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A discussion started in 2004 but continuing through 2020


Q. Hi, I have searched all over the web for what the specifications for Finish 5.1.1 of Mil-STD-171 [link is to free spec at Defense Logistics Agency, dla.mil] are and I cannot find them. Can anyone help me with this?


Joyce Hanni
- Manassas, Virginia


A. You searched all over the web? It took 15 seconds to type MIL-STD-171 5.1.1 into Google and find out that it is zinc phosphate.

jeffrey holmes
Jeffrey Holmes, CEF
Spartanburg, South Carolina


Q. Finding that the mil-std-171 includes zinc phosphate is little information to anyone searching for the ENTIRE standard and all of it's contents. Maybe you were able to find and download the entire standard?

Michael Dersch
- Rockaway, New Jersey


A. Hi, Joyce; Hi, Michael.

Most MIL specs are available for downloading at http://assist.daps.dla.mil/quicksearch/^https://quicksearch.dla.mil/

Just put "MIL-STD-171" into the 'Document ID' box.

The download is free (although there is nothing as expensive as "free"). Your tax money is being confiscated to fund someone (probably a beltway bandit who made substantial political contributions) to give your offshore competitors a free leg up on you. You pay for all the "free" copies your Indian and Chinese competitors download; I guess you might as well get a "free" copy yourself :-)

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

March 28, 2009

A. According to my hard copy of MIL-STD-171C dated 16 March 1979, finish no 5.1.1 is the general lead in to Metallic Coatings, usually applied by an electroplating or hot-dip process. The specific coating(s) are listed in Table II which is several pages long and includes a variety of metals and thicknesses of coating including Cadmium, Zinc, Gold, Aluminum, etc., each of which is covered by another referenced Military Specification.

Hope this helps.

Rich Johnson,P.E. (ret)
- Hopkins, Minnesota

August 2013

A. Hi. Indeed it's a bit confusing because the document has a "section" 5.1.1 labeled "Detail Requirements, Metallic Coatings", but it also has a "finish" 5.1.1 which is, as Jeffrey described, Zinc phosphate:



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

August 19, 2013

Q. Need finishing spec MIL-STD-171 3.3.1, Heat treated 0-1 steel.

Tom OBrien
machine & repair - Hamlet North Carolina

August 2013

A. Hi Tom. MIL-STD-171 appears to have no section 3, and finish 3.3.1 appears to be "Black oxide for iron and steel, MIL-DTL-13924 [link is to free spec at Defense Logistics Agency / dla.mil] ".

But I'm not understanding whether you are looking for a copy of the spec (which this page tells you where to get), or whether you are saying that you are looking for a quotation on having the service done to your components. If the latter, please post something about size, volume, etc., so readers can determine whether they will be able to handle it. Thanks.


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

February 13, 2020

Q. My drawing states. Finish 4.1 of MIL-STD-171.

Can't figure out if it is paint or other coating.

John Moceri
- Sterling Heights, Michigan

February 2020

A. Hi John. Personally I don't think it's either; I think it's just "Finish No. 4.1 -- Abrasive blasting (Method I of TT-C-490)"

But it's always risky to ask a third party what the first party wants, and 'bad communication' still ranks as perhaps the biggest business problem, so I think you should require clarification before proceeding :-)


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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