Hard coat anodize is Semano’s most popular service – and for good reason. Hard coat has characteristics that are often highly desired including substantially increased hardness, better corrosion resistance, better dielectric strength, thicker coating, better wear resistance and more. Oddly enough, despite these features, hard anodize is actually a much smaller market than clear coat. One reason for this is processing hard coat anodize is much more technically challenging than clear coat.
Characteristics: From a technical perspective, hard coat anodize is typically run at a lower temperature and higher voltage resulting in smaller pore sizes and the aforementioned characteristics. When done properly hard coat will be a rich black color. One down side of hardcoat, and perhaps the reason for the popularity of clear coat is the dye acceptance of hard coat is rather limited. Even under ideal circumstances, hard coat will not accept dye remotely as well as clear coat due to the smaller pore sizes of hard coat. The only exception to this is dying hard coat black or gold. Black will almost always turn out fine given that it’s the natural color of hardcoat, and gold dye can be used to create various shades of gold and brown under ideal circumstances. As a general rule though, if the anodize is not to be used functionaly, or simply for corrosion resistance, and strict cosmetic requirements are present, clear coat may be a better choice.
Applications: Common applications include outdoor products because of increased wear and corrosion resistance. Almost all outdoors equipment that requires strength not found in plastic is typically anodized. This includes hiking poles, tent poles, rifles, and more. Beyond that, hard coat is common in the semiconductor equipment sector for its dielectric strength and corrosion resistance against the plasma.
Specs: Many specs for hard coat anodize exist. Some common ones are the military spec (Mil-A-8625 Type 3) and semiconductors specs like AMATs 39693.
Many anodizes (and their customers) are frustrated with burning and chipping that are often seen from hard coat anodize runs. Fortunately, our team at Semano has been processing hard coat for over 25 years and knows how to tweak the process depending on the incoming condition to mitigate these factors. If you would like more information about our services or would like to request a quote, visit our contact us page.