A D V A N C E D M A T E R I A L S & P R O C E S S E S | S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 0 2 2 M onel 400, also known as nickel alloy 400, has been used in the industrial and built environment since 1905. A short-lived architectural metal, it was increasingly replaced by its cheaper cousin, stainless steel, from the mid-1930s. Monel suffered from a lack of managerial support as focus shifted toward newer alloys. Extensive compe- tition during the 1940s, and procurement issues due to its high nickel content, led the metal into relative obscurity by the 1950s. Today it remains a specialty alloy usedmostly in themarine field. THE EARLY YEARS Monel was born out of joint re- search into a more affordable route to nickel silver by three International Nickel Company metallurgists, David H. Browne, Victor Hybinette, and Rob- ert C. Stanley. It was ultimately Stanley who realized the lower oxidation point of the nickel-copper sulfide found in the Bessemerized matte, refining the first ingot where others had failed [1] . In the process, he accidentally stumbled upon a highly corrosion-resistant pro- to superalloy. This metal, silvery in col- or, benefited from Stanley’s support and his fortuitous presidency of the cor- poration 15 years later, and from the International Nickel Company’s mo- nopoly on nickel products that increas- ingly straddled the free world. At the dawn of the 20th century, American business interests acted to seize control of the world’s nickel mar- ket. Despite Canada’s huge reserves, a lack of refining technology and financ- ing saw the market made up of small mining interests, struggling to find de- mand. The Canadian Copper Company, the largest concern, joined with Rich- ard M. Thompson of the Orford Cop- per Company in New Jersey to refine their product in the 1890s. Thompson soon realized the implications for nick- el as demand exploded. Approaching the newly formed United States Steel in 1902, he formed a cabal under the auspices of J.P. Morgan. Absorbing the stock of the seven key players, the In- ternational Nickel Company was found- ed to corner the burgeoning market. Streamlining production, the company bought out interests in Sudbury, Can- ada, and lobbied for exemptions on nickel-copper matte imports. Ameri- can supremacy was ensured through aggressive trade policy that included export taxes on refined product and later, dumping. Within the decade, the company controlled 50% of world sup- ply. Everything was in place to ensure the success of Monel and its base met- al nickel. HISTORIC MONEL—PART I: PRODUCTION AND PROCESSES OF THE INTERNATIONAL NICKEL COMPANY INTO WORLD WAR II Monel’s importance in the first half of the 20th century as a decorative metal has been nearly forgotten. James E. Churchill,* Columbia University, New York and Kreilick Conservation, Pennsylvania *Member of ASM International