About Convex Mirrors
Convex mirrors are used in many applications from safety, security and occupational health and safety; however there is no current Australian Standard to regulate or enforce minimum standards in regard to mirrors of this class. This results in all types of convex mirrors being manufactured to a wide variety of built quality, varying depth of curvatures (or amount of convex shape) and an overall lack of standardised or agreed minimum production values. It is quite common to find many suppliers simply offering up the cheapest possible convex mirror they can find with little or no regard to it's functionality or end use. Our mirrors certainly do not fall into this category and each of our products have been designed firstly and fore mostly to be suitable for the application, engineered to a level that is appropriate and durable enough to have a long and useful life. The aim of this page is not to go on an exercise of criticising our competitors - there are some very good mirrors out there but without enforceable standards there are a lot on the market that simply have been manufactured down to the lowest possible price without any real consideration of the end user. Hopefully you will find the following information useful so that you can make an informed decision before your purchase. More often that not convex mirrors are employed because of a safety concern, remove a blind spot, solve a traffic issue, avoid an accident potential, or put simply; to provide a safe working environment. It is crucial they (convex mirrors) create good clear non-distorted images that you can look at in a glance and be confident of what you see. It is just as crucial that the supporting hardware and fittings are capable of standing up to the elements and the environment in which it is expected to perform. A poorly designed convex mirror can do more harm than good and there is absolutely no point in purchasing a product if it not fit for purpose. When you purchase an Acril Convex Mirror you can be absolutely confident it will be more than up to the task.
Know what you are getting
None of the following images are unique or unusual and one can see plenty of examples in the public arena. They are typical examples of some of the products being offered up; something we are NOT prepared to be associated with! We choose not to source or sell these mirrors as we believe quality and proper engineering are far more important than a quick sale particularly when it comes to safety.
Our mirrors will never end up looking like these - we guarantee it!
This row of 4 images are of the cheap polycarbonate traffic style mirror sold by many outlets. Sold as an outdoor mirror it is not sealed against moisture. The image is not uniform; rolling off towards the edge and much flatter in the centre. Can you tell that this is a car in the bottom of the image? In image 2 it is virtually impossible to see any detail; compare that with the image of our mirror below. Both are the same size and yet the camera is further away! Notice also that the mirror had to be installed 'sideways' so it could be fitted in the corner! And because of this; cannot be properly positioned with the necessary down tilt. The mirror serves no practical use and may as well not be there. The frame is 3mm plastic and the clamp attaches to the frame directly into the plastic section. You will find that the clamp incapable of really holding the mirror firmly as the more you tighten the more you crush the section. This example and those that follow, typify the characteristics of mirrors made to the lowest possible price. I think it unlikely that anyone marketing these mirrors will readily point out their limitations when it comes to selling them to you though! Click here for side by side comparision of image quality.
This next example is also widely available and is sold as an outdoor convex mirror (1st and 2nd Image on the left). You can see by the back in the image on the left that the mirror is quite new; it is clean with no sign of weathering. When it was originally installed it would have looked quite Ok but now that it has been exposed to the elements it has completely twisted out of shape! Sold as an outdoor mirror it is not sealed or weatherproof and the 3 arms make it impossible to adjust. The reason for 3 arms? Simply because the backing support is too thin (it will rot away eventually) and incapable of supporting the mirror! The T-Bracket for post mounting is at an extra cost. The next 2 images on the right are our nearest equivalent model of this product and is from our EXT series general purpose outdoor mirror range. It is far superior in all respects. The frame is 8mm thick, totally rot proof, super strong ZP fittings, distortion free mirror image and a well balanced appearance to complete this excellent mirror. There is simply no comparison at any level.
Finally this last example of an indoor convex mirror also very common. Built to the lowest possible price and completely dysfunctional in our view! The mirror is totally unsupported with the mounting arm attached directly to the mirror rear surface; something which can only lead eventually to failure. The bond between the mirror's reflective coating and acrylic surface is not structural and is quite fragile (this goes for any mirror); it should never be used to support anything. The wall attachment is via a plastic fitting which has doubled sided tape on it. Later versions also used glue (as depicted here) as they were simply falling off the wall in hot weather! The only thing truly holding the fitting to the mirror in fact is the backing paint! Even so, this fitting simply fails over time as it is incapable of supporting the torque created by the mirror, resulting in fracture of the plastic fitting either at the base (you can make out the fatigue fracture at the base in image 2) or tearing away from the mirror. The wall fixture is of similar design and suffers the same failures. To adjust the mirror there is an annealed rod which you are required to cut and bend into the position (adjustment) required. Extreme care is required as the unsuspecting customer is likely to grasp the mirror face and try to adjust it this way. Doing so will invariably result in either delaminating the rear surface of the mirror, cracking or breaking the plastic fittings. If this is not bad enough the whole mirror is held up by one very small self tapping screw (You can just see it in the second image). This quite often strips out leaving the mirror precariously unsecured, just waiting to fall off the wall onto something or someone without warning! The last 2 images on the right are of our nearest equivalent; our ECO series. It is plain to see that there is simply no true comparison. Our ECO mirror is supplied with an all metal strut, mounting arm and strong well designed hardware. The mirror is properly supported, can be infinitely adjusted no matter how it is installed and is both user and installer friendly.
There are plenty more examples that we could show but hopefully the point is made; it really is buyer beware! If you would like to discuss anything to do with convex mirrors or require advice or assistance; we are here at your service. Just call!