The amount of iron and copper consumed by the British navy was increasing. Yet the electrolytic action between iron and copper through water remained a problem. Between 1795 and 1800, Humphry Davy at the Royal Institution conducted experiments on this. Meanwhile, Bentham concentrated on methods to improve the quality of copper used by the navy. In 1797, he wanted samples of copper sheathing to examine their variation of durability. Yet analyses of impurities and examination of physical treatments were inconclusive. To achieve specific standards of production, the Inspector General wanted greater control of the navy’s copper and thus have old copper sheathing smelted and retained at the dockyards rather than returned to contractors for remanufacture. The Navy Board defended its process of returning it after burning off weed and the matter was left in suspension until 1800. Then the Inspector General proposed building a Metal Mill at Portsmouth to which old sheathing might be shipped for remanufacture under controlled conditions. The mill was not completed until 1804, by which time large quantities of old copper sheathing had accumulated at the dockyards, creating shortages for the contractors and prompting them to appeal for supplies. They also attempted to discredit development of the Mill. Nevertheless, so that it could manufacture iron items, in 1803 a Metal Master was appointed and by 1806 the Mill was recycling almost all the navy’s copper sheathing, production of which continued to rise. Integral was study of the processes and content of the navy’s metals.