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topic 1067

Color Anodizing of Magnesium


Q. I would like to have magnesium color anodized. Can this be done ?

RFQ: If yes where? (company /person)

Help please
Thank you

SÈrgio C [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
Richard's Eng.

March 2014

A. Hi Sergio. To my (limited) knowledge it cannot be done generically, and perhaps cannot be done too well because magnesium is so corrosion prone; but on another thread Milt Stevenson tells us that there is a process out of New Zealand which is offered by's supporting advertiser International Hardcoat in Detroit. So you might talk to them and see if this info is correct and if this process meets your needs.

Although aluminum can be anodized in a way that creates a fairly thick layer with pores/drill holes that will absorb dyes;
... and although titanium and stainless steel can be given a very thin transparent anodized layer that offers iridescent interference/diffraction colors;

... the "colors" of most magnesium anodizing processes are not aesthetic -- see Tom Pullizzi's excellent on-line article on Finishing of Magnesium.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey


Q. I am told that magnesium cannot be anodized like Aluminum or made porous for painting? What is the equivalent process for magnesium?

Richard Leal
- Linden, Michigan, USA

Magnesium Finishing


A. As you noted, Richard, they are different metals so they don't quite have "equivalent" processes.

But there are a number of processes for magnesium. In addition to Tom Pullizzi's article, if you patiently apply the search engine you will find a lot of forum threads on the subject. And there is an invaluable book by Dow on Magnesium Finishing if you are lucky enough to be able to find a copy =>
Good luck.

Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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