Military Specification MIL-A-8625 for Anodic Coating Aluminum & Aluminum Alloy Parts

I. Introduction


MIL-A-8625 is a critical military specification governing the anodizing of aluminum and aluminum alloys, forming the cornerstone for anodizing processes in military and aerospace applications. This specification delineates the requirements for six distinct types and two classes of anodizing, tailored for non-architectural applications. Additionally, it serves as the basis for numerous proprietary anodizing specifications employed by individual companies, further underlining its significance within the industry.


II. Types of Anodic Coatings


  1. Type I Chromic Acid Anodizing: This traditional method produces a thin yet dense oxide layer on aluminum surfaces, offering commendable corrosion resistance. Typically employed when superior corrosion resistance, paint adhesion, and fatigue resistance are paramount.
  2. Type IB Chromic Acid Anodizing (Low Voltage Method): Similar to Type I, but utilizes a low-voltage method. This variation maintains the benefits of corrosion resistance and paint adhesion while potentially offering process efficiencies.
  3. Type IC Non-Chromic Acid Anodizing: Designed as a non-chromate alternative for Types I and IB coatings, offering comparable attributes in terms of corrosion resistance, paint adhesion, and fatigue resistance. Examples include Boeing Boric-Sulfuric Anodizing processes.
  4. Type II Sulfuric Acid Anodizing: Utilizes sulfuric acid to produce a thicker oxide layer than Type I, enhancing wear resistance and electrical insulation properties. Widely used for decorative purposes and parts requiring moderate corrosion and wear resistance.
  5. Type IIB Sulfuric Acid Anodizing (Alternative for Types I and IB): A thin film sulfuric acid anodizing process, serving as an alternative to chromic acid anodizing. Offers similar attributes in corrosion resistance and paint adhesion, providing versatility in application.
  6. Type III Hard Anodize: Renowned for its exceptional durability, Type III anodizing produces a thick and hard oxide layer, delivering outstanding wear, abrasion, and corrosion resistance. Primarily utilized in aerospace components and military equipment where robustness is paramount.


Each type serves specific purposes, with varying characteristics and applications. For instance, Types I and IB are chosen when superior corrosion resistance, paint adhesion, and fatigue resistance are required. Types IC and IIB serve similar purposes, providing alternatives for chromic acid anodizing with specific processes such as Boeing Boric-Sulfuric Anodizing and thin film sulfuric acid anodizing, respectively. Type III, known as hard anodize, is preferred for its exceptional wear resistance and durability, commonly used in aerospace and military equipment.

III. Classes of Anodic Coatings


Moreover, MIL-A-8625 also designates two classes of anodic coatings:

  1. Class 1 (Non-dyed): Anodic coatings designated as Class 1 have a minimum thickness of 0.7 mil (18 microns), offering high-performance finishes suitable for exterior building products and applications necessitating continuous outdoor exposure.
  2. Class 2 (Dyed): Class 2 coatings maintain a minimum thickness of 0.4 mil (10 microns) and are primarily recommended for interior applications or light exterior use with regular cleaning and maintenance schedules, such as storefronts.

These classes specify whether the anodic coating is colored or not, offering flexibility in aesthetic choices while maintaining performance standards.

IV. Thickness of Anodic Coatings


In addition to MIL-A-8625, the Aluminum Association has established classifications for anodic coatings, denoted as Class I and Class II:

  • Class I coating: This designation indicates a high-performance anodic finish with a minimum thickness of 0.7 mil (18 microns). It is suitable for applications subjected to continuous outdoor exposure, such as exterior building products.
  • Class II coating: With a minimum thickness of 0.4 mil (10 microns), Class II coating is a commercial anodic finish recommended primarily for interior applications or light exterior applications that receive regular cleaning and maintenance, such as storefronts.


It’s important to distinguish between the MIL-A-8625 Types and the Aluminum Association’s Class specifications. The Types specify the anodizing process and its attributes, while the Class designations denote the thickness and performance characteristics of the anodic finish. This ensures that anodized aluminum products meet specific standards tailored to their intended applications, whether in military, aerospace, architectural, or commercial sectors.

V. Applications of Anodic Coatings


Anodic coatings find extensive application across various industries, including:

  • Aerospace: Anodized components in aerospace applications benefit from enhanced corrosion resistance and durability, crucial for withstanding harsh environmental conditions and maintaining structural integrity.
  • Military Equipment: Military-grade anodizing ensures that components exhibit superior resistance to corrosion, abrasion, and wear, enhancing the longevity and performance of military equipment in demanding operational environments.
  • Electronics: Anodized aluminum is widely utilized in electronic devices for its electrical insulation properties and corrosion resistance, safeguarding sensitive components from environmental factors.
  • Automotive: Anodic coatings are employed in automotive parts to enhance corrosion resistance, improve surface hardness, and provide decorative finishes, contributing to the longevity and aesthetic appeal of vehicles.
  • Architectural: While MIL-A-8625 primarily focuses on non-architectural applications, anodized aluminum is also utilized in architectural projects for its durability, color stability, and low maintenance requirements in building facades, window frames, and other structural elements.

VI. Conclusion


In conclusion, MIL-A-8625 stands as a cornerstone in the realm of anodizing specifications, delineating precise requirements for the treatment of aluminum and its alloys in military and aerospace applications. Through its classification of various anodic coating types and classes, this specification ensures that anodized components exhibit exceptional corrosion resistance, wear resistance, and durability, meeting the stringent demands of critical industries. From chromic acid anodizing to hard anodize processes, each type offers unique properties tailored to specific application needs, while the distinction between Class 1 and Class 2 coatings further refines performance expectations. As anodized aluminum finds widespread utility in aerospace, military, automotive, electronics, and architectural sectors, adherence to MIL-A-8625 guarantees the consistent delivery of high-quality, reliable, and long-lasting products capable of withstanding the harshest environments and operational challenges.

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Military Specification MIL-A-8625 for Anodic Coating Aluminum & Aluminum Alloy Parts


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