UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA OBSERVATORIES / LICK OBSERVATORY
|ALUMINIZING THE 3-METER MIRROR: FEBRUARY 2000
|Stripping and Cleaning
|The painstaking job of cleaning and stripping the mirror is begun by removing any spots of oil or grease.
|Next, dust and dirt are removed with a gentle spray of water.
|Stripping begins. The old aluminum coating is dissolved with hydrochloric acid.
|As the aluminum dissolves the glass begins to appear and the mirror's honycomb underside is revealed.
|The stripping is nearly complete as the last of the old aluminum is dissolved and washed away.
|A series of washes with a base solution, mild detergent, and distilled water complete the stripping and cleaning.