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The Aluminum Association has developed a system of designation for finishes on aluminum to assure that your suppliers can identify and furnish the finish you specify.
Specific finishes of the various types are designated by a letter followed by a two-digit numeral. Each designation may be combined into a single composite designation to identify a sequence of operations covering all of the important steps leading to a final complex finish.
Almost all finishes used on aluminum may be subdivided into three major categories: mechanical finishes, chemical finishes, coatings.
Descriptions of the most commonly utilized finishes are as follows:
M10 - Unspecified as fabricated
C12 - Inhibited chemical cleaned
Anodic Coatings (A)
Protective and Decorative (less than 0.4 mils thick)
A21 - Clear
Architectural Class II (0.4-0.7 mils thick)
A31 - Clear
Architectural Class I (0.7 mil and thicker anodic coating)
A41 - Clear
All designations are appropriate for non-architectural applications as well.
Composite designation examples:
All composite designations are preceded by the letters AA to identify them as an Aluminum Association designation.
Example 1: Aluminum Association (plus) Mechanical Finish (plus) Chemical Cleaning (plus) Chemical Etching (plus) Anodic Coating translates to: an Architectural Class II clear matte anodized finish designated as: AA-M10 C12 C22 A31.
Example 2: An Architectural Class I textured medium bronze electrolytic deposition (2-step) would be designated: AA-M32 C12 C22 A44.
Example 3: An Architectural Class I diffused brite electrolytic deposition and overdye (3-step) would be designated: AA-M10 C12 C32 A44/43.
For additional information on anodizing, for referral to specific anodizers, and to obtain lists of anodizers nationwide or in your area, contact:
Aluminum Anodizers Council