeezing toothpaste through a specially shaped nozzle. As the molten aluminum exits the die, it rapidly cools and solidifies upon exposure to the surrounding air. This cooling process ensures that the aluminum retains the desired shape, taking on the profile of the die.

The choice between casting and extrusion depends on the complexity of the frame design and desired production volume, with extrusion generally being faster and more efficient for simple shapes.

Cutting and Shaping:

Once the cast or extruded aluminum shapes have cooled, they are removed from the molds or cutting table. Next, they are precisely cut and shaped into individual frame pieces, ensuring accuracy for proper assembly in the following manufacturing steps.

Corner Joinery:

The frame pieces are joined together using methods such as miter joints for clean and seamless corners, and mechanical fasteners for simpler frame designs or those requiring easier disassembly.

  • The miter joint technique involves cutting the ends of the frame pieces at a 45-degree angle, resulting in a tight fit when joined together.
  • Mechanical fasteners refer to using brackets, screws, or other fasteners to mechanically connect the frame pieces.

Finishing:

Once assembled, the frame undergoes finishing processes such as polishing, anodizing, or PVD coating, to enhance its appearance and protect against corrosion.

At Bimba, we offer PVD coating, which stands for Physical Vapor Deposition.

Mounting the Mirror

The final step involves carefully mounting the mirror within the frame, ensuring a secure fit.

For Aluminum Framed Mirrors, contact Bimba Glass Interiors. We offer a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors to suit your space. You can conveniently purchase one through our website, visit our showroom located at Minbhawan, Kathmandu, or simply DM us on our social media pages.

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