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"AMS vs MIL Specs"


We do aluminum finishing & most of our work is done to either:

Mil-A-8625 [link is to free spec spec at Defense Logistics Agency, dla.mil]- for anodizing
Mil-C-5541 [link is to free spec at Defense Logistics Agency, dla.mil]- for chem film aka chromating.

We are starting to see prints & paperwork referencing the new AMS C5541 [withdrawn / link is to spec at TechStreet] & AMSA8625 specs. I do not yet have copies of these new AMS Specs. Does anyone know, do I need a copy or are they identical to old MIL specs, just with new titles?

Also, I have been unable to find these new AMS specs for free on the net. Anyone know where they can be downloaded at no charge or is this not available?

For all of you still looking - not sure if you know, but you can now download all MIL specs for free at: astimage.dsps.dla.mil/

David A. Kraft
- Long Island City, New York


Mil specs, EPA & OSHA regs, and some other government documents are just about the only uncopyrighted material you will find, David. I've never seen a free AMS, ASM, ASTM, ISO, or SAE spec and don't expect to see any. Like a novel or a film, it's not the cost of paper or acetate that is the roadblock--it's that, web or no web, there are substantial costs and people don't work for free. Maybe the government will give grants to these organizations someday for such purpose, but I haven't heard of it yet. Meanwhile, you can download most specs for about $30 to $40 each.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey


These MIL specifications are still being maintained by the government. It is my understanding that they do not intend to relinquish these two specs to the private sector. They have been overlayed on to AMS specs of the same number but I believe without a governmental OK. It could become a cat fight. For instance, C-5541 requires the use of a qualified product. AMS states that they will not do product qualifications. So you could process to AMSC5541 but would have to depend on a MIL based QPL.

AMS specifications are for sale and copyrighted.

Chris Jurey, Past-President IHAA
Luke Engineering & Mfg. Co. Inc.
supporting advertiser
Wadsworth, Ohio
luke banner


Hello David!

Yeah, those of us on SAE's Aerospace Materials Division Committee B, on Processes, have a bit of egg on our faces for that. We should have waited until the DoD cancelled those specifications before issuing our WORD-FOR-WORD replacements, and if the DoD wants to keep those specifications active, my bet is that Committee B will be cancelling AMSC5541 and AMS A8625 [withdrawn / link is to spec at TechStreet]. But for right now, they are the same words.

Hope this helps!

lee gearhart
Lee Gearhart
metallurgist - E. Aurora, New York


All of the above is very accurate. But be assured that by checking the above military site for specs that you look for adoption notices. If Government has adopted to SAE AMS, build or process to the latest spec unless customer drives it differently. In our state we have an Aerospace Alliance/Vocational Team that supplies us with free SAE spec provided they have been adopted. Otherwise we buy from SAE site www.sae.org/servlets/index

Randy Padgett
- Tulsa, OK, U.S.A

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