First Surface Mirrors Explained
We are often asked what is a first surface mirror? The best place to start is to look at a mirror commonly found in your home. The reflective coating on a common mirror is applied to the rear of the transparent substrate which in most cases is glass or plastic. This process is known as a second surface mirror. The layer of glass/ plastic performs 2 major roles. Firstly a surface to apply the reflective coating to and secondly it forms a protective barrier between you or the outside world and the reflective coating. Where a first surface mirror differs is that the reflective coating is placed on the front of the material as opposed to the back.
All Cobra Mirrors are first surface mirrors (FSM). FSM's are primarily used in the projection world in applications such as gaming, immersive education, planetariums, astrology, flight/ automotive simulation, rear projection TV's, Stereoscopic 3D and digital signage. In projection a direct reflection is required to eliminate the secondary (ghosted) reflection which would come from the glass/ plastic of a second surface mirror.