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How do I Hardcoat Anodize (Type III)?

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  • How do I Hardcoat Anodize (Type III)?

    Hi. I'm new to the board and new to anodizing but would like to learn as much as possible before I get started.

    I'm looking for instructions on how to hardcoat anodize (Type III). What other proceedures are required when compared to Type II anodizing? What other equipment is required? Are Caswell's LCD anodizing kits able to Type III hardcoat anodize? Also, what is the difference between the two different types in the end when everything is said and done? Thanks for your help.

  • #2
    We have specific instructions for type III anodizing. (Our new system is type II.)

    Type III is a difficult process, even for the professional shops.

    What is worse is that most people wouldn't be able to tell type II from type III, and so, when type II is produced and sold as type III, no one is any the wiser.

    The difference in hardness between the two is minute.
    Most people asking for type III are thinking it is HARD anodizing, as if type II were SOFT. This simply isn't the case.
    Another common mistake is that they ask for HARD anodizing, yet want it dyed. That's a dead giveaway. Type III is never dyed.

    Don't be fooled by HARD anodizing - ALL TYPES OF ANODIZE ARE HARD
    Mike Caswell
    Caswell Inc
    Need Support? Visit our online support section at


    • #3
      This is actually for a firearm so it must be able to withstand a lot of abuse. I'm planning on stripping the original black anodized surface and reanodizing it and dying it a dark gray instead. I heard that hardcoat anodizing can be dyed black, dark green, and dark gray. Is this true or not? I want to match the original specs as close as possible. Here are the original specs:

      *Exterior is grit blasted to produce a non-reflective matte surface prior to anodizing.

      *Protective finish: Hard Anodize Military A8625, Type III, Class II finish - lusterless (flat, Approximate Black No. 37038 Table IX - with a Nickel Acetate final seal coat.

      Are you telling me that this is not hard anodized because it is dyed black? Also, why is hardcoat anodizing so difficult? I know it's done at a lower temperature but what else would make it more difficult? I appreciate your help with this by the way.