Monel vs Stainless Steel

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by kctrumpeteer, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

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    Some clarification.

    I think a monel piston will continue to function longer than plated piston, although it might be with sloppy action and lots of oiling.

    On the other hand, as soon as the plating wears through to the brass a plated piston is useless because brass on brass sticks like crazy.
    This has been my experience with several vintage Olds and with a Getzen student horn that had a lot of wear.

    Until the plating wears through the plated piston will slide better because, as Ivan said, the plating is harder than a monel psiton.
     
  2. smokin valves

    smokin valves Pianissimo User

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    I have a large selection of all three types of valve, and tbh i don't think it makes much difference. Personally i think that on a lower quality horn monel is best because it is easier to machine, meaning they are more likely to be good quality. I would much rather valve wear than casing wear (i think), and so i would say that i prefer monel valves.
     
  3. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

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    I not only can send a picture of my Couturier, but, also my, before the patent date, York Wizard, totally conical cornet, designed by Couturier.


    OLDLOU>>[/QUOTE]


    Go to Horn-U-Copia .com to see both listed.


    OLDLOU>>


    Go to
     
  4. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

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    Go to Horn-U-Copia.com to see my B&M trumpet, (second one down from the top).


    OLDLOU>>
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  5. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    Monel pistons tend to "chatter" when they are worn.
     
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I should have mentioned this earlier:

    Bach/Yamaha/Schilke and others do not use monel because it is cheap. They can easily charge the price that would be necessary for stainless. There is a different philosophy behind the material.

    Monel develops a wear pattern complementary to the players hand. As the wear when properly cared for is minimal, I don't think that it is an issue. With a Bach trumpet, the acid in my sweat has long eaten through the lacquer or silver plate before the valves are a problem.

    Let's face it, if monel was such an issue, why would the major orchestras of the world be stuck on Bach and Yamaha. How could Yamaha end up being the biggest producer in the world? It cracks me up how amateurs with less than an hour a day on the horn can comment in such depth about something so insignificant.

    Let's just face the issue: for one lifetime, properly cared for valves are fine regardless of the construction. Getzen makes a great point about badly cared for valves.

    When we get into things like "tactile sensation" I have to smile. THAT is something that is in our heads and has NOTHING to do with the speed and reliability over time. I will have to test some stuff. I am pretty sure that the MASS of the valve governs the "feel" not the material. Remember, on a properly cleaned and oiled valve, the viscosity of the oil, the tension of the spring and the moving mass are factors. The valve casing only "sees" the valve material when there is no lubrication!

    Maybe I have discovered the next pimp possibility: VALVE skeletonizing and/or weights.
     
  7. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

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    Perhaps a little research is necessary - this from Wikipedia ....

    "Compared to steel, Monel is very difficult to machine as it work-hardens very quickly. It needs to be turned and worked at slow speeds and low feed rates. It is resistant to corrosion and acids, and some alloys can withstand a fire in pure oxygen. It is commonly used in applications with highly corrosive conditions. Small additions of aluminium and titanium form an alloy (K-500) with the same corrosion resistance but with much greater strength due to gamma prime formation on aging. Monel is typically much more expensive than stainless steel.

    Monel alloy 400 has a specific gravity of 8.83, an electrical conductivity of approximately 3.4% IACS, and (in the annealed state) a hardness of 65 Rockwell B."

    Monel is used extensively in Gas Turbine Engines - and I can tell you it's as hard as the "Hogs of Hell", stainless steel isn't necessarilly so hard. The comment on price is interesting too.
     
  8. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    Thanks Ted. Unfortunately the monel in trumpet valves gets annealed as a by product of braising the port elbows.
     
  9. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    Been there - Done that!
    I played around with adding mass to valves a few years ago - didn't like the result.

    Also played around with filling the hollow void in the valves - didn't like the result.

    But the big discovery was:
    It is real easy to ruin an otherwise acceptable set of valves:evil:
     
    Brassman64 likes this.
  10. JNINWI

    JNINWI Piano User

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    ANY metal will be annealed as a result of temperatures found in processes such as brazing, Monel included. The softer the metal the more the annealing effect will be seen at the brazing temperature ranges. This means stainless will have a greater spot annealing effect than monel. And all this means absolutely nothing in the performance of the mechanical action of a trumpet valve. When you use the monel or stainless in the piping at a power plant under high pressure, high temperature and a corrosive environment, now this is important, but not for the application in a trumpet. We are fortunate that the horn manufactures use metals such as Monel and Stainless that give our valves a long, corrosive free life. Monel or stainless.... it's a sales gimmik, thats all. And Thanks Tedh1951 for the info, I didn't want to say anything.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012

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