Electro-optic mirror element and process of making same

  • US 9,454,054 B2
  • Filed: 11/07/2014
  • Issued: 09/27/2016
  • Est. Priority Date: 11/18/2013
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. A process for filling a variable reflectance vehicular electro-optic rearview mirror reflective element assembly, said filling process comprising:

  • providing an unfilled mirror cell comprising a front substrate and a rear substrate joined by a perimeter seal;

    wherein said front substrate has a first surface that generally faces a driver of a vehicle equipped with a mirror assembly that incorporates said rearview mirror reflective element assembly;

    said front substrate having a second surface opposite said first surface, wherein said second surface of said front substrate has a transparent electrically conductive coating disposed thereat;

    wherein said rear substrate has a third surface and a fourth surface, wherein said third surface has a conductive coating disposed thereat;

    wherein said perimeter seal is disposed between said front and rear substrates, said perimeter seal spacing said front and rear substrates apart and forming an interpane cavity therebetween, wherein said perimeter seal has a gap between terminal ends of said perimeter seal to provide a fill port for said unfilled mirror cell when said front and rear substrates are joined together;

    said fill port allowing an electro-optic fluid to flow therethrough during the filling process;

    wherein, during the filling process, said unfilled mirror cell is fixtured in a vacuum chamber and oriented with said fill port disposed at an upper portion of said unfilled mirror cell;

    wherein, during the filling process, the vacuum chamber is evacuated placing said unfilled mirror cell under negative pressure with no pressure differential between said interpane cavity and the negative pressure of the vacuum chamber;

    wherein, during the filling process, a filling element is disposed in the vacuum chamber at said fill port, wherein said filling element comprises (i) a fluid reservoir that receives electro-optic fluid and (ii) a channel that provides fluid communication between said fluid reservoir and said fill port;

    wherein, during the filling process, a compressible sealing element having a passageway therethrough is disposed between said filling element and said unfilled mirror cell;

    wherein, during the filling process, said filling element substantially seals at said unfilled mirror cell around said fill port via said compressible sealing element;

    wherein, during the filling process, electro-optic fluid flows from a reservoir through said channel of said filling element and through said passageway of said compressible sealing element and through said fill port of said unfilled mirror cell to fill said interpane cavity with said electro-optic fluid;

    wherein, during the filling process, the electro-optic fluid flows through said fill port to fill said interpane cavity via one of (i) gravity feed and (ii) pressurized filling;

    wherein, during the filling process, said interpane cavity is filled with said electro-optic fluid without use of beads disposed in said interpane cavity; and

    wherein, after said interpane cavity is filled with said electro-optic fluid and while the filled mirror cell is still in the vacuum chamber and under negative pressure, said filling element and said compressible sealing element are removed from the filled mirror cell, and said fill port is plugged.

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