Many modern mirror applications whether around the home or in public spaces make use of safety backing film. Practically this means if a mirror should receive any kind of impact the film backing will keep the mirror face intact and prevent dangerous shards from potentially causing injury.
Safety backing film is made from polypropylene and applied to the rear of the mirror paint. This acrylic pressure sensitive adhesive is often only microns thick and conforms to BS EN 12600 Class 2B2.
As well as making glass safe for use all around the home there are further benefits. Applying the film also strengthens the glass surface and makes it more robust and less susceptible to breakages. It almost allows items that impact the glass to bounce off without breakage.
Furthermore on mirrors positioned close to water such as in bathroom applications the paint is prone to delaminating. This results in red, brown or black speckled areas forming around the edges of the mirror and as it worsens these move inwards giving an imperfect reflection. Film backed glass prevents the moisture entrapment that leads to delaminating and will add years to the mirrors life.
Watch the video below, courtesy of Dulles Glass & Mirror, which shows the results of a glass mirror being smashed with and without safety film backing.
Film backing can also be used in double sided mirror applications such as for use in bathroom cabinets. This creates a laminated construction with glass sandwiching the film either side, improving safety and adding strength.
When purchasing or specifying mirrors safety backed glass should be a prime consideration for safety, strength and longevity.