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Hardcoat Anodize

Plating Specs

What is AMS-A-8625 Hard Coat Anodize?

Hard Coat Anodize is a frequently used finish for aerospace components. Due to the increased durability and corrosion resistant properties, it is commonly applied to aerospace machinery that are susceptible to harsh or extreme conditions. In order to guarantee consistency throughout its manufacturing processes, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) created specifications called Aerospace Material Specifications (AMS). These specs are used to help manufacturers easily identify procedural requirements and create an industry wide standard for all future metal finishing work in the aerospace industry. 

Under the AMS-A-8625 spec, Hard Coat Anodize is classified as Type III. The process leaves the thickest layer of anodize of all three types in the spec. Hard Coat Anodize is more expensive than Type II sulfuric anodize, but it provides a variety of beneficial qualities that its predecessors do not.  

Why Use Hard Coat Anodize? 

Hard Coat Anodize provides a thicker layer of protection compared to the other two types in the AMS-A-8625 spec. This thicker layer provides for a stronger finish, increasing the abrasion and corrosion resistance of the component it is encasing. It also has a higher thermal shock resistance than the other two anodize types, meaning that it is less likely to experience change during extremely high or low temperatures.  

AOTCO's Certifications & Approvals for this Spec

  • NADCAP Accredited
  • ROHS Compliant

Plating Specs AMS-A-8625 Hardcoat Anodize

Types of Anodic Coatings Available

  • Type 1 – Conventional coatings produced from chromic acid bath
    Purpose: Delivers an electrically non-conductive surface with improved scratch and corrosion resistance. Primarily used in aerospace applications and on castings where components that may undergo flexing due to heat changes or mechanical means

  • Type 2 – Sulfuric acid anodizing, conventional coatings produced from sulfuric acid bath
    Purpose: Intended to improve surface corrosion protection under severe service conditions or as a base for paint systems
  • Type 2B – Thin sulfuric acid anodizing, for use as non-chromate alternative for Type 1 and 1B coatings
    Purpose: Non-chromate alternative to Type 1 and 1B coatings, where corrosion resistance, paint adhesion, and fatigue resistance are all required

  • Type 3 – Hard Anodic Coatings
    Purpose: Provide wear and abrasion resistant surfaces with improved corrosion protection due to greater thickness and weight than the conventional anodic coatings. Reminder: Sealing of Type 3 coatings is not recommended unless corrosion resistance is also a factor, as both wear resistance and fatigue strength can be reduced by sealing

Types of Anodic Coatings NOT Offered

  • Type 1B – Chromic acid anodizing, low voltage process

  • Type 1C – Non-chromic acid anodizing, for use as non-chromate alternative for Type 1 and 1B coating


  • Class 1 – Non-dyed
  • Class 2 – Dyed

Acquisition Requirements

Acquisition documents should specify the following

  • Assembly Anodizing – If an assembly is required, customer MUST provide AOTCO with this information.

  • Due to electrolyte entrapment, assembly anodize must be pre-approved by AOTCO on a PART TO PART basis

  • Type of anodic coating, title, number and date of this specification

  • Class of anodic coating

  • Special process operating conditions, if applicable

  • Special cleaning and fabrication requirements

  • Color and uniformity of Class 2 coatings, if applicable

  • Degree of non-uniformity of dyed casting alloys

  • Type 3 coating thickness, if applicable

  • Coating weight for thickness, (for Type 3) if substituted

  • Special sealing requirements

  • When applicable, the allowable difference in anodic coating appearance resulting from inherent base metal differences

  • Provide the specific location of contact marks if important to the function of the part

  • Acceptance criteria for quality conformance inspections

  • If paint adhesion testing is required for quality conformance testing and the required paint system

Unless otherwise specified in the contract, PO, or applicable drawing, the nominal thickness of the coating shall be 0.002 inches (2 mils).

Minimum Thickness (typical) in inch of Anodic Coatings

Alloy Designation

Type 2 Thickness of Coating



























Alclad 2014-T6



Alclad 7075-T6












Thickness Ranges of Anodic Coatings on Aluminum and Aluminum Alloys

Coating Type

Thickness Range



1, 1B, 1C, and 2B

0.00002 to 0.00007



0.00007 to 0.0010



0.0005 to 0.0045


Coating Weight Relative to Type

Coating Type

Coating Weight (mg/ft2)

1 and 1B

200 min


200 min - 700 max


1000 min


200 min - 1000 max

Additional Relationships to Consider When Designing Part Coating
  • Fatigues properties of aluminum alloys can be severely reduced by anodic coatings. The amount of reduction varies with the process. As a rule of thumb, the thicker the coating the greater the fatigue will be
  • Hardcoat of 2 mils or more is extremely difficult to obtain on high silicon dye castings such as 360, 380, and 383
  • Abrasion resistance in Type 3 hardcoat will decrease as the thickness of coating approaches 3 mils. In general, abrasion resistance does NOT increase with coating thickness

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Services & Capabilities

Plating Substrates
Pre- & Post-Process Treatments
Dedicated Outsourced Finishing



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Sometimes called a “conversion coating” Anodizing is an electrolytic process in which an oxide (anodic) layer is chemically built on the surface of the substrate material, providing anti-corrosion and other benefits. AOTCO offers, Type I, Type 2, Type 3 and Titanium anodizing services.

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Plating Substrates

Plating Substrates

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Pre- & Post-Process Treatments

Pre- & Post-Process Treatments

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Dedicated Outsourced Finishing

Dedicated Outsourced Finishing

Part of our cornerstone goal of building long-term, collaborative & solution-oriented partnerships, AOTCO will devote reserved physical and human resource capacity for our clients with long-term finishing and deadline requirements. For these partnerships our commitment is that AOTCO manages the process, while YOU control the results.

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