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The Special Metals Corporation group of companies was created in late 1998, when Special Metals Corporation of New Hartford, New York acquired Inco Alloys International Inc., including its Huntington Alloys (Huntington, WV) and Wiggin Alloys (Hereford, England) locations. In May 2006, Special Metals Corporation became a wholly-owned subsidary of Precision Castparts Corp. (Portland, OR), a worldwide manufacturer of complex metal components and products.
The Special Metals Wiggin Ltd. operations in Hereford, England traces its roots to Henry Wiggin and Company Limited, a company formed by Sir Henry Wiggin in the mid 1800s to manufacture specialty metal products. Henry Wiggin and Company Limited, which was ultimately composed of metal forming operations in Birmingham and Hereford in England and Glasgow in Scotland, was purchased by British Mond Nickel Company Limited. The Wiggin operations became part of the International Nickel Company in 1929 when International Nickel merged with British Mond Nickel Company Limited to form the International Nickel Company of Canada Limited. The NIMONIC family of alloys was developed by research teams at the Wiggin Works.
The Huntington Alloys works in Huntington, West Virginia began in 1922 as a processing mill for nickel alloys melted at the Orford Works of the International Nickel Company in Constable Hook (near Bayonne), New Jersey. Eventually melting operations were added to the Huntington works and it became a fully integrated nickel alloy processing mill. Research and development became a key component of the Huntington operation. Most of the currently manufactured products of the Nickel, MONEL, INCONEL, INCOLOY, INCO-WELD, INCOCLAD and NILO families of nickel alloys were developed by the researchers in Huntington.
The Special Metals operation in New Hartford had its beginnings in 1952 as the Metals Division of Utica Drop Forge and Tool Company in Clayville, New York. A six-pound vacuum induction melted heat of Waspaloy that was forged into a blade for a Pratt & Whitney J-48 aircraft engine was the starting point of the commercial vacuum melting industry for superalloys. The plant was relocated to New York Mills in 1954 and to the present New Hartford location in 1958 to accommodate the rapidly growing business. New vacuum induction melting furnaces were designed and built and the development of the UDIMET family of alloys began in these early years. Ownership of the Metals Division moved from Utica Drop to Kelsey Hayes in 1956 before Special Metals became a public company in 1961.
The company was sold to Allegheny Ludlum in 1965. The Ajax Forge facility in Dunkirk, New York, which was transferred to SMC in 1977, remains the company's primary forging facility. Allegheny Ludlum sold the company to Astrotech in 1984. In 1987, Aubert & Duval, who had established a technical exchange agreement with Special Metals in 1960, purchased the company. SMC again became a public company in 1997. Throughout its history, Special Metals has been a pioneer in the development of equipment, processes and alloys in the vacuum melted superalloy industry.